ReadingESL stories and readings in English for ESL learners

                               Present Perfect Verb Tense


Form (what it looks like):

Affirmative statements Negative statements   Questions
subject + have/has + past participle subject + have/has + not + past participle   have/has + subject + past participle
I have eaten at that restaurant before.
You have eaten at that restaurant before.

He has eaten at that restaurant before.
She has eaten at that restaurant before.

We have eaten at that restaurant before.
They have eaten at that restaurant before.

[eaten is the past participle of to eat]
I have not eaten.
I haven't eaten.
You haven't eaten.

He has not eaten.
He hasn't eaten.
She hasn't eaten.

We have not eaten.
We haven't eaten.
They haven't eaten.
graffiti on the side of a restaurant Have you eaten at that restaurant before?
Yes, I have.
No, I haven't.

Has he eaten there before?
Yes, he has.
No, he hasn't.

Have they eaten at that restaurant before?
Yes, they have.
No, the haven't


How do you make the past participle of a regular verb?... it depends on what letter the verb ends with.

If the verb ends with.... then.... example forms other verbs
e just add d tying shoe laces to tie

I tied my shoe laces.
You tied your shoelaces.
He tied his shoelaces.

We tied our shoes.
They tied their shoes.

believe - believed
blame - blamed
care - cared
hope - hoped
live - lived
love - loved
move - moved
share - shared
trade - traded
wave - waved
consonant + y change y to i,
then add ed
two girls studying together to study

I studied with her.
She studied with you.

We studied together.
They studied together.
bury - buried
carry - carried
cry - cried
dry - dried
fry - fried
pry - pried
hurry - hurried
one vowel + x, w or y add ed man playing guitar
photo by Alida Salinas
to play

I played the guitar.
You played the guitar.
She played the guitar.

We played the guitar.
They played the guitar.
fix - fixed
mix - mixed
tax - taxed

mow - mowed
snow - snowed
tow - towed

pray - prayed
stay - stayed
stray - strayed
one vowel + consonant
stressed last syllable
double the consonant
then add
chopping green beans
'Chopping' by diathesis, from flickr
to chop

I chopped the beans.
You chopped the beans.
He chopped the beans.

We chopped the beans.
They chopped the beans.

clap - clapped
clip - clipped
dip - dipped
hop - hopped
shop - shopped
stop - stopped
one vowel + consonant
unstressed last syllable
add ed using a screwdriver to turn a screw to tighten

I tightened the screws.
You tightened the screws.
He tightened the screws.

We tightened the screws.
They tightened the screws.
happen - happened
listen - listened
open - opened
tighten - tightened
visit - visited
all other verbs add ed peeling a banana to peel  (2 vowels + consonant)

I peeled bananas.
You peeled the banana.
She peeled bananas.

We peeled bananas.
They peeled bananas.
climb - climbed
finish - finished
laugh - laughed
march - marched
melt - melted
rain - rained
wait - waited



Using the present perfect tense:

1.For an action that happened at an unspecified time in the past

standing on a scale phone map of Africa and Asia
'The World HD' by kengo, flickr
She has lost 10 pounds.
She's lost 10 pounds.
Have you phoned him recently?
No, I haven't phoned him recently.
Yes, I've phoned him.
They have lived in many different countries.
They've lived in many different countries.


2. For repetition of the action  (It happened more than once in the past.) 

looking at photos on a camera city with lots of skyscrapers a person skiing down a hill
How many pictures has she taken?
She has taken a lot of pictures.
She hasn't taken many.
I have been to New York City twice. 
I've been to New York City twice.
They have skiied every day this week.
They've skiied every day this week.


3. For an action that started in the past and continues to the present

tombstones in a cemetery Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto under renovation
We have lived in Canada since 2003.
We've lived in Canada since 2003.
My grandfather has been dead for ten years. The workmen have made progress. 
They've worked hard. 


4. For an action that took place in the past but the results are still in the present

dirty clothes going into a washing machine keys on a key chain a woman with her hair wrapped up in a red towel
'Washing my hair' by Italian voice, from flickr
Have you finished the laundry?
Yes, I
've finished the laundry.
No, I
haven't finished the laundry.
I have lost my keys. I can't find them.
I've lost my keys.
She has washed her hair this morning.
She's washed her hair this morning.
It's still wet.


5. Use the words just, already, yet

a poster for a Johnny Depp movie a restaurant table after a meal decorated cupcakes
photo by Emma Fox
I have already seen that movie.
I've already seen that movie.
ve seen that movie already.
I haven't seen that movie yet.
[it happened before now]
Have they finished dinner.
have just finished dinner.
've just finished dinner.
[it happened a short time ago]
Have you made the cupcakes yet?
Yes, I've already made them.
I have just made them.
No, I haven't made them yet.


6. With the words never or ever

a couple sitting together
'argument' by Ivars Krutainis, from flickr
Niagara Falls  
Have you ever had an argument with your boyfriend?
Yes, I have. 
Yes, we've argued a lot.
No, we've never had an argument.
Has she ever seen Niagara Falls?
She has never seen Niagara Falls.
She's never seen Niagara Falls.

[it has never happened at any time in the past]

Have you ever been to Nova Scotia?
I've been there.
No, I
haven't been to Nova Scotia.
have never been to Nova Scotia.
[ever is used in questions]