Talking about finished events connected with the present

May 30, 2011pdf

We can use the present perfect tense to say that a finished action or event is connected with the present in some way.
When we say that something has happened, we are thinking about the past and the present at the same time.

  • You can watch TV because you have finished your homework.

We could often change a present perfect sentence into a simple present sentence with a similar meaning.

  • He has broken his leg. = His leg is broken now.
  • She has had a baby. = She now has a baby.
  • Her cat has died. = Her cat is dead.

 

The present perfect tense is often used to emphasize the idea of completion.

We do not use the present perfect tense if we are not primarily thinking about the present.

  • He has been to almost all parts of the world. (= He knows almost all parts of the world.)
  • Some people believe that Shakespeare traveled a lot. (NOT Some people believe that Shakespeare has traveled a lot.)

We do not use the present perfect tense in story telling.

  • Once upon a time there lived a beautiful princess. (NOT Once upon a time there has lived a beautiful princess.)

The present perfect tense is the most normal tense for giving news of recent events.

  • There has been an explosion at the castle.
Keep your grammar up-to-date!
Includes Grammar Guide (PDF)