Use of the Present Perfect

When do we use the Present Perfect?

The Present Perfect is not easy to understand for ESL learners. It is a combination of past and present. An actions in the past has something to do with the present.

1. Result of an action in the past is important in the present (It is not important when this action happened. When we use a specific time in the past – e.g. yesterday – then we use the Simple Past.)

I have cleaned my room.
(It is clean now.)

Has Peggy ever been to Tokyo?
(Has Peggy been there or not?)

2. Recently completed actions

He has just played handball.
(It is over now.)

3. State beginning in the past and still continuing – mostly with since (point of time) or for (period of time)

We have lived in Canada since 1986.
(We still live there.)

4. together with lately, recently, yet

I have been to London recently.
(no specific point of time)

He has not written the e-mail yet.
(He has not done it.)