The present perfect tense

Posted by Manjusha Filed in CBSE English Grammar

Form

Affirmative

I have written
She has written.
You have written.

Negative

I have not written.
She has not written.
You have not written.

Question

Have I written?
Has she written?
Have you written?

Uses of the present perfect tense

past events connected with the present

We can use the present perfect tense to say that a finished action or event is connected with the present in some way.

recent events

We normally use the present perfect for giving news of recent events.

And here are the main points of the news again. The rupee has fallen against the dollar. The number of unemployed has reached ten million. There has been a plane crash ...

Note that after using the present perfect to announce a piece of news, we usually change to simple or progressive tenses to give the details.

The present perfect is not used to talk about a finished event, if we say when it happened.

Compare:

with indefinite time adverbs

We often use the present perfect tense for past events when we are thinking of a period of time continuing up to the present - for example when we use indefinite time adverbs like ever, before, never, yet and already.

With more definite expressions of 'time up to now' (e.g. today, this week) we usually prefer a simple past tense in affirmative clauses. In questions and negatives, we use the present perfect.

past events that cannot be attributed to a definite time

The present perfect is used to talk about past events that cannot be attributed to a definite time.

continuation up to now

We often use the present perfect to talk about how long present situations have lasted.

present perfect and simple past: differences

We do not use the present perfect with expressions that refer to a completely finished period of time, like yesterday, last week, when, then, five years ago, in 1995. The simple past is used with this meaning.

American English

In American English, the simple past is often used to give news.

this is the first time etc.

We use a present perfect tense in sentences constructed with this/it/that is the first/second/third/only/best/worst/etc.

Sections in this article

Tenses
The simple present tense
The present progressive tense
The present perfect tense
The present perfect progressive tense
Present tenses to talk about the future
The simple past tense
The past progressive tense
The past perfect tense
The past perfect progressive tense
Past verb forms with present or future meaning
The simple future tense
The future progressive tense
The future perfect tense
Tenses worksheet for grade 10 CBSE
CBSE class 10 English grammar - sentence completion exercise 1
CBSE class 10 English grammar - sentence completion exercise 2