The present perfect at CEFR Level A2

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The present perfect at CEFR Level A2The present perfect at CEFR Level A2. On this page, we will look at another common English tense – the present perfect. Here are some examples of the present perfect tense:

  • I have cleaned my shoes.
  • He has finished work for today.
  • I have travelled through Asia, but I haven’t been to Africa.
  • I have only seen 2 famous people in my life.

The present perfect has 2 main purposes:

  1. Present effect: To talk about something completed some time in the (recent) past that has an effect now
  2. Experience: To talk about an experience we have had in our lives.

Let’s look back at the example sentences we used at the beginning of this page:

I have cleaned my shoes. This is purpose #1 (present effect) The shoes were dirty > I cleaned them >Now they are clean.

He has finished to the shops. This is purpose #1 (present effect) He was working > He finished > Now he’s not working.

I have travelled through Asia, but I haven’t been to Africa. This is purpose #2 (experience)

I have only seen 2 famous people in my life. This is purpose #2 (experience)


 

The present perfect at CEFR Level A2 is formed by using have / has + [3rd form of the verb / past participle] 

  • I have cleaned my shoes.
  • He has finished work for today.

To form a negative sentence, we simply add not – have / has + not (or n’t) + [3rd form of the verb / past participle]

  • I have not been to Africa. / I haven’t been to Africa.
  • She has not seen John today. / She hasn’t seen John today.

To form a question, we simple move the pronoun:

  • I have cleaned my shoes. > Have I cleaned my shoes?
  • He has finished work for today. > Has he finished work for today?

 

However, when we use the present perfect to talk about experiences, there are three other words you need to know: ever, never, and yet.

Have you ever…..? is used for questions about experience up to now. For example:

  • Have you ever taken an over night train?
  • Has he ever met your wife?

Have you…… yet? is used for questions and negative sentences about experience up to now. For example:

  • Have you seen that new film yet?
  • I haven’t asked him yet.

When we use ‘yet’ in present perfect questions, we expect that the listener will say ‘Yes’ at some point.

  • Have you finished yet? (I expect that you will finish at some point if you haven’t already)
  • Have you ever eaten crocodile? (‘ever‘ is used instead because the listener may never eat crocodile)

Not that we don’t use ever and yet in the same question:

  • Have you ever visited New York? (I don’t know if you will)
  • Have you visited New York yet? (I expect you will at some point – maybe the listener is travelling around the USA)
  • NOT: Have you ever visited New York yet?

I have never… is used for negative sentences about experience up to now.

  • I have never climbed a mountain.
  • I have never spoken to her.
  • NOT: I have never drunk champagne yet.

NOTE: American English does not use the present perfect to talk about experience – they use the present simple instead.

“Have you ever visited New Zealand?” (British English)
“Did you ever visit New Zealand?” (American English)

 


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