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Present Perfect

Updated: Aug 8, 2022



Affirmative: subject + have/ has + past participle (3rd form of verb)

Charles has asked his boss for promotion.

Negative: subject + haven't / hasn't + past participle

Mrs Novotna hasn't fired anybody.

Question: (question word) + have/has + subject + past participle

What have you heard so far? Has she replied to you?


  • It is used to talk about past events or situations in a time period from the past to the present: I have been in the Czech Republic for 6 years.

  • It is used to talk about experience: My family has never been to the seaside. I have never eaten mussels.

  • It is used to say how many times something has happened in that period: Lucy has been to the USA five times.

  • It emphasizes the number: Marry has finished the third book this month. (This month is not over yet and I am emphasising the number.)

  • It is used with stative verbs

  • It is used to talk about an event in the past that has a result in the present. The event is very often, but not always, in the recent past. The specific time is unknown or unimportant. We DO NOT use words like yesterday or last year.)

We have lost our keys. Our car has been stolen.

  • It is used to talk about the duration of an event or situation which started in the past and continues till the present. The specific starting point or the length of the period is given. (For more emphasis we can also use present perfect continuous)

I've lived here since I was six. - I've been living here since I was six.

Time expressions often used with this tense:

For, since, not yet, never, always, so far, x times, many times, lately, recently, already

My sister has never seen anything like this. Jirka hasn't finished the report yet. I have already eaten the cake.



Affirmative: subject + have/has + been + verb with -ing ending

She has been watching TV the whole day.

Negative: subject + haven't /hasn't + been + verb with -ing ending

We haven't been talking to each other for ages.

Question: (question word) + have/has + been + verb with -ing ending

Have they been playing football all this time?

What has she been doing all day?


  • It cannot be used with stative verbs ( be, love, know, dislike, agree, prefer, want etc.)

  • It is used to talk about past events which continue up to the present or up to a time in the recent past: I've been studying the whole afternoon. I'm going to take a break.

  • It is used to talk about repeated past events in a time period that extends up to the present: My computer has been breaking down a lot lately.

  • It is used to talk about an event, action or behaviour in the recent past that has a result in the present. The action can be finished or unfinished. The focus is mainly on the present evidence for the past event. Words which mark specific time are not used:

It's been raining. (It is not raining anymore but the streets are wet.)

You are dirty. What have you been doing?

Time expressions: for, since, lately, recently, all day, the last two hours, the last five months

You can practise here:

Past participle:

Practice the difference between past simple and present perfect:

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