Present Perfect Tense

Present Perfect Tense in English

Present Perfect Tense works as a bridge between the Present and the Past times.

It is important to understand that the Present Perfect Tense does not really talk about the present time. Present Perfect Tense is used to talk about past events which have their impact on present activities / situations.

eg : 01
Situation: - Your friend comes to meet you. You go out for a while and your friend comes just then. He meets your mother.

Your friend :- Hello aunty! , Is John in?
Your mother : - Sorry son, he has just gone out.

Here, we refer to something that has just happened. As such, Present Perfect Tense talks about things that have taken place just now.

Present Perfect Tense Verb = has gone

eg : 02
Situation: - You and your friend are at a party. Your friend points at someone and introduces him to you.

Your friend :- That is Mary. Do you know her? You :- Yes, I have met her before.

Present Perfect Tense Verb = have met

Present Perfect Tense Verb

Let’s take a look at the Present Perfect Verb.

has / have + Past Participle form of the main verb (V3)
  • has - with singular subjects
  • have - with plural subjects

Past Participle form of the main verb (V3) – If the main verb is “go”, the past participle form of “go” is “gone”


  • do – done
  • walk – walked
  • wash - washed
  • meet - met
  • run - run
  • write - written

Accordingly, the verb is formed as follows:-

Singular Plural
has done have done
has gone Have gone
has walked have walked
has washed have washed
has met have met
has run have run
has written have written

Let’s write few sentences using the above verbs.

  • I have met him before.
  • She has gone to the hospital.
  • We have washed our clothes.

Did you notice that “has” is used with Singular subjects and “have” is used with plural subjects?

Let’s analyze the pattern with the following example.

Subject Verb Positive Sentence
Singular I have met I have met him before.
He has met He has met him before.
She has met She has met him before.
Kamal has met Kamal has met him before.
Plural We have met We have met him before.
You have met You have met him before.
They have met They have met him before.
Children have met Children have met him before.

Let’s try with a regular verb - work

Subject Verb Positive Sentence
Singular I have worked I have worked hard.
He has worked He has worked hard.
She has worked She has worked hard.
Kamal has worked Kamal has worked hard.
Plural We have worked We have worked hard.
You have worked You have worked hard.
They have worked They have worked hard.
Children have worked Children have worked hard.

Negative Sentences

You have to add “not”

Subject Verb Negative Sentence
Singular I Have not worked I have not worked hard.
I haven’t worked hard.
He Has not worked He has not worked hard.
He hasn’t worked hard.
She has not worked She has not worked hard.
She hasn’t worked hard.
Kamal has not worked Kamal has not worked hard.
Kamal hasn’t worked hard.
Plural We Have not worked We have not worked hard.
We haven’t worked hard.
You have not worked You have not worked hard.
You haven’t worked hard.
They have not worked They have not worked hard.
They haven’t worked hard.
Children have not worked Children have not worked hard.
Children haven’t worked hard.

Yes/ No Questions

Subject Verb Yes/ No Questions
Singular I have not worked Have I worked hard?
Have I not worked hard?
He has not worked Has he worked hard?
Has he not worked hard?
She has not worked Has she worked hard?
Has she not worked hard?
Kamal has not worked Has Kamal worked hard?
Has Kamal not worked hard?
Plural We have not worked Have we worked hard?
Have we not worked hard?
You have not worked Have you worked hard?
Have you not worked hard?
They have not worked Have they worked hard?
Have they not worked hard?
Children have not worked Have children worked hard?
Have children not worked hard?

When and Where to use Present Perfect Tense

Present Perfect Tense expresses the following ideas.

01. To talk about recently completed actions.

eg :

I have just completed my school assignment.

02. To talk about unfinished activities.

We usually use the Simple Past Tense to talk about finished activities.

eg :

I visited my grandmother 4 times last year.

Suppose, this is the month of August and you visited your grandmother 3 times within the last 8 months. Since the year has not yet come to an end, you can still visit her many more times. Therefore, you can say:-

eg :

I have visited my grandmother 3 timers this year.

In the second sentence, you have used Present Perfect Tense since the action is not yet complete.

03. To talk about past actions whose time is not definite.

eg :

I have read this book before.
I have met him before.

If you specify the time you had your dinner, you may use Simple Present tense instead of Present Perfect Tense as follows.

  • I read this book when I was in school.

04. To talk about your experiences.

eg :

I have been to India many times.

05. To talk about past actions which have their results / impact in the present.

eg :

The bus has broken down. So, I’m walking to school.

(You are walking at the time of speaking)

Suppose, the bus broke down yesterday and you are no longer in trouble as a result of it, you may not use Present Perfect Tense. You can use Simple Past Tense instead.

The bus broke down yesterday.

06.To talk about an action that happened in the past but there is a possibility of happening it again.

(Here, we have used Present Perfect tense since there is a possibility for the poet to write many more in her life time.)

eg :

This poet has written many poems for children.

(In this case, the poet is dead and there the poet cannot write any more)

This poet wrote many poems for children.


Reported Speech

Reported Speech is a language pattern used to report to someone of what another person has said or thought.