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Rabu, 14 April 2010

The Present Perfect Tense

How to form the Present Perfect Tense in English:
present perfect simple present perfect progressive
I, you, we, they have played I, you, we, they have been playing
he, she, it has played he, she, it has been playing
have/has + 3rd form have/has been + ing-form

(1)Questions and Negations are formed with have or has. A question asking for the subject always starts with "Who has ...?"(1)
When to use the Present Perfect Simple

Basic Rules:

* We use the Present perfect simple to say that an action happened at an unspecified time before now. The exact time is not important. You cannot use the Present Perfect with specific time expressions such as: yesterday, one year ago, last week, when I was a child, when I lived in Japan, at that moment, that day, one day, etc. We can use the Present Perfect with unspecific expressions such as: ever, never, once, many times, several times, before, so far, already, yet, etc.

* Present perfect simple is often used to describe events which happened just before the „here and now". This tense describes the results and/or developments in the present. This is the most important feature to notice. One might suggest that this tense is not to be seen in the group of “past tenses”; it rather should be seen as a present tense, as it concerns itself with the effects of past events in the here and now.

* It is not important when the events happened; it is rather important if they happened and what effect they have on the present situation.

Susan’s hair is wet. She has been in the shower.
Her hair is wet now. This is the result of an action happened in the past. The Present Perfect Tense describes the result of this event in the here and now.

The king has arrived.
The king is here! Now we can celebrate, dance, etc. It is not important when he came, it is important that he came. Therefore, there is no time designation.

Tom has gone out.
He is not here now! Again, it is not important when he left.

Have you seen Susan?
Have you seen here until now? Do you know where she is now?

Jill hasn't called.
She hasn’t called until now.

Signal Words

There are several words which signal the use of this distinctive tense:

* just, yet, never, already, ever, so far, up to now, recently, since, for, etc.

My brother Tom has just arrived. We can have dinner now.
Miriam has just called and asked for you, Daniel.

That's a great movie! I've already seen it several times.
Would you like some biscuit? - No, thanks. I've already had three.

Have you ever played Tennis? - No, never.
Who has ever heard of Dracula before?

I have never tried to go downhill skiing.
Susi has never seen snow before!

Tom told me he has been very satisfied with his new phone so far.
I asked Uncle Jim to get in touch with us, but so far he hasn't called.

Has Dad arrived yet?
I haven't seen him yet.

Have they mailed yet?
They have already replied, yes.

* in the last few days, hours ...), recently, lately this (week, morning, year...), today, all day

Usually, the Present Perfect Simple doesn’t demand a time designation. But, it is possible to estimate the time frame:

Mia has called three times in the last two hours. In the last few days I haven't seen our cat.

Have you talked to Monica recently? - No, I haven't.
I've met some very clever students lately.

Daniel has been to Malaysia two times this year. This week, we've had three major blackouts already.

What have you done in the office all day? Today, I've visited Mary, written three blog entries and backed a cake.

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