Dec 18

Print this Post

Present Perfect Tense – NOW I KNOW

This new family movie gives us the perfect excuse to revise the present perfect tense. It’s a verb tense many people get wrong but, in fact, it’s really not complicated. So here is what you need to know!

Level: B1 and above


Watch the trailer and note down the sentence in the present perfect tense.

Got it?

Scroll down for the answer.


Here is what you need to know about the present perfect tense:



HAVE/HAS + 3rd form of VERB

He has already visited Paris.

(I have) Been there, (I have) done that = I know this situation well.

What does it mean?



refers to: means:
1)      general time,

2)      the moment of speaking / present time

3)      the future

that something happened BEFORE a given point in time (general, the moment of speaking or future)

BEFORE (……)                Reference point in time (X)



1) You must sign up and then you can attend class. – general time

2) I work as a teacher. – present time

3) The train leaves at 3 pm. – future



1) You can’t attend class unless you have signed up. – BEFORE a point in general time

2) I’ve always wanted to be a teacher.

–  started BEFORE present time

3) You’ll be free as a bird as soon as the train has left. – BEFORE a point in the future



REMEMBER: You want to use the present perfect to show that something happened BEFORE the present time or BEFORE a point in the future or in general time. When we use the present perfect, we often want to show that the RESULT of the action is more important than the action itself.


More examples:

How it is used What it means Time words
He has never visited Paris. He doesn’t know Paris from personal experience.  never
She has already read all the works of Dickens. She knows the works of Dickens very well. She read all his works before the present time. always
I don’t believe we have met. I’m Ben. We don’t know each other so let me introduce myself.
I’ve finished my homework. My homework is done because I did it before the present time.
She’s made a great cake. The cake is here because she made it before the present time,
She has lived here for 30 years. She moved here 30 years ago and she still lives here.  for
They have always loved shopping. They loved shopping in the past and they still love it.
Stay here for another hour. If you haven’t heard from me by then, take the money and run! Stay here, then run if you don’t hear from me later.


by then,

by that time

I’m going to live an independent life, as soon as you’ve packed my bags. You pack my bags and then I’m going to live an independent life. (The sentence in the present perfect refers to a time BEFORE a point in the future).  as soon as
I’ll just wait till you’ve finished. You finish and then I’ll stop waiting around.

(The sentence in the present perfect refers to a time BEFORE a point in the future).

 till, until
They are not admitted to the class unless they have enrolled. You must be enrolled to attend class.

(The sentence in the present perfect refers to a time BEFORE a point in the future).


The problem is getting customers to try our coffee. Once they have done that, they come back. They try our coffee and then they come back.

(The sentence in the present perfect refers to a time BEFORE a point in the future).

After you have finished your studies, you have to pay this money back again. You finish your studies and then you pay this money back.

(The sentence in the present perfect refers to a time BEFORE a point in the future).



When talking about states (=e.g.,  feelings, thoughts, possessions, where someone lives), we use the present simple to talk about something that started BEFORE the present and is still true. This works with verbs like: be, have, live, like, love, hate, think, believe, for example, that express feelings, thoughts, states, and possessions.

She has lived in New York for 30 years.

She has always loved shopping.

The small cups have always been in the cupboard above the sink. How can you not know that?

He has always said he never liked her, but I have never believed that for a second.


Time adverbials: FOR and SINCE can often be found in present perfect sentences to refer to time periods.

FOR  is used with periods of time: for 30 years.

SINCE is used with dates and particular points in time: since 2012, since he was a child.


AN IMPORTANT DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BRITISH AND AMERICAN ENGLISH: In British English you also use the present perfect tense for actions that ended or were finished recently. In American English you can use the past simple for actions that you finished recently.

I have just sold the last copy of the book.    VS    I just sold the last copy of the book.

I have made a special cake for you.             VS   I made a special cake for you.

What have you done?                                 VS  What did you do?



I have always wanted to be a Dad…


Related post:

Present Tenses Review – Verb Tenses Made Easy

Verb Tenses – An Introduction


If you like our website, share it with friends and colleagues. Thanks!

Photo: Paramount Pictures

Permanent link to this article: http://www.euenglish.hu/2015/12/present-perfect-tense-daddys-home-movie/

Switch to mobile version