Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Wanna speak real English from your first lesson? Sign up for your free lifetime account at EnglishClass101.com. Hi, everybody! My name is Alisha, and today I'm going to give a short explanation of some basic uses of the present perfect tense. So, let's begin! Okay, the present perfect tense, what I'm going to talk about today, there are two basic points to think about when using the present perfect tense. We use the present perfect tense, first, number one, to express a life experience so this can be a life experience you have had, or a life experience you have never had. So, we use this grammar point to talk about life experience but with one key nuance, this life experience, it happened at a non-specific or an unimportant point in time, so the point in time when this life experience happened is not important in this sentence. In the sentence where you use the present perfect tense, the point in time where you had the experience is not the focus of your statement, the focus of your statement is just the life experience. So, to give a visualization of this on a timeline with past present and future, the present perfect tense is used to express a life experience at a non specific point in time meaning we use it for some experience you had at some point before the present, some point before the current conversation. So we use the present perfect tense to talk about a life experience that happened at a non-specific point in the past. So when specifically this experience happened is not important, this grammar point allows us to simply say that we have or have not had an experience. So this is the first grammar point about the present perfect tense, the simple use of the present perfect tense. The next point I want to talk about though, is the second point, number two, here we use the present perfect tense to talk about an action that started in the past and continues to the present. The effect of an action that started in the past continues to the present. So this is a grammar point that's slightly different from number one that I talked about, so the image here is an action that started at some point in the past, it began at some point in the past, and it continues to the present, or the effects of that action continue to the present. So this is something we can use to talk about where we live, our studies, our work experience, for example. I'll show you in a couple of example sentences a little bit later, but this is the second use; the second grammar point I want to talk a little bit about today. So, it's important to note that when we use this second point, when we use the second use of this grammar point, we often use the words “for” and “since” to express that action that began in the past and continued to the present. It gives the listener some extra information about the duration about how long that action has continued, so the difference between “for” and “since,” many people make a mistake with this. So use of “for” and “since” is important with grammar point number two here, especially because it gives the listener some information about how long the action has been happening. So in an example sentence, you could say, “I have lived in Paris for three years,” or you could say “I have lived in Paris since 2014.” So you can hear “for” is used for a period of time, “I have lived in Paris for three years.” Three years is a period of time, your period of time can be years, months, days, minutes, hours, and so on. Any period of time can be used with the word “for.” I have been teaching this lesson for few minutes. I have been standing up for about an hour ,for example. You can use a different time duration for different expressions, you can use this actually a lot in your everyday life. But on the other hand, let's talk about “since.” So “since” is used for a point in time. When we want to talk about a point in time where an action began, where an action started, we can use “since.” So for example, in my sentence, I said, I have lived in Paris since 2014. So that “since” shows the exact year when I started living in Paris, I have lived in Paris since 2014, and the action continues to the present. So we can use “for” and “since” to show when an action began, and we also know that that action is going to be continuing, that action will continue to the present. So these are kind of the two grammar points I'd like to talk about. Then lastly, I want to talk about how to make this grammar point, how to make the present perfect tense. So I have three categories here, there's positive statements, negative statements, and questions statements. These are just the basic forms of these three types of sentences. So, let's talk about a few different sentence patterns that we can make. I have positive statements, negative statements, and question statements. These are just a few examples of the type of sentences and questions that you can make with this grammar point. So first, to make a positive statement, we'll use “have” or “has,” depending on your subject. If your subject is “I,” for example, we'll say “I have,” “you have,” and “we have;” for “he” and “she,” “he has,” “she has,” and so on. So depending on your subject, we will use “have” or “has,” next, we need to include the past participle form of the verb. So for example, “I have lived in Paris,” “lived” is the past participle form of the verb “live.” "I have been to Paris," so we can use these past participle forms of verbs “been” in this case to talk about the present perfect tense. To use the present perfect tense, please try to remember your past participle forms of verbs. But I find that one of the best ways to get used to using the correct form of the verb here is just practicing in sentences, it's a little bit difficult to memorize all the verbs just from a list, so try practicing them in sentences to remember. Let's talk then about how to make a negative statement. So a life experience you have not had, this is the sentence pattern that you can use to describe that. So again, depending on your subject, use “have” or “has;” “I have,” “he has,” and so on. Next, we'll include “never.” So “I have never,” “he has never,” “they have never,” “you have never,” and so on. So this “never” shows no experience, this is our negative expression. Then finally, we'll include the past participle form of the verb, so “I have never eaten horse,” “He has never visited Italy,” and so on. These make negative statements with “never.” Okay, and finally, a couple of different question patterns that we can use. There are a lot of different questions, yes and no questions, information questions. Let's take a look at a simple one, a simple yes/no pattern. So again, we begin with our “has” and “have” depending on the subject here. So “have you been,” for example, with the past participle verb. “Has she seen,” and so on. So again, we need to use this past participle form of the verb when making our questions. You might have heard people use “ever;” I have here at the bottom, this “ever” in this sentence style, “have you ever been to France?” “Have you ever eaten something?” This “ever,” the nuance of this “ever” is in your whole life experience, so “ever” kind of amplifies, “ever” emphasizes the importance of your life experience, in your entire life, have you had the experience of something. This "ever" emphasizes your entire life's experience. If you say, for example, “have you seen that movie?” It sounds like maybe it's a recent movie, but if you say "have you ever seen such and such movie?" It sounds like maybe the movie is a little bit older. So especially in cases where you'd like to emphasize something that's not so recent, you might consider using "ever" in your questions. "Have you ever been to a different country?" "Have you ever studied something else?" So using ever shows that maybe you're thinking about something a little bit further back, a little bit more in the past in someone's life. Okay, so now that we know this, let's take a look at a few examples sentences that I've prepared. So first I have, they ______ in Germany. So here, I want to use the verb "live," so the past participle form of the verb live is lived, and my subject here is "they." So I need to use "they have lived in Germany." This is a very very simple sentence, they have lived in Germany. I'm using this simple structure, this simple grammar point number one which we talked about. So this is just a life experience, when did they live in Germany? We don't know, but it's just the experience that we want to focus on in this sentence. I could change the sentence to say, "they have lived in Germany since 1999." In that case, it means they live in Germany now, also. However, if they do not live in Germany, they only want to express their life experience of living in Germany, they could say, they have lived in Germany. They have lived in Germany, only that sentence. So please be careful, "they have lived in Germany since 1999" shows they still live in Germany. Saying "they have lived in Germany" shows only a life experience. If you'd like to give more information about where they live now, do it in the next sentence. "They have lived in Germany, but they travel around a lot, and now they're living in Paris," for example. So using the present progressive tense to give some more information in the next sentence. Okay, so here we see grammar point number one is being used in this first sentence. Let's take a look here at a negative sentence. "I _____ never ______ to Italy" here. We have the subject "I" here, we know that it's a negative sentence because it's "never," so we need to use "I have never," and then if I want to use the verb "be," if I want to use the verb "be," the past participle form of the verb be is been. "I have never been to Italy" is the correct sentence here. So I'm expressing no experience in my life, "I have never been to Italy," meaning as we talked about with grammar point number one, in my whole life I have not had an experience. So there's no time point being used here, I have never had the experience of going to Italy. Ok, now, let's talk about the next example sentence, "she ______ the test three times." So here I want to use the verb "take," so to take a test, take is going to be the verb for this sentence. So here my subject is "she," and I know this is a positive sentence, a positive statement, so I'm going to use "has," "she has." And take, the past participle form of the verb take is taken. "She has taken the test three times." So this sentence shows in her life experience, at three times, three points in her life, she has taken the test. So we don't know when she took the test but we know she has taken the three times at some point in the past. This is what this sentence teaches us, we don't know when, just that she has taken the test three times. Okay, next, let's look at this sentence, may be a very useful sentence for some people who are watching this video on this channel. So this is "I ________ English for two years." Okay, so there's a big hint word here, I have the word "for" included in this sentence. Remember we use "for" to talk about a time period, a time period. So that connects to grammar point two which we talked about over here. So remember with grammar point number two for present perfect tense, we're showing an action that started in the past and continues to the present. Okay, so the verb I want to use here is "study." So my subject is "I," so I need to use "have" in this case, and the past participle form of study is studied, so "I have studied English for two years." This shows us a length of time, a period of time, a duration of your studies, it shows your studies are continuing, you are still studying English. Two years ago you started and you have continued since that time, you have continued study in for two years. So this sentence shows us that you have studied English, and how long you have studied English, lots of information here. Okay, let's talk about the next sentence, a question sentence now. Okay, so here my subject, I have "he," "he" is here, so I know that because the subject of the sentence is he, I need to begin my question with "has," "has he ______" So here I want to use the verb "take," take out the trash is sort of a set phrase. So the past participle form of take is taken. "Has he taken out the trash?" Meaning perhaps today at some point has he taken out the trash? So maybe we don't know when, and when he took out the trash is not important, just has he finished the task at some point today. So we used the present perfect tense for that. So we can use the simple past sentence "did he take out the trash?" But the reason that it sounds a little bit more natural to say "has he taken out the trash" is because of this point we talked about here, the effects of that action. So if he did or did not take out the trash, it could affect the people around him, or the environment around him. So "has he taken out the trash?" If the answer is no, it might mean there's some negative effect in the environment; if the answer is yes, perhaps it means the people in the environment will be happy, there will be a happy effect of that. So this is the consideration, it's a very very small point. If you ask "did he take out the trash," it's okay to use but keep in mind though you may hear people say "has he taken out the trash" as well, and this is the reason why, the effect of taking out the trash is what's kind of the nuance of this expression. Great! So let's talk about the next example sentence, "which countries _____ you ______ to?" So in casual kind of more everyday friendly spoke in English, it's okay to end your sentence with a preposition, in this case, to. So here, I have an information question, which countries, I need to use "have" or "has" here, plus "you," so that tells me I should use "have," "which countries have you," and I want to use again the verb "be" here. So I know it should be been. "Which countries have you been to?" So again, in your life experience, which countries have you been to?When is not important, just in your life, where, which countries. Okay, let's look at the next one.