Okay! Get your notebooks ready! In this
lesson, we’re focusing on the present perfect tense – what it looks like, how to
use it and when to use it. Hello! I’m Emma from mmmEnglish. If you don’t
feel confident using the present perfect tense in English yet, there’s probably a
few reasons why. There’s those nasty irregular verbs in past participle form.
Or maybe you feel unsure about when to use the present perfect and when to use
the past simple tenses. Even if you’re quite good at using the present perfect
tense in English, it’s definitely worth reviewing this tense to jog your memory –
that expression means to remind yourself. So are you ready to start? Grab a notepad
and a pen and let’s go over this beautiful tense right now so that you
can feel more confident using it. Oh and if you can think of a friend who needs
to review this tense too, make sure you share this lesson with them. Click the
share button just underneath this video, they’ll thank you for it! First thing, the
grammatical structure. What does it look like? Well, it looks like this: Subject
“have” or “has” and your main verb in past participle form. So, the subject, you
already know this. You can use a proper noun or a pronoun. I, she, they. In the
perfect tenses, the verb “have” is an auxiliary verb, it’s a helping verb. It’s
not the main verb in the sentence and that means that it’s usually
unstressed and often contracted when spoken. So “she has” becomes “she’s” “I have”
becomes “I’ve” – but I’ll talk more about that soon! But then comes the main verb.
In the present perfect tense, the main verb is in past participle form, not in
past simple form. Now, this is no problem for regular past tense verbs. For regular
verbs, the past participle form is the same as the simple past. So you just need
to add -ed. “watch” in the present tense becomes “watched” in past simple and it’s
also “watched” in past participle form. “laugh” becomes “laughed” and is also “laughed”.
“dance” “danced” “danced” “call” “called” “called” and even some irregular verbs use the same
verb for past simple as the past participle form. “have” in the present
tense becomes “had” in the simple past and it’s also “had” as a past participle.
Easy, right? “win” “won” “won” But these really irregular verbs are the ones that cause
all of the headaches because there are three different forms that you need to
remember. “go” in the present tense becomes “went” in the past simple and in the past
participle form, it’s “been” or “gone”. Some more examples. “fly” “flew” “flown”
“throw” “threw” “thrown” “do” “did” “done”
“become” “became” “become” “speak” “spoke” “spoken”
I’m sure you can think of many more examples but with these verbs, there’s no pattern, there’s
no rule to follow. You just need to memorise the past participle form – but
keep an eye out for my next video next week, which will help you to practise and
memorise these past participle forms of irregular verbs. In fact, if you subscribe
to this channel – click the red button here – then you’ll find out as soon as
it’s ready. But to use the present perfect tense well, you may need to
polish up on some useful irregular English verbs and remind yourself about
their past participle form. But let’s get back to the structure! You have the subject, ylou have “have” or “has” and our past participle verb. “I have asked my
parents to loan me some money.” “You have been really helpful today.” “They have flown to the capital to meet with the officials.” “He has saved enough money to buy a car.”
“She has forgotten where her hotel is.” Now, in this structure often “have” and “has” are contracted to and “I’ve asked” “You’ve been” “They’ve flown”
“He’s saved” “She’s forgotten” Got it? Good. So when should you use the
present perfect tense? Well, when there is a connection between the present and the
past. Think of it like a bridge that’s connecting the present and the past. For
example, when something started in the past and continues in the present.
“They’ve been married for three years.” You can use it to talk about an activity
that you’ve done several times in the past and that you continue to do now.
“She has read many books.” And she’ll probably read more. You can also use the present
perfect to talk about life experience. “He hasn’t travelled overseas before.” Now
before I give you some more examples let’s talk about when to use the past
simple tense and the present perfect tense because this is often the
confusing part about this tense. To answer this question, you need to think
about time, finished time and unfinished time. So think about last week – that’s a
good example of finished time. Last week is finished, it’s over. But what about
this week? Is this week finished? No, not yet. That’s an example of unfinished time.
There is still more of this week to come, it’s not finished yet. Yesterday, last
week, last month, last year, 1991. These are all examples of finished time. Time that
is complete. When you’re talking about a time period that has finished – like these –
you need to use the past simple. But when you’re talking about a time
period that is unfinished, like today, this week, this year, this month, use the
present perfect tense. So let’s compare some examples. “Last month, I visited my
brother three times.” “This month I have visited my brother twice.” But the month
isn’t finished yet and I may visit him again. Try an example with me. “He borrowed
my car yesterday.” So this sentence is in the past simple. It’s finished time. Now,
try to change it to the present perfect yourself. What do you need to do? Two things. You need to add the auxiliary verb.
“he has” “has” not “have”. It changes
because our subject is he. “He has borrowed my car today” or this week. lWe
need to change the time expression too for our sentence to work in the present
perfect tense. It must be unfinished time. Okay so those
were all examples of the present perfect in positive sentences. But what about
negative forms? Of course, we need to add “not” to our sentence, to our structure.
Subject plus “have” or “has” plus not and then our past participle verb. So compare
these sentences. “Last month, I visited my brother three times.”
“This month, I haven’t visited him at all.” but the month isn’t over, yet. I may still
visit him. Again, see that this structure is usually contracted in spoken English.
“Haven’t” This is the most common way to contract the negative form but you may
also hear people say “I’ve not visited him.” Both ways are acceptable but you
can’t contract all three words together. I’ve n’t. You can’t do that! It’s one
contraction, or the other. Another example, “He ate so much yesterday! Notice the time
word that we’re using. So in present perfect negative, we can say “He hasn’t
eaten a lot today” but there is still more day so he could eat more food. One
more example. “They were at school yesterday.” In the present perfect,
“They haven’t been at school all morning.” But the day’s not finished yet and they
may arrive in the afternoon. Of course, you need to ask present perfect
questions too, right? As with all English question forms, our auxiliary verb needs
to change position. So we have “have” and “has”, our subject and our past participle
verb. “Has he cleaned the bathroom?” “Have you eaten enough?”
“Has it rained today?” “Have they finished yet?” Now compare these two questions. “Did you go to Thailand last year?” This is a past simple question
so the auxiliary verb “do” takes the tense it becomes “did” but now compare it to “Have you been to Thailand?” This means at any time in the
past, it’s your life experience, but of course, you’re still alive, so you may go
in the future. The difference is the time reference. There is a lot to think about
when using the present perfect tense, right? But I hope that this lesson made
everything a little easier, especially the basics. If you’re clear on the basics,
it’s a good thing. Make sure that you’re subscribed to the mmmEnglish Channel
because the next few lessons that I make will help you to practise using the
present perfect tense. You don’t want to miss them! Just click that red subscribe
button just there. You can watch more mmmEnglish lessons right here or you can
improve your pronunciation and your English speaking skills by practising
with the imitation technique right here! Thanks so much for watching and I’ll see
you in the next lesson. Bye for now!