In the exciting world of English grammar, the present perfect tense is constructed by combing the present forms of the word have (have and has) and the past participle of a verb. This tense can be used in several situations. First, the present perfect describes an action in the past that continues into the present (He has lived in Denver all his life.) It can also be used to describe a thing we have done several times in the past and continue to do (I have played the French horn since I was eight.) Another time this tense is used is to describe an experience up to the present (I have never met George before.) Finally, this tense may refer to a past experience that is important at the time of speaking (The reason I can’t get into my locker is because I have forgotten my combination
Now that you know how to form the present perfect tense and know when it’s used, practice with these exercises to better familiarize yourself with this basic tense.
Directions: Using the words in parentheses, complete the text below with the appropriate tenses (either simple past or present perfect)
1. A: Did you like the movie “Star Wars?”
B: I don’t know. I (see, never) _________________ that movie.
2. Sam (arrive) _____________ in San Diego a week ago.
3. My best friend and I (know) ___________ each other for over fifteen years. We still get together once a week.
4. Stinson is a fantastic writer. He (write) _______________ ten very creative short stories in the last year. One day, he’ll be as famous as Hemingway.
5. I (have, not) ________________ this much fun since I (be) _________________ a kid.
6. Things (change) _______________ a great deal at Coltech, Inc. When we first (start) ______________ working here three years ago, the company (have, only) ______________ six employees. Since then, we (expand) ________________ to include more than 2000 full-time workers.
7. I (tell) ________________ him to stay on the path while he was hiking, but he (wander) _____________ off into the forest and (be) _______________ bitten by a snake.
8. Listen Donna, I don’t care if you (miss) ________________ the bus this morning. You (be) ____________ late to work too many times. You are fired!
9. Sam is from Colorado, which is hundreds of miles from the coast, so he (see, never) ______________ the ocean. He should come with us to Miami.
10. How sad! George (dream) __________________ of going to California before he died, but he didn’t make it. He (see, never) _____________ the ocean.
11. In the last hundred years, traveling (become) ________________ much easier and very comfortable. In the 19th century, it (take) ________________ two or three months to cross North America by covered wagon. The trip (be) __________________ very rough and often dangerous. Things (change) ________________ a great deal in the last hundred and fifty years. Now you can fly from New York to Los Angeles in a matter of hours.
12. Jonny, I can’t believe how much you (change) ________________ since the last time I (see) ___________ you. You (grow) _________________ at least a foot!
13. This tree (be) ________________ planted by the settlers who (found) _________________ our city over four hundred years ago.
14. This mountain (be, never) _______________ climbed by anyone. Several mountaineers (try) ______________ to reach the top, but nobody (succeed, ever) ___________________. The climb is extremely difficult and many people (die) _________________ trying to reach the summit.
15. I (visit, never) ________________ Africa, but I (travel) ________________ to South America several times. The last time I (go) _______________ to South America, I (visit) ______________ Brazil and Peru. I (spend) ________________ two weeks in the Amazon, (hike) _______________ for a week near Machu Picchu, and (fly) ________________ over the Nazca Lines.
- have never seen
- have known
- has written
- haven’t had; was
- have changed; started; only had; have expanded
- told; wandered; was
- missed; have been
- has never seen
- dreamed; has never seen
- has become; took; was; have changed
- have changed; saw; have grown
- was; founded
- has never been; have tried; has ever succeeded; died
- have never visited; have traveled; went; visited; spent; hiked; flew
Directions: Choose the correct word from the three provided in parentheses that best completes the sentence.
- Lindsay (has; is; have) not been to France.
- (Have; Has; Is) you finished your homework?
- They (‘s; ‘es; ‘ve) gone to a rock concert.
- (Is; Have; Has) you been to Japan?
- We (have; has; are) never eaten Mexican food.
- Andrea has (forget; forgetting; forgotten) her umbrella.
- (Was; Has; Have) the sun come up?
- The children (have find; is finding; have found) the lost puppy.
- How long have you (be; been; are) a vegetarian?
- I haven’t worked (since; for; by) last December.
- have found
Directions: Write sentences in present perfect using the words given.
- They / play / football
- He / speak / English
- I / write / a poem
- We / not / wash / the car
- Nancy / not / meet / her friends
- They / finish / their homework
- She / visit / her friend
- The maid / clean / the house
- He / drive / the van
- You / ever / write / a poem ?
- They have played football.
- He has spoken English.
- I have written a poem.
- We have not washed the car.
- Nancy has not met her friends.
- They have not finished their homework.
- She has visited her friend.
- The maid has cleaned the house.
- He has driven the van.
- Have you ever written a poem?
Directions: Put the verbs into the correct form (present perfect simple or simple past).
- I (not / work) today.
- We (buy) a new car last week.
- We (not / plan) our holiday yet.
- She (not / see) her mother for a long time.
- He (write) a beautiful poem yesterday.
- have not worked
- have not planned
- has not seen
Directions: Many times the words “for” or “since” are used with the present perfect tense. In the following examples, choose either “for” or “since” to best complete the sentence.
- I haven’t phoned home ___________ Christmas.
- We’ve been here ___________ nine o’clock.
- I have worked for International House ______________ more than eight years.
- I haven’t visited my home town ____________ I left school.
- I haven’t been to the cinema ______________ ages.
- I have studied non-stop _______________ 9:15.
- I have had a driver’s license ______________ I was eighteen.
- She hasn’t had a day off ______________ 1999.
- Johan has been in England _______________ more than two weeks now.
- Peter has been my best friend _____________ we were nine.