How To Teach The Present Perfect

The present perfect is basic knowledge for any English learner, and it’s essential that they use it in all parts of the exam. Including their speaking. So if you’re unsure about the grammar, read on and make sure you nail it in class!

The Basics – Beginner Level

The easiest way to explain the present perfect is to give them the structure and the three situations in which to use it.

To Have + Past Participle

1. The Recent Past

I have just eaten lunch.

2. Experiences

I have been to New York.

3. Things that you can modify

I have seen the Titanic movie 7 times.

To clarify number 3; tomorrow I might watch the film again, in which case it will be 8 times.

Just, Already and Yet – Beginner Level

These words are almost exclusively used with this structure and very easy to explain.

Just (+) (?)Used to say that something happened a short time ago; “I have just washed my car.”

Already (+) (?) – Used for when something happens earlier than expected; “She is already here.”

Yet (-) (?)Used for something that is expected to happen; “Have you done your homework yet?”

Present Perfect




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