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Present Perfect Tense

Despite its name, present perfect tense normally does not refer to actions occurring in the present. Instead, it most often refers to actions completed in the past that have some consequence or effect on the present situation.

  • have tried to tell him to slow down, but he will not listen.
  • Mr. Jones has ordered a new couch for his house, but it has not arrived yet.
  • Stan has broken his leg, so he cannot go on the ski trip with us.

Present perfect tense also refers to continuous actions begun in the past and extending into the present.

  • have lived in California for three years.
  • My mother has wanted to visit India since she was a little girl.

The pattern for forming present perfect tense is as follows:

  • Simple present tense form of have past participle of the verb

For most verbs, the past participle is the same as the simple past form.

  • try → tried
  • look → looked

However, many common English verbs have irregular past and past participle forms.

To form the negative of present perfect tense, insert not between the auxiliary and the past participle. To form a question, move the auxiliary to the beginning of the sentence.

  • Stan has broken his leg.
  • Has Stan broken his leg?
  • Stan has not broken his leg.

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