English Grammar: Present Perfect

Choose the most suitable verb form in each sentence.

1) Silvia is writing/has been writing/has written this letter for the last 30 minutes.

2) Have you given/Did you give Laura the flowers when you have seen/saw her?

3) Did you meet/Have you met anyone interesting on your holiday?

4) Hi Sergio, have you found/did you find your notes?

Answers:

1) Silvia is writing/has been writing/has written this letter for the last 30 minutes.

Silvia has been writing this letter for the last 30 minutes.

2) Have you given/Did you give Laura the flowers when you have seen/saw her?

Did you give Laura the flowers when you saw her?

3) Did you meet/Have you met anyone interesting on your holiday?

Have you met anyone interesting on your holiday?

4) Hi Sergio, have you found/did you find your notes?

Hi Sergio, have you found your notes?

Extra examples & explanation:

Present perfect is:

Subject + have / has + past participle

Example:

  • I have studied maths.

  • She has travelled a lot.

Basic rules:

1) We use present perfect when there is a connection with the present.

(Usamos el presente perfecto cuando hay una conexión con el presente)

  • She has gone to London. (Ella se ha ido a Londres)

It means that she is in London now. (Esto significa que ella está en Londres ahora)

2) If something has happened recently

(Si algo ha sucedido recientemente)

  • I have brushed my teeth. (Me he lavado los dientes)

3) If it's the first time that something happens

(Si es la primera vez que algo sucede)

  • It's the first time they have studied algebra (Es la primera vez que han estudiado álgebra)

4) An experience

(Una experiencia)

  • Have you ever been to New York? (¿Has estado alguna vez en Nueva York?)

Note: If we are interested in the result, instead of when it happened, we use present peferct. Otherwise, we use another tense.

(Nota: Si estamos interesados en el resultado, en vez de cuándo sucedió, utilizamos present perfect. De otro modo, utilizamos otro tiempo)

  • Have you opened the window? --> Yes, I have / No, I haven't (¿Has abierto la ventana?)

  • When did you open the window? --> I opened it three minutes ago (¿Cuándo abriste la ventana? La abrí hace tres minutos)

6) Compare these two situations

  • Shakespeare wrote a lot of plays [He is dead => Past tense]

  • Arturo Pérez-Reverte has written a lot of books. [He is still alive => Present perfect]

7) Rephrasing:

  • The last time I saw Raquel was 4 months ago = I haven't seen Raquel for 4 months.

8) Some words (Algunas palabras)

Already : ya => I have already finished my homework. (Affirmative)

Yet : todavía => I haven't finished my homework yet. (Negative)

Yet : ya => Have you finished your homework yet? (Interrogative)

For : durante => She has been working for three hours.

Since : desde => She has been working since three o'clock.

Just : acaba de => They have just finished their job.

Been : estado => Have you been to Madrid? [You are not there now] [Tú no estás allí ahora]

Gone : ido => She has gone to the bank [She is outside now. Either she is there now or on her way there] [Ella está fuera ahora. O está allí ahora o de camino]

Ever : Alguna vez => Have you ever been to Canada? (Interrogative)

Ever : Nunca => I haven't ever been to Canada (Negative) (Nunca he estado en Canadá)

Never : Nunca => I have never been to Canada (Affirmative) (Nunca he estado en Canandá)

How long : Hace cuánto que => How long have you been working on this project? (Literal: ¿Hace cuánto que has estado trabajando en este proyecto? No tan literal: ¿Cuánto tiempo llevas trabajando en este proyecto?)

Note: Please, pay attention to the position.

[Nota: Por favor, presta atención a la posición]

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