|I have written
She has written.
You have written.
|I have not written.
She has not written.
You have not written.
|Have I written?
Has she written?
Have you written?
Uses of the present perfect tense
past events connected with the present
We can use the present perfect tense to say that a finished action or event is connected with the present in some way.
- He has broken his leg. (His leg is broken now.)
- Somebody has let the cat in. (The cat is in now.)
- Our dog has died. (Our dog is dead.)
We normally use the present perfect for giving news of recent events.
And here are the main points of the news again. The rupee has fallen against the dollar. The number of unemployed has reached ten million. There has been a plane crash …
Note that after using the present perfect to announce a piece of news, we usually change to simple or progressive tenses to give the details.
The present perfect is not used to talk about a finished event, if we say when it happened.
- There has been a plane crash near Tokyo.
- There was a plane crash near Tokyo last night.
- I have had a word with the boss.
- I had a word with the boss today.
with indefinite time adverbs
We often use the present perfect tense for past events when we are thinking of a period of time continuing up to the present – for example when we use indefinite time adverbs like ever, before, never, yet and already.
With more definite expressions of ‘time up to now’ (e.g. today, this week) we usually prefer a simple past tense in affirmative clauses. In questions and negatives, we use the present perfect.
past events that cannot be attributed to a definite time
The present perfect is used to talk about past events that cannot be attributed to a definite time.
continuation up to now
We often use the present perfect to talk about how long present situations have lasted.
present perfect and simple past: differences
We do not use the present perfect with expressions that refer to a completely finished period of time, like yesterday, last week, when, then, five years ago, in 1995. The simple past is used with this meaning.
In American English, the simple past is often used to give news.
this is the first time etc.
We use a present perfect tense in sentences constructed with this/it/that is the first/second/third/only/best/worst/etc.