The present perfect at CEFR Level A2

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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