With Non-Continuous Verbs and non-continuous uses of Mixed Verbs, we use the Present Perfect to show that something started in the past and has continued up until now. "For five minutes," "for two weeks," and "since Tuesday" are all durations which can be used with the Present Perfect.
· I have had a cold for two weeks.
· She has been in England for six months.
· Mary has loved chocolate since she was a little girl.
Although the above use of Present Perfect is normally limited to Non-Continuous Verbs and non-continuous uses of Mixed Verbs, the words USE 2 Duration From the Past Until Now (Non-Continuous Verbs) "live," "work," "teach," and "study" are sometimes used in this way even though they are NOT Non-Continuous Verbs.
The examples below show the placement for grammar adverbs such as: always, only, never, ever, still, just, etc.
· You have only seen that movie one time.
· Have you only seen that movie one time?
ACTIVE / PASSIVE
· Many tourists have visited that castle. Active
· That castle has been visited by many tourists. Passive
Subject + HAS/HAVE + Verb (past participle form)
· I have read this book.
· The man has gone away.
· John has worked as a teacher for over 25 years USE 2 Duration From the Past Until Now (Non-Continuous Verbs).
The Present Perfect is used to express actions that happened at anindefinite time or that began in the past and continue in the present. This tense is also used when an activity has an effect on the present moment.
1. Actions which happened at an indefinite (unknown) time before now
2. Actions in the past which have an effect on the present moment
3. Actions which began in the past and continue in the present
Use 1: Indefinite time before now
Use the Present Perfect to talk about actions that happened at some point in the past. It does not matter when exactly they happened.
· I have USE 2 Duration From the Past Until Now (Non-Continuous Verbs) already had a breakfast.
· He has been to England.
You should not use this tense with time expressions like yesterday, a week ago, last year, etc.
Use 2: Effect on the present moment
We also use this tense to when an activity has an effect on the present moment.
· He has finished his work. (so he can now rest)
· I have already eaten the dinner. (so I'm not hungry)
· He has had a car accident. (that's why he is in the hospital)
Use 3: Continuation in the present
We often use the Present Perfect when we want to emphasize that USE 2 Duration From the Past Until Now (Non-Continuous Verbs) an event continues in the present.
· Mary has worked as a teacher for over 25 years.
· Patrick has achieved a lot in his life.
For and Since
Since and For are very common time expressions used with the Present Perfect.
We use For with a period of time, for example:
· I have lived here for 20 years.
When talking about a starting point, we use Since, for example:
· I have lived here since 1960.
More about time expressions.
To form a sentence in the Present Perfect, you need:
1. The proper conjugation of the auxiliary verb "to have".
2. The Past Participle of your verb.
1. Auxiliary Verb "to USE 2 Duration From the Past Until Now (Non-Continuous Verbs) have"
We conjugate the auxiliary verb "to have" the same way we would conjugate the normal verb "to have".
· She has never seen my brother.
· Neither Mike nor Tom has ever driven a truck.
2. The Past Participle
The past participle of a verb is a verb form that appears with the perfect tenses. The past participle can be either regular or irregular.
· The formation of the irregular verbs does not follow one rule. Therefore, they should be memorized.
In sentences with adverbials such as ever, already or yet, American-English speakers may use the Past Simple rather than USE 2 Duration From the Past Until Now (Non-Continuous Verbs) the Present Perfect. So, an American would say:
· Did you go to the post office yet? (Past Simple)
· Have you gone to the post office yet? (Present Perfect)