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PRESENT PERFECT TENSE

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PRESENT PERFECT TENSE





Present Perfect Tense is a compound tense formed of two elements – Present tense of the auxiliary verb TO HAVE and Past Participle of the verb which is conjugated;

I have told; you have spoken; he has worked; she has written; it has cried

we have walked; you have cut; they have understood

Being a compound tense, its interrogative form is obtained by the inversion of subject and auxiliary and the negative one, by placing the negative form NOT between the two verb components:

Have I told? Has she been? Have they worked? Have you heard?

I have not told; she has not been; they have not worked; you have not heard

Present Perfect Tense expresses a past action or state that takes place before the present unit of time but very close to it and sometimes it is translated with prezentul.

It is used in three main situations indicating:

an action finished before a present one:

In the mornings, after he has finished reading the newspapers, he drinks cup of tea.

When he has watered the flowers, he likes watching them.

the result of an action done in the past, no one is interested in the moment of its doing, that has effects in the present

Who has broken the flower vase?

What have you brought here?

Why have you opened the window?

I have seen a beautiful landscape?

an action or state, begun in the past that still goes on up/ during the present moment; it may go on during present unit of time and continue in the future

no indication is given about the unit time length but it is supposed that it is up to the present moment:

The pop concert has begun.

She has visited all the museums of the town.

The adverbs ever, never stress the idea:

Have you ever been to the zoo?

I have never traveled abroad.

the length of the action expressed by the verb is indicated by adverbs  whose meaning is connected to the present: just; lately; of late; recently; during the … days/weeks/ months/ years; this last year; these .. minutes/hours/days/

We have just arrived.

They have spent their vacation during these last two years in the mountains.

length of the action, expressed by a verb, is preceded by for and followed by an adverb:

They have lived here for ten years.

I haven’t seen you for ages.

How long have you been with us?



They have graduated for two years.

the beginning of an action mentioned by the verb is expressed by adverb beginning with since: since 19..; since Monday; since 20th June; or from that day; from childhood

I have learned English since I was ten.

We have lived in this house since October 1997.

From that day, we have never heard about him.

the beginning of the unit of time the action of the verb takes place in, is expressed by a Past tense:

Ben has been my friend ever since I was born.

Bob came here as a child and has been with us ever since.

the unit of time the action takes place in is indicated by another verb  at Present Perfect tense and indicates a parallel action:

He has not stopped writing since he has sat down on that chair.

She has never disappointed me since I have met her.


There is another form of the Present Perfect Tense, Present Perfect Continuous which can be used with durative verbs and stresses the idea of continuity or duration of an action finished in the present or near past.

Peter has been teaching for two years.

( he is still doing it in this very moment)

They have been waiting for the exam results.

It also expresses a continuation of the action in the present moment maybe in the future, as opposed to the Present Perfect Tense that indicates an ended action in the present.

I have been eating your cakes waiting for you.

( not all the cakes are eaten, there still left)

I have eaten your cakes waiting for you.

( nothing is left)

Present Perfect Continuous may indicate repeated actions:

They have been meeting each Saturday for years.

I have been stopping each passer by to tell the great news.

A comparison of the already described tenses is necessary to see the difference between them:

Peter has written a novel.

(nobody is interested when this action happened, important is the result)

Peter wrote a novel last winter.

(the unit of time is mentioned, it is last winter)

Peter has written a novel this year.

(the action is begun and ended this year).

Peter has been writing a novel this year.

(the action is begun, not ended yet, it still goes on)



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