Lesson 11 - Present Perfect Tense


Tom and Sarah are talking during lunch break. Tom mentions a new band that he really likes.

Tom: Have you heard any of the songs from the new band Syndica?

Sarah: No I haven't heard of that band before.

Tom: They've only been around for about a year. They released their first album just last week.

Sarah: Have they played any shows around here?

Eric: They've played at the Commodore theater before. They have another concert planned next month. I've already bought a ticket for it.

Sarah: I'll listen to them tonight, and if I like them, maybe I'll go too.

Eric: It'll be a great show. I haven't been to any concerts lately, so I'm really looking forward to it.

Sarah: I haven't seen any good concerts yet this year either.

Tom: Let me know if you decide to go to the concert. Tom and I, and maybe a few others, are going to have dinner before the show. You're welcome to join us.

Sarah: Thanks. It sounds like fun.


Vocabulary and Phrases

Sound Let me know if you decide to go to the concert.
Sound You're welcome to join us.
Sound It sounds like fun.
Sound Have they played any shows around here?
Sound songs
Sound band
Sound before
Sound during
Sound they released
Sound album
Sound just last week
Sound concert
Sound to mention
Sound to like
Sound to plan
Sound theater
Sound ticket
Sound maybe
Sound to look forward to



The Past Participle

The past participle is a form of a verb. A past participle can be used as an adjective, or together with the verb to have to indicate past actions. The past participle is often formed by adding ed or d to the end of the verb, but there are many common verbs with irregular forms. This lesson will discuss these concepts in more detail, but first have a look at the following table which shows the past tense and past participle of some very common verbs.

Verb Past Tense Past Participle
be was been
begin began begun
choose chose chosen
close closed closed
come came come
do did done
drink drank drunk
eat ate eaten
feel felt felt
find found found
forget forgot forgotten
give gave given
go went gone
happen happened happened
have had had
know knew known
learn learned learned
let let let
like liked liked
live lived lived
need needed needed
open opened opened
run ran run
say said said
see saw seen
sit sat sat
sleep slept slept
speak spoke spoken
stand stood stood
take took taken
talk talked talked
tell told told
think thought thought
touch touched touched
turn turned turned
walk walked walked
want wanted wanted
wish wished wished
write wrote written

Present Perfect Tense

The present perfect tense is created in English by using the past participle of a verb along with the present tense of the verb have.

The following table shows how to create the present perfect tense for the verb walk.

Present Perfect Tense
I have walked
you have walked
he has walked
she has walked
it has walked
we have walked
they have walked

The present perfect tense is used in English to describe:

  • An action that started in the past and continues into the present
  • An action that started in the past and just finished
  • A repeated series of actions that have finished in the past, but are likely to happen again in the future
  • An action that happend at an unknown time in the past, or when the action happened is unimportant.

For example:

I've gone to see the ocean.
I have seen the ocean.
I have seen the ocean many times.
I have seen the ocean, but I can't remember when.
I have seen the ocean, but it doesn't matter when.

Never use the present perfect tense with with words such as today, yesterday, days of the week, or other words that indicate a specific time. For example:

I saw the ocean yesterday.
I saw the ocean on Monday.
I saw the ocean in June.
I saw the ocean on our vacation.


I have been to Spain.
She has gotten better at math.
I have learned another language.
I have never done that.
They have done that already.
We have seen the movie.
He has written a book.
The book has been read by many people.
Have you ever seen a bear?
Has the car ever worked?
Have the books been read yet?
Have you thought about it?


Contractions are often used with pronouns and have.


I've done that too many times.
We've never been there.
You've seen it already.
She's taken that course before.
He's watched the show five times already.
It hasn't happened before.


Here are some flashcards to help you learn the present perfect tense of some common English verbs.


In the quiz for this lesson, you'll practice writing sentences using the present perfect tense. You can take the quiz as many times as you like. Your highest score will be saved.

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