Uses of Present Perfect Tense

Uses of Present Perfect Tense :

The peculiar purport of this Present Perfect Tense is that it invariably connects a completed event in some sense or other with the present time. Perfect Tense is used to talk or write about an event whose consequences are still relevant.

1. I have lived twenty years in Lucknow.

That sentence means that I am living there still and I began to live there twenty years ago.

1. I have passed my examination. I passed it two years ago.
2. I have been to Paris. I went there in 1939.
3. They have sent in their application. We got it yesterday.
4. He has come to meet you in person.
5. My parents have bought a computer for me.

The Present Perfect denotes an action completed at the time of speaking.

1. She has worked out all the sums.
2. He has visited all the European capitals.
3. I have read most of Scott's novels.
4. You have informed your parents well in advance.
5. My friend has bought this book for him.

Such a sentence as the following is wrong.

Babar has founded the Mughal Empire.

This is wrong, because the state of things arising out of the foundation of the empire by Babar has entirely passed away.

The Present Perfect, since it denotes present time, cannot be qualified by any Adverb or phrase denoting past time. This would be a contradiction in terms.

1. The rain has ceased yesterday. (Incorrect)
2. The rain ceased yesterday. (Correct)

3. I have finished my letter last evening. (Incorrect)
4. I finished my letter last evening. (Correct)

5. The parrot has died of cold last night. (Incorrect)
6. The parrot died of cold last night. (Correct)

7. The application has reached few years back. (Incorrect)
8. The application reached few years back. (Correct)

But such sentences as the following are correct. Because the Adverb or phrase used in each of them is of such a kind as to connect past time with the present. Hence no contradiction occurs.

The institution has been flourishing for the past 150 years.

That is…it began to flourish 150 years ago and is still flourishing.

Fever has raged in the town since Monday last.

That is…fever began to rage on Monday last and is raging still.

This Present Perfect Tense is most often used in literature reviews in which the focus is on examinations of works done in the past that is relevant to the present.


  1. Tenses in English Grammar
  2. Uses of Tenses
  3. Uses of Simple Present Tense
  4. Uses of Present Continuous Tense
  5. Uses of Simple Past Tense
  6. Uses of Past Continuous Tense
  7. Uses of Past Perfect Tense
  8. Uses of Simple Future Tense
  9. Uses of Future Continuous Tense
  10. Uses of Future Perfect Tense
  11. Historic Present Tense
  12. Graphic Present Tense
  13. Pluperfect Tense

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