Learn Present Perfect Tense


Today in Lingua Matik, we will teach you all about PRESENT PERFECT TENSE.

What is the Present Perfect? When do we use the Present Perfect?  What is the difference between the Present Perfect and the Past Simple?

I know as a teacher myself that many students find the Present Perfect a difficult subject, they completely forget it and use the past simple instead, but unfortunately it doesn’t work that way, and I hope that after reading this blog and watching our video you will be able to use the Present Perfect easily.

I know it’s called the Present Perfect but you have to know that this tense doesn’t talk about the present, It actually talk about the past, it is called Present Perfect because it has an effect on the present. And remember whenever you see the Word “Perfect” in any grammatical tense it means you have to use the verb in past participle form (verb 3)! Keep that in mind.


1) If you are talking about an action or an event that started in the past “from the past until now”, use PRESENT PERFECT TENSE.

For example;

  • I have lived in Turkey for 3 years.

By the way I live in Turkey now. That’s why I said I have lived in Turkey . This action “living in Turkey” is still happening in the present.

Another example;

  • We have been married since 2006.

That means this couple is still married until the moment of speaking. We have been married since 2006. Pay attention to “be married” I can’t say married by itself in this case. Another thing you should pay attention to is for and since, If you use for or since that’s a strong indication or keyword for the present perfect.

2) If you are talking about a life experience, use PRESENT PERFECT TENSE.

For example;

  • She has visited every state in the country.

Don’t you think that this is a life experience? If you’ve visited many states it means you have met many people, you have seen many places, you have learned different traditions. So this is an experience for you. So if we are talking about a life experience that happened in an unspecific or general time we use the present perfect.

Another example;

  • Have you ever been to Paris?

It’s a life experience as well. And here we have the Word ever and I want to draw your attention to another keyword of the present perfect. Ever. Have you ever, in whatever time.. Have you ever visited Paris or have you ever been to Paris. You can say yes , I have been to Paris or no, I haven’t been to Paris. or I have never been to Paris. Never is another keyword fort he present perfect.

3) If you are talking about recent past events that influence the present moment, use PRESENT PERFECT TENSE.

What does that mean? An event that’s happened recently (in the past) when exactly? I don’t know but this events has effect on the present on the moment of speaking. Let’s take a look at this example to understand it better.

For example;

  • I have just had lunch.

What is the effect on the present in this example? I have just had lunch. Try to guess! For example someone asks you: would you like to have lunch with me? So you say:

  • “I’m full, Thank you. I have just had lunch. Let’s grab some coffee instead.”

So the effect is that you are full. You don’t want to have lunch.

Here the Word “just” is an important keyword for the present perfect.


For, Since, Never, Ever and Just.

Okay another example, let’s say:  I smell something nice, I’ve just entered the house, I go: hmm what is this delicious smell? My mum says;

For example;

  • I have just baked a cake.

Hmm so It’s the cake’s smell. Don’t forget that, the smell is the effect on the present, The cake has been made in the past , but its smell is still in the house.


if  you are talking about a finished time or a specific time in the past such as “yesterday” or “last week”, use the PAST SIMPLE!

Think about yesterday. Is it finished? Is it over?

If your answer is yes,in this case you need to use the past simple.

let’s think about last month, last year, last week, all these are finished time so in this case we will use the past simple.

In the contrary, if you’re talking about unfinished or unspecific time, you will use the PRESENT PERFECT.

Unfinished like today. Ask yourself; is today finished , is it over?


 Is this month finished? Not yet. Is this week, this year finished? No. So in this case we will use the PRESENT PERFECT.

Let’s check these examples:

  • I visited my parents last month. (Past Simple)
  • I haven’t visited her this month. (Perfect Tense)

 I used have + verb 3 (present perfect) because this month is not finished yet.

Another example: 

  • Yesterday was a busy day I had a lot of appointments . But today isn’t as busy I haven’t had as many appointments.

Because today isn’t finished I use the present perfect.

I hope you understand everything we discussed earlier.


Now I have a game that we can play together to practice the present perfect. I have to come up with plans I have made regarding each situation. so let’s start.

Imagine you are proposing to your girlfriend. Okay , I am proposing to my girlfriend, I want to ask my girlfriend to marry me, hmm what have I done? let me think about it.

  • I have bought the ring. Check.
  • I have made a dinner reservation. I will propose to her in the restaurant. okay.

Imagine you have a very important test this month. What have you done to prepare for it?

  • I have studied a lot for this test.

Imagine you have a job interview tomorrow. What have you done to prepare for it?

  • I have ironed my shirt to look formal and professional.
  • I have read all about the company I am applying for.

You can come up with as many situations as you wish to practice the present perfect. It would be very beneficial for you to start practising grammar by speaking, don’t just read or listen, try to speak.

Thank you very much for reading this blog and watching the video.

If you want to learn English, check out our free youtube lessons and instagram page. Go to our website and check our courses.

If you have any questions, let us know in the comments below.

Have a nice day!


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