Present perfect tense, Definition, Structure, Examples

Present Perfect tense is used for the completed or recently completed actions.

When forming the Present Perfect, a distinction is made between regular and irregular verbs. For irregular verbs, the third verb form is used. For regular verbs, the infinitive (basic form of the verb) is added to the verb. In addition, there are several special features, which will be discussed in more detail below.

Structure of present perfect tense

present perfect tense

have or has + past participle (3rd verb form for irregular verbs or infinitive ending -ed for regular verbs)

Present perfect tense is formed by Auxiliary verb have / has + the past participle (the third form of the verb)


Subject Auxiliary verb Main verb
I /we/ you/ they have played football.
He/she/It has played football.

Negative sentences: 

Subject Auxiliary verb
Main verb
I /we/ you/ they have not played football.
He/she/It has not played football.

Interrogative sentences:

 Auxiliary verb Subject has/ have Main verb
Have I /we/ you/ they have played football?
Has he/she/It has played football?

Special features in the formation of Present Perfect

There are some peculiarities in the formation of the Present Perfect that need to be considered.

particularity example
If the verb ends in “e”, only “d” is appended dive> dived
If the verb ends with vowel and consonant, the consonant is doubled travel> traveled
If the verb ends with “y”, it becomes “i” cry> cried

The uses of the present perfect tense:

Using the Present Perfect

Present Perfect tense is used for actions that are in the past and completed.

  1. Action has just been completed
    We just visited Karachi.
  2. To describe actions that have happened in the past, without time specification.She has watched the football match
  3. Action Started in the past and still continue.
    Mrs. Kamal has lived here since in 1987.
    This Irish pub has Existed since 1930.
  4. To describe actions that has just been completed. Here, the auxiliary verb the adverb “just” adjusted.
    Mr Miller has just called me but I can not remember why.
    I have lost my keys. Can you help me to look for them?
    Watch out! I have mopped the floor.

Present perfect often occurs in conjunction with the following 

yet, since, for; Already, never, so far, before

Signal words in the Present Perfect

Using different signal words, it is possible to find out the correct time form. In Present Perfect, the best known signal words are:

  • never
  • ever
  • already
  • just
  • so far

Other present Tense

Present perfect tense Exercises:

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