Present Perfect Tense: Part 2 – Use and Meaning

Present Perfect Tense: Part 2 – Use and Meaning

The PRESENT PERFECT TENSE is utilized when we need to discuss: actions that indicate activities that have been accomplished recently or in the near future. Example of sentence for past activities with no set time limit and thus infinite duration is described by past perfect tense. The content of this article will teach you with what are the uses and meaning of Present Perfect Tense. There are also example sentences with present perfect tense provided for you to learn.

This lesson is a part 2 series of the present perfect tense and this part is about its Use and Meaning. In this part 2 lesson we will look at how to use the present perfect and quite important we will look at the differences with the past simple because this often cause confusion. So, let’s start with, let us know what is Present Perfect Tense.

Present Perfect Tense Meaning:

The perfect tenses are used to represent actions that have already taken place. It represents a current action that started in the past and is now finished in the present. The past perfect tense describes an action that started in the past and ended before something else happened.

Watch the video of full discussion of the Present Perfect Lesson and learn the example sentence provided:

What is the use of Present Perfect Tense?

The present perfect indicates the activities that has occurred once or many times previously. The present perfect is most commonly employed to discuss about recent events or changes, but it can also be used for other, less usual purposes.
Example of Present Perfect Tense Sentence:

         Tim: Why is Anne not dancing ballroom?
Mark: She has fallen on the floor and injured.

In this example the present perfect is “she has fallen” and the explanation is; Mark doesn’t need to say exactly when Anne fell on the floor. It is not necessary. The present perfect describes an event in the past (Anne fell on the floor) to explain the situation in the present (Anne is not dancing ballroom).

The name is confusing! It is in fact a past tense. The present perfect describes an event in the past, but does not describe exactly when it happened.

The events or actions in the past have an effect or connection with the present.
Examples of Present Perfect Tense in Sentences:

1, Shela is sad because she has lost her purse.
She has lost” is the present perfect and the connection to the present is that “Shela is sad”. (exactly when the purse lost Is not important)

2. Has she finished her chores?
In this example it refers in the question form in the present perfect tense. Here are the connection with the present will help us make a decision if what she wants to do after she finished her chores (exactly when she finished her chores is not important.).

Examples of Present Perfect Tense in News Report Sentences:

News reports in the media often use the present perfect at the start of the report to give a general summary.

The past simple tense is then used to give more specific information:

Uses and Example of Present Perfect Tense in Sentence

this will teach you with the different uses of the Present Perfect Tense.

Unspecified Time – before now: This will teach you to use the present perfect tense to say that an action happened at an unspecified time before now. We CAN use the present perfect with unspecific expressions such as: ever, never, once, many times, several times, before, so far, already, yet, etc.

Examples of Present Perfect Tense Sentence:

  • have seen that movie three times.
  • I think I have met him once before.
  • There have been many earthquakes in Philippines.
  • People have traveled to the Moon.

Unspecified Time – experience: This will teach you to use the present perfect tense to describe new experience we have gained at an unspecified time in the past.

Examples of Present Perfect Tense Sentence:

have been to Italy.
This sentence means that you have had the experience of being in Italy. Maybe you have been there once, or several times.

have been to Italy three times.
You can add the number of times at the end of the sentence.

have never been to Italy.
This sentence means that you have not had the experience of going to Italy.

A: Have you ever met her?
B: No, I have not met her.

Change overtime: This will teach you to use the present perfect tense to talk about change that has happened over a period of time.

Example of Present Perfect Tense Sentence:

  • The government has become more interested in technology.
  • My English has really improved since I moved to England.
  • You have changed a lot since the last time I saw you

An Uncompleted Action You Are Expecting: This will teach you to use the present perfect to describe an action which we expected bu tit has not happened. We are still waiting for the action to happen.

Examples of Present Perfect Sentence:

  • Bill has not finished his project yet.
  • Mark has still not arrived.
  • Peter has not mastered French, but he can communicate.

Several actions at different times: This will teach you to use the present perfect to describe several actions at different unspecified times in the past. More actions are possible in the future.

Examples:

  • They’ve been to Singapore several times.
  • She has watched that show three times this week.

Duration – from the past till now: This will teach you with using the present perfect tense to describe something that started in the past and has continued up until now. (the present) The action or event is continuing. It is NOT finished. We can only do this with these types of verbs:

  1. Non – continuous verbs (love, hate, want, be, need, etc.)
  2. Non – continuous uses of mixed verbs (have, hear, feel, see, etc.)
  3. live, work, teach and study

Exampels:

  • have had a cold for two weeks.
  • She has been in Philippines for 3 months.
  • Anne has loved milk chocolate since she was a little girl.

Time expressions: The present perfect describes an event in the past, but it does not describe exactly when it happened. We can limit the period of the past with unfinished expressions like: In the last week, this week, today.

But be careful, “in the last month” this does not mean “last month” and this is the difference “last month” means “the previous month” it is a specific time (past simple).
“in the last month” = period of time from 1 month ago until now. (present perfect)

Present perfect or Past simple?

Present Perfect Past Simple Tense
Unfinished actions that started in the past and continue to the present. “I have taught at International School for 3 years”. (I still work there)Finished actions: “I taught at International School for 3 years. (I no longer work there.)
A finished action at an unspecified time with a connection to the present. “Please call an ambulance! I have broken my leg”.A finished action at a specific time without a connection to the present. “I broke my leg yesterday. It was terrible.”
We use unfinished time expressions (this week, this month, in the last week)We use finished time expressions (yesterday, last month, 2 weeks ago)

So that’s the difference and very important; we don’t use the present perfect with a finished time expression. We do not say “I have broken my leg yesterday”, that is wrong. We must say “I broke my leg yesterday”.

Downloadable Material

Here’s the downloadable material of Tutorial on Present Perfect Tense Part 2 here.

For more readings

If you have any questions or suggestions about Present Perfect Part 1, please feel free to leave a comment below or send us a message using our contact page.

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