Learn about the present perfect and its two forms has and have, the simple past and present perfect and their differences.

The Perfect Form

 learn-club-question

 

 

have helping verbs form a tense called the perfect form

 

we are first going to look at the present perfect

 

pirates-on-ship

 

the present perfect has two forms

 

 

βœ… The ship has sailed to the island.

 

pirates-on-ship

 

has is used for one person or thing

 

βœ… The pirates have sailed to the island.

 

pirates-on-ship

 

have is used for more than one person or thing

 

 

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the present perfect REVISION question

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have helping verbs form a tense called the perfect form

 

 

camping

 

the present perfect has two forms but both use

a have helping verb with a past tense action verb

 

 

 

βœ… The owl has

looked at the campsite.

 

camping

 

have helping verb

+ past tense action verb

 

βœ… The campers have

eaten their dinner.

 

camping

 

have helping verb

+ past tense action verb

 

 

 

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the simple past is for

finished actions that…

 

have no link to the present

 

smart-phone

 

simple past

 

βœ… Khan bought three apps last week.

 

last week is over so this action is over

 

the present perfect is for

finished actions that…

 

have a link to the present

 

smart-phone

 

present perfect

 

βœ… Khan has bought three apps this week.

 

this week is not over Khan might buy some more apps this week

 

 

 

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the present perfect REVISION question

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simple past

 

smart-phone

 

βœ… Emma played twenty

computer games last month.

 

the action is over

 

Emma cannot play any more games last month because last month is over

 

 

present perfect

 

smart-phone

 

βœ… Emma has played twelve

computer games this month.

 

the action is not over

 

Emma might play some more games because this month is not over so this action is still carrying on

 

 

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why the simple past is different to the present perfect

 

 

 

the simple past is used to talk about actions that are over

 

dog-bitting

 

βœ… The puppy bit Jack six times yesterday.

 

there is not time for the puppy to bite Jack again

 

 

the present perfect is used to talk about actions that might carry on

 

dog-bitting

 

βœ… The puppy has bitten Jack three times today.

 

there is still time for the puppy to bite Jack again

 

 

 

 

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the present perfect REVISION question

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βœ… Yesterday, the children rode on the Twister three times.

 

roller-coster

 

yesterday is over

 

the simple past is for actions that are over and for time that is finished

 

βœ… The children have ridden on the Twister three times today.

 

roller-coster

 

today is not over

 

the present perfect is for actions that might still be carrying on because the time is not yet finished

 

 

 

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the present perfect is used

 

when the time is unfinished

 

playing-football

 

βœ… Archie has played football three times this week.

 

the time in this sentence is unfinished because this week is not over and Archie might play football again before the week is over

 

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the present perfect is also used for

 actions that have a strong impact on the present

 

 

broken-bike

 

 

βœ… Finn has crashed his new bike.

 

 

the impact on the present is that because he

crashed his bike, Finn cannot ride it at the moment

 

>

 

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the present perfect can also tell us

 how long something has lasted for

 

space-cadets

 

βœ…The girls have wanted to be astronauts

  

for or  since are used to show this

 

 the girls wanted to be astronauts in the past and this action is carrying on into the present

 

 

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the present perfect is for actions that are still carrying on

 

it can also tell us when that action started

 

pirates-on-ship

 

 

βœ… They have looked for treasure since they found the map.

 

for or since are used to show this

 

the sentence tells us when the pirates started to look for the treasure

 

 

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the present perfect always has a connection to the present

  

sometimes it is connected to the very recent present

 

adverbs such as just or already are used to show this

 

train-carrage

 

 

βœ… The train has just arrived at the station.

 

 has arrived = present perfect

 

just = adverb

 

 

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we will now look at the past perfect

 

 

pirate-ship

 

the past perfect has only one form: had

 

 

 

 

βœ… The ship had

reached the island.

 

pirate-ship

 

had

 

one person or thing

 

βœ… The pirates had

enjoyed the journey.

 

pirate-ship

 

had

 

more than one person or thing

 

 

 

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we use the past perfect to talk about

 an action that happened before another action

 

pirate-ship

 

βœ… The pirates suddenly remembered that they had left Sam on the island.

 

first the pirates left Sam on the island

then they remembered that they left Sam on the island

 

 

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the past perfect always uses had with an action verb

 

girl-pirate

 

βœ… Grace found the treasure because she had discovered

a map showing where the treasure was hidden.

 

first Grace had discovered a map showing where the

treasure was hidden - then she found the treasure

 

 

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the clues that a sentence is written in the perfect form are

 the verb has, have or had + a past tense action verb

 

girl-football-team

 

words like for or since are also clues

 

 

βœ… The team have played well in the tournament since the first game.

 

subject | main clues | other clue

 

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the present perfect REVISION question

 learn-club-question

 

when you join any helping verb to a main verb you create

 a verb phrase

 

robot-working-carrying

βœ… Titch has lifted the parcel up over his head.

 

helping verb | main verb

 

βœ… The robots have delivered all their parcels.

 

helping verb | main verb

 

βœ… The robots had finished their deliveries on time.

 

 

...

 

has lifted | have delivered | had finished

 

 

present perfect verb phrases | past perfect verb phrases

 

 

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we often use the perfect tense in a contracted form

 

perfect-tense-verbs-in-the-contracted-form-table

 

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in the perfect tense a helping verb is always used immediately in front of the main verb

 

runners

 

 

present perfect

 

βœ… They have run in a race.

 

past perfect

 

βœ… They had run in a race.

 

future perfect

 

βœ… They will have run in a race.

 

 

to change the tense only the helping verb needs to change

 

 

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Now take the Present Perfect (Perfect Form) Quiz to find out what you have learned...

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