A. Study this example situation:
Tom can’t find his key.
He’s lost his key. (= He has lost …)
he has lost his key =
he lost it and he doesn’thave it now
have lost / has lost is the present perfect simple:
The present perfect simple is have/has + past participle. The past participle oft en ends in –ed (finished/decided etc.), but many verbs are irregular (lost/done/written etc.).
For a list of irregular verbs, see Appendix 1.
B. When we say ‘something has happened’, this is usually new information:
- Ow! I’ve cut my finger.
- The road is closed. There’s been an accident. (= There has been …)
- Police have arrested two men in connection with the robbery.
When we use the present perfect, there is a connection with now. The action in the past has a result now:
- Tom has lost his key. (= he doesn’t have it now)
- He told me his name, but I’ve forgotten it. (= I can’t remember it now)
- Sally is still here. She hasn’t gone out. (= she is here now)
- I can’t find my bag. Have you seen it? (= do you know where it is now?)
Compare gone (to) and been (to):
- James is on holiday. He has gone to Italy. (= he is there now or on his way there)
- Amy is back home now. She has been to Italy. (= she has now come back)
C. You can use the present perfect with just, already and yet.
Just = a short time ago:
- ‘Are you hungry?’ ‘No, I’ve just had lunch.’
- Hello. Have you just arrived?
Already = sooner than expected:
- ‘Don’t forget to pay the bill.’ ‘I’ve already paid it.’
- ‘What time is Mark leaving?’ ‘He’s already left .’
Yet = until now. We use yet to show that we are expecting something to happen. We use yet in questions and negative sentences:
- Has it stopped raining yet?
- I’ve written the email, but I haven’t sent it yet
You can also use the past simple (did, went, had etc.) in the examples on this page. So you can say:
- Ben isn’t here. He’s gone out. or He went out.
- ‘Are you hungry?’ ‘No, I’ve just had lunch.’ or ‘No, I just had lunch.’
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