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Present Perfect

For Experience

Present Perfect for Experience

Overview

In this grammar section we will have a look at the tense Present Perfect to talk about a life experience.

Examples

  1. Have you ever been to Japan?
    1. No, I haven’t been to Japan
  2. Have you ever eaten crocodile?
    1. Yes I have eaten crocodile.
  3. Have you ever run a Marathon? 
    1. No, I haven’t.

Usage/ Meaning

Present Perfect for experience time line

All 3 questions ask about an experience. Have you had this experience in your life or not? 

This means somewhere between when you were born and now, did you do it, or did it happen to you? 

Since we are only talking until now it can still change. Maybe in the future you will have the experience or you might have the experience even many more times. Since it can still change we need to use the present perfect to talk about an experience.

You can use it to talk about 1 experience or multiple experiences.

  • I have been to Spain many times.
  • I have eaten crocodile once.
  • I have driven a car 5 times.

You talk about the experiences in general you do NOT use a precise time reference

  • I have been to America in 2002: I went to America in 2002

You can use this morning, today, this year, this month, this week when it has not finished.

  • The phone has run 5 times this morning. (This morning is not finished).
  • I’ve visited my friend twice this week.

You can also use ever or never

  • I have never driven a car (never for negative instead of not)
  • Have you ever driven a car (ever: for questions)

If you want to know more details:

  • When?
  • Why?
  • How?
  • ….

You need to use the past simple in your questions and answers

  • Have you ever been to Japan?
    • Yes I have.
  • When did you go?
    • I went in 2011
  • Why did you go?
    • I went there to visit a friend
  • What did you do there?
    • We went sightseeing.

Form

Positive

  • I have lived in Vietnam
  • She has driven a car
    • Subject + have/has + Past Participle (3rd form/ 3rd column)
  • I’ve lived in Vietnam
  • She’s driven a car 
    • Subject + ‘ve/’s + Past Participle (3rd form/ 3rd column
Practice

Negative

  • I have not lived in Japan
  • He has not driven a car
  • Subject + have/has + not + Past Participle 
  • I haven’t lived in Japan
  • He hasn’t driven a car
  • Subject + haven’t/hasn’t + Past Participle
Practice

Question

  • Have you ridden a bike?
  • Has she played tennis?
  • Have/has + Subject + Past Participle 
Practice

Short answer

  • Yes, I have.
  • Subject + has/have
  • No, she hasn’t.
  • Subject + hasn’t/ haven’t

Pronunciation

There are  things you need to watch out for in Pronunciation.

First, the short form:

  • I’ve
  • She’s
  • He’s
  • You’ve
  • They’ve
  • We’ve

Second the past participle of regular verbs.

Like simple past they end in -ed and have 3 different ways of pronouncing:

  • -ed /t/ for verbs which end in non vibrating sounds.
    • worked
    • laughed
  • -ed /d/ for verbs which end in vibrating sounds
    • moved
    • answered
  • -ed /id/ for verbs which end in a /t/ or /d/ sound
    • waited
    • decided

Questions

Have a look at the questions and write your answers in the comments below. Also give us some more details about when, where, why,….

  1. Have you ever seen an elephant?
  2. Have you ever been to England?
  3. Have you ever eaten gado gado?
  4. Have you ever met a famous person?
  5. Have you ever played golf before?
  6. Has it ever snowed in your country?
  7. Have you ever been on TV?
  8. Have you ever won a competition?
  9. Have you ever slept more than 12 hours?
Present Perfect to talk about an experience

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Kristof Abrath
Teacher, Trainer, Course Designer
Teaching in English on 4 different continents since 2006.

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