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Present Perfect ESL Cheat Sheet by

Present Perfect Grammar Cheatsheet

Present Perfect form

The present perfect is formed with the auxilairy 'to have' and the past participle
Postive: We've hidden it/ She's got the present for Andy
Negative: They haven't found it/ He hasn't seen his boss today
Question: Have they forgotten it?/ Has she received the letter?
Don't forget the third person singular of 'to have' is * has*
In order to sound more fluent make sure to use contra­ctions in positive & negative sentences
The past participle
Regular verbs: + ed - TO LISTEN, LISTENED, LISTENED
Irregular verbs: learn by heart SORRY :)

Present Perfect Use

We use the present perfect in two ways: Describing experi­­ences in our lives up to now and results in the present


Example: I've travalled a lot
We can use 'ever' to ask questions about life experi­ences
Example: Have you ever visited Africa?
We can use 'never' for negatives sentences. It means 'not in your life'
Example: I've never seen a ghost
We can use 'before' to say if it's not the first time
Example: We've been to this restaurant before

Present Perfect vs Past Simple

Present Perfect
Past simple
1. Single or repeated actions in the past when we don't know the date of the action or it isn't important
1. Single or repeated actions when we know the definite time
Example: I've driven an automatic car before
Example: I drove a race car last summer
Time expres­sions: before, ever, already, just and yet
Time expres­sions: yesterday, last week, in 2018 etc.
2. Situations that started in the past and are still continuing
2. Situations that started and finished in the past
Example: Tom has worked in the shop for 2 years
Example: Tom worked in the shop for 2 years
With- for or since
With- for
For -period of time
Since- starting point
Time expres­sions: for 2 months, 1 year, a long time
Time esxpre­ssions: since 1968, June, I was 8 years old
3. One or more completed actions in a time period that is continuing
3. One or more completed actions in a time period that is finished
Example: He's sold 15 cars this month
Example: He sold 15 cars last month
Time expres­sions: this morning, this week, today, so far etc.
Time expres­sions: yesterday, last week, ago etc.


Example: My car's broken down
We can use 'just' to mean ' a short time ago'
Example: They've just arrived
We can use 'already' to mean 'before expected'
Example: Yes, I know Sarah, we've already met
We can use 'recently' to mean 'in the last few days or months
Example: What's the cinema like now? I don't know, I haven't been there recently
We can use 'yet' in questions and negative sentences for something that is expected to happen but hasn't happened at the time of speaking
Example: Have you spoken to Julie yet? No, not yet
We use 'still' in negative sentence when an action is expected to happen but hasn't
Example: I gave my teacher my homework last week, but she still hasn't marked it

Other uses of Present Perfect

Unfinished time period
To talk about actions that are still continuing
Today, this week, this morning etc.
Example: I've sent 100 emails this week (it's still this week)
So far = up to now
Example: She's made 5 phone calls so far this afternoon
Compare: I've drunk two coffees this morning (it's still the morning)
I drank two coffees this morning (its now the afternoon)
Repeated actions (They may happen again)
One time actions (unlikely to be repeated)
Example: I've watched a lot of Netflix this week
I watched Die Hard this week
Superl­atives - often used with ever
This is the best football match I've ever seen


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