The Present Perfect Tense | English Grammar Lesson

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!

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100 Responses

  1. Jorge Miguel Pineda Balbuena says:

    In the present perfect we use the verb in past participle, it's the only form to use this grammar point.

  2. joamy guadalupe izquierdo torre says:

    excellent explanation of the perfect present should be more teachers like you, thank you for clarifying those doubts that are left in classes

  3. Nery Arcia says:

    really your explanation is very good, it clarifies the total doubts that you have regarding this subject, congratulations very good teacher👏🏻👏🏻

  4. Jassiel Sanchez says:

    The present perfect the only time that is used of the verbs is the past participle and also that before the verb goes the have or has, according to the type of person that is spoken

  5. Ricardo Ruvalcabar says:

    Very well explained the present perfect, I understood enough in this video. is very good.

  6. Luis Solis says:

    excellent video. I liked your explanation the grammar of the present perfect now I understand it better

  7. Erika Rueda Ramirez says:

    The video talk abuot of present perfect whats use subject mas have /has mas main verb (past participle) which is explained in an easy way.

  8. Felix Leon says:

    Gracias por halar despacio , pronunciar las palabras tan bonito pude entenderte sin subtitulos <3

  9. darkshiene_playz 45 65 zveria says:

    Nice teaching I wish you were my teacher you're like my teacher!

  10. EME corp says:

    Mmm you're beautiful baby what's is yours number phone and what's your sign

  11. Elif Gün says:

    This is VERRRYYY PURFECT👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽😁

  12. Jason Tsang says:

    It is a good learning video !
    However, I want to ask if I say a sentence in the afternoon which is "I went to play football this morning" is it ok ?

  13. te pilot says:

    you pronounced "auxiliary " was wrong you sad /ɔːkˈsɪljərɪ/, but the dictionary writes with —— Br/ɔːɡˈzɪljərɪ/ Me:/ɔgˈzɪljəri/

  14. seid sultan says:


  15. maquiling says:

    Thank you mam your are the best teacher on grammar it help me from long test between i am little girl and pinay… Oh i forgot thx for the like!

  16. Mohammad Al-Sammarrai says:

    Thank you for all the great efforts.

  17. عبدالعليم أحمد says:


  18. Jabed Ahmed Joy says:

    That’s amazing ✌️✌️✌️

  19. Wenhan Wu says:

    Hi, Emma. Thanks for this video. I have learned a lot from this video. But I have one question about present perfect tense: Can we use present perfect tense and simple past tense together in a sentence? Ex: Her weeding was the greatest weeding I have ever seen.

  20. Gamemastershy says:

    How are you so good at English?🙀🤯please do more amazing videos🙂🥺I just love your videos😍❤️💓

  21. Sasikumar A says:

    I have been enjoying your valuable class

  22. Mikayla Soraya says:

    Thank u for the clear explanation😘

  23. Duneesha Ponweera says:

    Thanks you.. teacher, can you explain how to use prefect continues tenses….

  24. Dong Heng says:

    Present Simple is so annoying when people say I have eaten. They already ate. It's confusing.

  25. mrs voice says:


  26. Fathimathsuhara v m says:

    It's really helpful , THANK U very much

  27. tetialy junior kipre says:

    Madam! I've a matter, how to use correctly the different tenses in the speaking?

  28. Arip Nasrulloh says:

    You've delivered the lesson's perfectly,it's enjoyable for me to watched your video, thanks

  29. Juliana Motta says:

    I love it! Thanks a lot!!

  30. Tanzil Rahman 20 says:

    wow! I love you Mam.

  31. Shahab Ud Din says:

    extremely high quality lecture easy peasy Emma cherish

  32. Abdullah Zaid says:


  33. sukasuka channel says:

    I love your video so much. I've learned so much from you. I am going to review your video using my native language if you don't mind. I am sure that my students need to learn from you too and I will be bridge of you and my students. Thankyou so much for making this very helpful video. My name is Elwin, from Indonesia.

  34. Yasmine Ya says:

    U 're great teacher I love you

  35. Victor Paco says:

    Baby you are beautiful I love you. You are my wife 😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘🐰🐰🐰🐰🐰🐰🐰😘😘😘😘😘💘💘💘💘💘💘💔💔💔

  36. هوس التكنولوجيا says:

    You deserve 1 million likes

  37. Mila says:

    Thank you for a great explanation. It seems pretty clear to me.

  38. Byron says:

    thank you for not being american!

  39. Soso Lolo says:

    The last example the sentence changes to
    Have you gone to thailand
    Or: Have you been to thailand
    Why been
    No gone??

  40. Yakob Riskihadi says:

    Thank you so much for the explanation. But I wonder whether I should say, "I have received your letter" or "I received your letter"? "I have bought a bicycle" or "I bought a bicycle"? What's the difference?

  41. Jorge Amado Laborde Ayala says:

    Good video, but you need to improve the sound.

  42. dan tran says:

    Thanks !!!

  43. Gulnar Baymyradowa says:

    Is good for her widios ❤️

  44. Mika Milot says:

    Merci, bien expliqué…😊

  45. Matt42 Matt42 says:

    Absolutely I understood my cute teacher .

  46. بهاء الباشا says:

    من العراق يجق لايك

  47. Michael Lawrence says:

    I had no idea that grammer Nazi's were so hot.

  48. Big Loser says:


  49. Jeewanthi Withanage says:

    your voice crystal clear & Love it.


    You're just Amazing! thank you so much.

  51. Al-hajjaji Yaser says:

    You have made it easier.❤

  52. Eman Hassan says:

    .This video is very useful and also need you to give us new lessons and daily download videos and names of new things ?We are excited please

  53. Eleazar Rodríguez says:

    Love the way you speak!

  54. Aubergine Girl says:

    You are a very good teacher , could you please inform us about english teacher,s salary there at your end ?

  55. Willy Faustin says:

    Thank you Teacher, this video is very helpful for me, you're the best I ever Watch

  56. Ferdinand Ico says:

    By the way, you are pretty.

  57. Chard Velasco says:

    Why there is you have been in present perfect??i thought it is use in present perfect continuous

  58. Mohammed Rob says:

    Hi Emma you’re the best teacher I like you’re teaching please please make more videos with all tenses with subtitles thanks

  59. Amir shayan Moghtaderi says:

    you explain everything clearly and also I don't need subtitles anymore because your accent is perfect too

  60. Ahmet B5 says:

    Hi, could you explain the present perfect tense with more details because Turkish has not got perfect tense so I haven't understood it yet.

  61. Rafieka Umar says:


  62. Mohammed Bendoukha says:

    The best teacher

  63. Maurice Ccissé says:

    You’re a great teacher, I hope to be like you!

  64. Ulrike Engel says:

    I enjoyed your video but was confused by your hair strand

  65. Vitamine Garage says:

    You are soooooo beautiful… example… I have seen this video all day long!

  66. Ulrike Engel says:

    Hi Emma,
    the point with the strand was a joke!
    I really do enjoy your lessons and they are very helpful! Thank you and donˋt loose your humour!

  67. JurLe Candy says:

    Hi good day,, how about UNFINISH or UNFINISHED? Which will i use? Because in my work, I sometimes put a message for my co worker who is in my other working shift.. I want to say, that this Thing or this item is not yet finish… But they want to use UNFINISHED …I'm so confuse.. Thanxs!!

  68. Bernabe Pu says:

    I love your videos are very good
    Thank you!!

  69. Smoll One says:

    В английском только три времени + разные действия(законченное СДЕЛАН,
    длящееся ДЕЛАЮЩИЙ).
    Все перфекты:
    I had done = я имел сделанную(мою домашнюю работу)
    I have done = я имею сделанную
    I will have done = я буду иметь сделанную

    Все континиусы:
    I was playing = Я был играющий(на моём компьютере)
    I am playing = Я есть играющий
    I will be playing = Я буду быть играющий

    Англичане так строят фразы поэтому мы должны это выучить.

  70. Luis Usca says:

    I love

  71. Archimedes Woo says:

    I find it difficult to believe that more than eight hundred people have disliked this video. The lesson offers a clear and simple introduction to the form, pronunciation and use of the Present Perfect tense, and also an important comparison between Past Simple and Present Perfect. What's not to like?

  72. Queen 123 says:

    I LOVE U SOO MUCH YOU’RE THE BEST TEACHER EVER. I’m from Serbia and this is so helpful for me. Thank u gorg🥰🥰🥰🥰

  73. In design says:

    So hot teacher

  74. armanndo100 says:

    Thank you Emma you're the best 😁😁😁😁

  75. Hernist Kukkun says:

    I wish I had one

  76. Selim Gunes says:

    it's not meaning in our language 🙁 Sorry but i can't understand

  77. pierpaolo zanelli says:

    Very well done lesson and you are brilliant too but I have doubt . look at the phrase below :

    This is the question:
    1)How long has it been since you've studied English? 

    Explanation: here we have the present perfect tense. the person answering the question can use the present perfect even if the situation it's no longer true . Is this correct?

    Thanks for answering.

  78. Suraiya Ritu says:

    Please make all video of all Tense.

  79. bernard jacob says:

    I begin to be crazy… but I appreciate your lessons, I am just in intermediate level in english, but I become crazy…

  80. Hugo Nelson Doradea Molina says:

    it has been a great explanation!

  81. YONG K. says:

    The fatal attraction of temptation.

  82. jovem verde e amarelo says:

    I think English grammar is complicated sometimes but I'm struggling to be fluent in English even hard in a short period of time, so I can understand understand what she said but it's complicated yet

  83. Bchkch Kch says:

    Thank you

  84. Andra Lex says:

    I don´t know, why they include music in such videos. Plus, she is a little too slow, too many pauses in her speech.

  85. Rawan says:

    Anyone to be my English partner?

  86. Mad Monkee says:

    The way she pronounces "participle" as partíciple (instead of párticiple) blows my mind.

  87. Pipe Saini says:

    Vamos Argentina grasias me alludate en la prueba

  88. lilchrok gamer says:

    Reconsidered it's a good video 😅👍

  89. mukhtar muse says:

    You're Teacher *teacher thnks alot from somaliland

  90. 英文小公主 says:


  91. Bridget Argentum says:


  92. Al Ameen vh says:

    Your smile so pretty….🤩

  93. Dablu Kumar says:

    Oxford current English grammar

  94. izri ait ikkou says:

    Great work Emma

  95. Yalcin Batalay says:

    Thank you so much to you for thıs vıdeo once agaın,Emma,

  96. Arman Kozhamkulov says:

    I am very surprised that p.p. of to go is been (look at time 4:00). Then what is p.p. of to be?

  97. Alfredo Cortegoso Fischer says:

    Excellent my teacher. You look like a Barbie this lesson. Teacher Barbie

  98. hiếu lăng says:

    i love you very much

  99. hiếu lăng says:

    your video is very perfect;;;;;

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