Verb tenses: Present Perfect (again)

Hi sweetie,

Now we will talk about the Present Perfect, a verb tense which confuses a little almost all Portuguese speakers, like us.

Firstly, let’s review what we have already studied about the Present Perfect tense.

Present Perfect

As we know, the verb tense Present Perfect has always the form:

[has / have] + Past Participle

A verb in the Past Participle is

[Verb + ed] or third column of the irregular verbs list


  • You have seen Laila many times.
  • Have you seen Laila many times?
  • You have not seen Laila many times.

Use of the Present Perfect

The Present Perfect is used in two occasions:

Unspecified time before now

We use the Present Perfect to say that an action happened at an unspecified time before now. The exact time is not important. Note that:

  • You cannot use the Present Perfect with specific time expressions such as: yesterday, one year ago, last week, when I was a child, when I lived in Japan, at that moment, that day, one day etc.
  • You can use the Present Perfect with unspecific expressions such as: ever, never, once, many times, several times, before, so far, already, yet etc.



  • I have seen that movie twenty times.
  • I think I have met him once before.
  • There have been many earthquakes in California.
  • People have traveled to the Moon.
  • People have not traveled to Mars.
  • Have you read the book yet?
  • Nobody has ever climbed that mountain.

Duration from the past until now

We also use the Present Perfect to show that something started in the past and has continued up until now. “For five minutes,” “for two weeks,” and “since Tuesday” are all expressions which can be used with the Present Perfect.



  • I have had a cold for two weeks.
  • She has been in England for six months.
  • Mary has loved chocolate since she was a little girl.


Test your knowledge with the following exercises (pay attention, these are difficult exercises):

  1. Fill in the blanks;
  2. Fill in the blanks again.


It is always useful to check the irregular verbs list.

Beijo do Pai!


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