April 21, 2022

Present Perfect Tense: Definition, Function, and Examples

present perfect tense

To improve your skills in speaking English, you need to study various kinds of tenses in depth. One of them is the present perfect tense. The present perfect tense is used to show an event that happened in the past or was completed but is still related to the present time, and doesn’t have a specific adverb of time.

The various tenses in the English language are very diverse and refer to time, but the way each is used can be learned. You don’t need to study them all at once; you just need to progress by learning them one by one in detail. This method is essential so that the tenses you learn stay, and you can use them when you need to.

What is Present Perfect Tense?

The present perfect tense is a form of a verb used to express an action or situation that started in the past and is still continuing today. It’s also used to talk about an event that was completed but has effects that can still be felt today. This tense is usually used to talk about experiences or changes in a place. It’s the opposite of the present perfect continuous tense.

A present perfect sentence has a specific formula which we will look at later. Before that, you need to note that there are three different conditions that can be described using the present perfect tense. The conditions are:

  • Actions or events that did or didn’t happen before the present time but have unknown or no specific time. We usually add words like ever, never, already, yet, still, and just.
  • Actions or events that were done repeatedly before the present but the specific time is not too important to mention. We commonly add “so far” when we want to give a time reference.
  • Actions or events that started in the past or recently and are still continuing until now. For this condition, we usually add “since+time” and “for+time”.

The Present Perfect Tense Formula

present perfect tense

As mentioned earlier, to make a correct present perfect sentence, we need to use the right formula. Therefore, the form of the verb used should be correct. A present perfect sentence is formed with an auxiliary verb “have/has” and a past participle (Verb 3).

“Have” is used for I, You, and plural subjects, such as plural pronouns (they and we), plural nouns (boys, men, etc.), and compound subjects with the conjunction “and”. Meanwhile, “has” is used for singular subjects, such as third-person singular pronouns (he, she, and it) and singular nouns.

There are two types of past participles. Past participles of regular verbs are formed by adding -ed, -en, -d, -t, or -n to the verb form. Meanwhile, past participles of irregular verbs have no consistent form. As there are different sentence purposes, these formulas might also appear differently. In addition to the formula for positive present perfect sentences, there are also formulas used for negative and interrogative sentences.

Before checking out examples, let’s first find out the function of the present perfect tense.

Also read: High Quality Education System: A Review of Sampoerna Academy

What is the Present Perfect Tense for?

Broadly speaking, the present perfect tense in the English language is used to talk about events that occurred in the past but has no clear or specific time. It’s also used to describe events that started occurring in the past and is still going on now, including events that occurred several times starting in the past until now. Another function of the present perfect tense is to talk about an event that happened earlier than an event we describe using the simple present.

Those are several functions of the present perfect tense in everyday life. Now, let’s see some examples.

Some Examples of Present Perfect Sentences

Here are some examples of present perfect sentences. Pay attention to the formula applied in the sentences.

  1. Describing an experience

I have been to France.

I think I have seen that movie.

I’ve been to Bali three times. Have you ever been there?

How many times have you traveled abroad?

  1. Describing a change

You have grown since the last time I saw you.

The government has become more interested in art education.

Japanese has become one of the most popular courses at the university since the Asian study program was established.

My English has really improved since I moved to Australia.

  1. Describing an unfinished action

Hendro has not finished his homework yet.

Susan hasn’t mastered Japanese, but she can communicate.

Bill has still not arrived.

The rain hasn’t stopped.

The examples above are active sentences. You can also use the present perfect tense in passive sentences. Unlike active sentences where the subjects or action doers are important, in passive sentences, the subjects aren’t critical or simply unknown. We use passive sentences to focus on the actions and the objects.

This is the end of our discussion on the present perfect tense in the English language, from definition to function to examples. Do you want to study at a multilingual school with an international curriculum? At Sampoerna Academy, our environment was created to foster a culture of innovation and collaboration.

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