Present Perfect Aspect


The Present Perfect Simple

 is used to express the effect of a past action on the present situation

(often with ‘already’, ‘yet’, ‘not yet’).

Ex.: I have (already) seen this film. (= I know it)

Have you eaten yet? – No, I have not yet had time.

But: I had lunch at home. (different place = different time)


with “just” to express an action which happened in the immediate past.

Ex.: Why are you so pale? – I have just had a shock.

But: I saw your brother just now. (= a short while ago)

 for actions or events comprising a space of time from the past to the present

 with ‘ever’, ‘never’, ‘often’, ‘always’, ‘recently’, ‘lately’ etc.

Ex.: We have had a lot of rain recently.

(= in the last few days)

But: I met your brother recently. (= the other day; “kürzlich”)

1.3.2 with ‘today’, ‘this morning’, ‘this week’ etc. (= up till now)

Ex.: I haven’t had anything to eat this morning.

(= all morning)

But: I didn’t hear the alarm this morning.

(= the alarm went at a certain time)

with ‘since’ and ‘for’, ‘since when’, ‘how long’

Ex.: I have known him for many years.

(time units like ‘month’, ‘week’, ‘hour’)

We have had this car since January. (initial time point)

I have been ill since I arrived. (action = time-point)

How long/Since when have you had your fridge?



The Present Perfect Continuous

is used to stress the duration of actions or events.

Ex.: It has been raining for days now.

 to express regular or repeated actions.

Ex.: We have been seeing each other regularly

in the last few years.