Present perfect 2

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A. Study this example conversation:

  • DaVE: Have you travelled a lot, Jane?
  • JaNE: Yes, I’ve been to lots of places.
  • DaVE: Really? Have you ever been to China?
  • JaNE: Yes, I’ve been to China twice.
  • DaVE: What about India?
  • JaNE: No, I haven’t been to India.

When we talk about a period of time that continues from the past until now, we use the present perfect (have been / have travelled etc.). Here, Dave and Jane are talking about the places Jane has visited in her life, which is a period that continues until now

In the same way we say:

  • Have you ever eaten caviar?
  • We’ve never had a car.
  • I don’t know what the film is about. I haven’t seen it.
  • Susan really loves that book. She’s read it three times. (She’s = She has)
  • It’s a really boring movie. It’s the most boring movie I’ve ever seen.

been (to) = visited:

  • I’ve never been to Canada. Have you been there?

B. In the following examples too, the speakers are talking about a period that continues until now (recently, in the last few days, so far, since I arrived etc.):

  • Have you heard anything from Ben recently?
  • I’ve met a lot of people in the last few days.
  • Everything is going well. There haven’t been any problems so far.
  • The weather is bad here. It’s (= It has) rained every day since I arrived. (= from when I arrived until now)
  • It’s good to see you again. We haven’t seen each other for a long time.

In the same way we use the present perfect with today, this evening, this year etc. when these periods are not finished at the time of speaking:

  • I’ve drunk four cups of coff ee today.
  • Have you had a holiday this year?
  • I haven’t seen Tom this morning. Have you?

C. We say ‘It’s the (first) time something has happened’. For example:

Don is having a driving lesson. It’s his first lesson. We can say:

  • It’s the first time he has driven a car. (not drives)

or He hasn’t driven a car before.
or He has never driven a car before.

In the same way we say:

  • Sarah has lost her passport again. This is the second time this has happened. (not happens)
  • Andy is phoning his girlfriend again. It’s the third time he’s phoned her this evening

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