The present perfect is used to talk about events which have a connection between the past and now.
Knowing a few phrases with the present perfect built into it may help improve your understanding of this ‘tense’ as well as get you sounding more natural.
Just as a reminder, an example of the present perfect form is:
I’ve been to Japan.
She’s travelled to Sydney.
She hasn’t seen him for ages.
[HAVE/HAS + third form of the verb]
Here are 7 present perfect phrases which you can add into your conversations today:
1. “I’ve known her for ages.”
You met your friend a long time ago eg “I met her 3 years ago.”
But the time you know her began 3 years ago and continues until now. So that’s why it’s a present perfect phrase.
I’ve known her for ages | years | a long time
2. “I’ve had a tough day.”
If you see the day as being over and complete, you can use the past simple. But otherwise when you’re meeting up with friends or perhaps when you’re at lunch, you can use the present perfect to say how your day has been so far:
“I’ve had a great | boring | fun | tough | rough day at work. How about you?”
3. “This is the first time I’ve been here.”
Phrases starting with “This is the first time I…” are followed by the present perfect form.
So if you are at a place and you’ve never been there before, you say:
“This is the first time I’ve been here.”
Likewise, you can use these other variations:
“This is the first time I’ve done this | seen him so angry | seen this | heard about it.”
4. “I haven’t done it yet. I’ll do it now..”
Sometimes you need to do something. Perhaps it’s for work or a task someone has asked you to do. Often it comes up in conversation.
eg “Have you taken out the rubbish yet?”
That’s when you can reply:
“Sorry, I haven’t done it yet. I’ll do it now..”
Usually if you haven’t done something which you were asked to do, it’s good to add when you will get it done:
“Sorry, I haven’t done it yet. I’ll get it done first thing tomorrow.”
5. “I’ve had a great evening. Let’s do it again soon!”
Maybe you’ve just had a fun night out with a good friend of yours, or perhaps you’ve been on a date.
From the start of the evening until now, you’ve had a nice time. So that’s why you can say how your night has been:
I’ve had a wondeful | lovely | great time.
Then you can call your best friend and give another perspective:
“Simona, I’ve just had the WORST date of my life!”
“I’ve just met the man who I want to marry.”
6. “I’ve had enough.”
Imagine you’re not happy at work or with your boyfriend or girlfriend. You’ve reached your limit as to how much you can accept:
“Kate, I’ve had enough of this. Either you stop seeing your ex or we’re through!”
“I’m just tired of the same boring routine at work. There are no new challenges, I’ve had enough!”
7. “Have you heard?”
You’ve just heard some important news on the radio or from a friend, and now you want to tell someone:
“Have you heard? There’ll be an election in September!”
“Have you heard? Anna and Pavel are having a baby!”
And of course when you want to tell friends your news, you can use this in the same way:
“Have you heard? Jack and I have split up.”
Or you can also say:
“Haven’t you heard? Jack and I have split up.”
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