Monday, February 4, 2008

How to use the present perfect tense

The present perfect tense poses problems to students of English. The blogs of quite a number of blogs I visited made mistakes regarding the use of the above tense.

Let me make it easy for readers on how to use it correctly.

1 When an action has been completed and you do not want to tell when you did it, you can use this tense.

e.g. I have taken my lunch.

Explanation: I could have taken it a minute ago or half an hour ago or some other time prior to this.

2 Present perfect tense also goes with prepositions ‘for’ and ‘since’.

e.g. I have lived here for five years.

I have lived here since five years ago.

I have lived here since 2003.

The following mistakes are often seen in students’ essays.

1 I have received your letter yesterday. (wrong)

I have received your letter already. (correct)

I received your letter yesterday.

2 I have finished the work before you come. (wrong)

I had finished the work before you came. (correct)

1 comment:

My said...

It's good to see a blog which is dedicated to teaching the language. I struggle with my English since I learned Swedish. Hope to learn from your site.