Leslie Linguo

ESL Grammar Course

...to help you in your conversations with Leslie Linguo
Using the Present Perfect
Both the present perfect simple and continuous, which we saw HOW to form in unit 24, are used in contexts which mean, very generally, 'the past time and the present time together'. In this unit we will see specific contexts in which it is normally used.

The most common use of the present perfect is to express a past action which continues to the present:

"I've lived here all my life". This means "I was born here, I live here now".
"He has been working there for five years". This means "He started working there five years ago and he still works there now".
"How long have you known John? This means "When did you first meet?"
"I've known him for ten years". This means "We met ten years ago and we have known each other since then".
"We haven't seen each other since last January". This means "Last January was the last time we saw each other".

Another use of the present perfect is in circumstances in which we do not know WHEN something happened, or if it is not important WHEN something happened.

Look! The sun has come out.
Look! It's been snowing.
Have you seen John?
I have been to Lisbon twice.
Help! Somebody has stolen my wallet.

Notice the difference between the phrases we just saw and how we express them when we say WHEN they happened.

Look! The sun has come out. It came out at 6:15.
Look! It's been snowing. It snowed every day last week.
"Have you seen John?" - "Yes, I saw him this morning".
I have been to Lisbon twice. I went in 2009 and returned last year.
Help! Somebody has stolen my wallet. I think they stole it while I was looking at the monument.

We will see the difference between the present perfect and the past simple in more detail in unit 40.

Notice that HAVE GOT is grammatically present perfect, although it is used with a present meaning.

"I HAVE GOT a BMW". Obviously, if I HAVE a BMW now then I HAVE GOT (BOUGHT or OBTAINED) it at some moment in the past.

We will see the difference between the present perfect simple and the present perfect continuous in unit 39.
Contents
The Basic Sentence
Unit 1: The Basic Sentence
Unit 2: The Subject
Unit 3: The Verb
Unit 4: Subject and Verb
Unit 5: Negative Sentences
Unit 6: Short Forms
Unit 7: Word Order
Questions
Unit 8: Question Words
Unit 9: Making Questions
Unit 10: Subject Questions
Unit 11: Short Answers
Unit 12: Question Tags
Unit 13: Indirect Questions
Verbs
Unit 14: Verb Forms
Unit 15: Using Verb Forms
Unit 16: The Verb to Be
Unit 17: Auxiliary Verbs
Unit 18: The Imperative
Unit 19: Present Simple Formation
Unit 20: Using the Present Simple
Unit 21: The Past Simple
Unit 22: The Present Continuous
Unit 23: The Past Continuous
Unit 24: Present Perfect Formation
Unit 25: Using the Present Perfect
Unit 26: The Past Perfect
Unit 27: Modal Verbs
Unit 28: The modal verb CAN
Unit 29: The modal verb COULD
Unit 30: The modal verbs MAY and MIGHT
Unit 31: The modal verbs WILL and SHALL
Unit 32: The modal verb WOULD
Unit 33: The modal verbs MUST and SHOULD
Unit 34: HAVE TO, NEED TO and NEEDN'T
Unit 35: Necessity and Advice
Unit 36: BE ABLE, OUGHT, HAVE GOT TO and HAD BETTER
Unit 37: GOING TO
Unit 38: USED TO
Unit 39: Verbs and Present Time
Unit 40: Verbs and Past Time
Unit 41: Verbs and Future Time
The Passive
Unit 42: Passive Sentences
Unit 43: Passive Verb Formations
Unit 44: Using the Passive
The Noun Phrase
Unit 45: Nouns and Noun Phrases
Unit 46: Plurals of Unit Nouns
Unit 47: Mass Nouns
Unit 48: Proper Nouns and Verbal Nouns
Unit 49: Genetive
Unit 50: Personal Pronouns
Unit 51: A, AN, SOME and ANY
Unit 52: THE
Unit 53: Nouns without A or THE
Unit 54: The Correct Article
Unit 55: THIS, THAT, THESE and THOSE
Unit 56: Mass and Unit in Sentences
Unit 57: Quantity
Unit 58: BOTH, EITHER and NEITHER
Unit 59: ONE
Unit 60: Relative Clauses
Types of Sentences
Unit 61: Empty Subjects
Unit 62: Simple Sentence Types
Unit 63: Complex Sentence Types
Adjectives and Adverbs
Unit 64: Adjectives and Adverbs
Unit 65: Position of Adjectives
Unit 66: Position of Adverbs
Unit 67: Some Important Adverbs
Comparison
Unit 68: Forms for Comparison
Unit 69: Comparing Two
Unit 70: Comparing Three or More
When?
Unit 71: Adverbs of Time
Unit 72: Prepositions of time
Unit 73: How Often?
Prepositions
Unit 74: In the World
Unit 75: In a Town
Unit 76: Outdoors
Unit 77: Indoors
Unit 78: In a Room
Unit 79: Objects and People
How and Why?
Unit 80: How?
Unit 81: Purpose and Use
Unit 82: Reason and Consequence
Connecting Ideas
Unit 83: Similar Ideas
Unit 84: Opposite Ideas
Unit 85: Sequence of Events
Unit 86: Conditions