Present Perfect Tense

Present Perfect Tense :

The present perfect tense is used when we are talking about an action that began in the past and has just been completed.

For example :

I have finished writing the report on the accident.

The present perfect tense is used when we are talking about an action that took place in the past but whose effect can be felt at the moment of speaking.

For example :

I have eaten my lunch already. (I ate the lunch some time ago and so do not need to eat right now.)

The present perfect tense is used when we are using if or when in the sentence and the word then is understood in it.

For example :

1. If you have studied well, you will do well in your examination.
2. When you have completed this task, I will give you the next one.

In both the above sentences, the word THEN, though not used, is implied. Such sentences are known as conditional sentences.

Note :

In a conditional sentence, if the first verb is in the present perfect tense, then the second verb will be in the future tense.

Have you read this book? No I have bought it just now. I have decided to read such biographies because the book on Nehru has inspired me to change my life. I have given up spending money on unnecessary things and have involved myself in various social works which the neighbourhood organizations have begun. I hope I have made some difference to the lives of those who are not as fortunate as I am.

Simple Past or Present Perfect?

The present perfect tense has often been referred to as the immediate past. So, when do we use the simple past and when do we use the present perfect tense?

We use the present perfect tense when the action is linked with the present.

For example :

I have just cancelled the programme.

This sentence, the action continued till the present and its effect may still be there.

We use the simple past tense when the action is not linked with the present moment.

For example :

We ate at the Taj Intercontinental when we visited Goa.

In this sentence, the action took place some time in the past and the action is over. It is not linked with the present.

We use the simple past tense when a question begins with the word WHEN.

For example :

When did you submit your work? (CORRECT)
When have you submitted your work? (INCORRECT)

We use the simple past tense when we are using any past time reference.

For example :

She drew this portrait last Monday. (CORRECT)
She has drawn this portrait last Monday. (INCORRECT)

Examples :

1. I suppose you have heard the latest news. Amit married Kareena yesterday.

2. I have not seen your calculator. When did you use it last?

3. I have read this book earlier. I borrowed it from my friend.

4. I have written to you so many times. But you never replied to any of my letters.

5. Where did you hide the groom’s shoes? Have you found a good place? The groom’s brothers are searching for it everywhere.

6. We have not arrived at the resort. So we do not know about the various facilities that it has.

7. The guests have eaten their lunch. It is time for us to bid them goodbye.

8. We have painted the fence. Now you should paint the doors and windows of the house.

9. The captains tossed the coin and decided who should bat first.

10. All the participants have spoken. So it is time to announce the results now.

Present Perfect Tense

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