What are some examples of sentences with present perfect tense?

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Sara George | High School Teacher | In Training Educator

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There are three basic verb tenses:

present (run)

past (ran)

future (will run)

When you make each tense PROGRESSIVE, they look like this:

present progressive (is running)

past progressive (was running)

future progressive (will be running)

Now, about those perfect tenses. We'll need some auxiliary verbs for that. Perfect tenses are made by using has/have/had + the past participle of the verb. 

And a past participle is a what, now?

Any time you look up a verb in the dictionary, you'll see four boldfaced forms of the word. These are the four principle parts of the verb, and they are always in this order: present tense, past tense, past participle, present participle. 

So if you look up the verb "talk," you'll see:

talk, talked, talked, talking

Talk is a regular verb, so its past tense and past participle are the same. 

If you look up the verb eat, you'll see:

eat, ate, eaten, eating

Eat is an irregular verb, so its past participle is different from its simple past tense form. 

Now, here's why you just got a dictionary lesson...

Perfect tenses = has/have/had+past participle

So here's what it looks like:

present perfect: has/have talked

                        has/have eaten

past perfect: had talked

                    had eaten

future perfect: will have talked

                      will have eaten

Here's what perfect tenses look like when you make them progressive:

Present perfect progressive:

     has/have been talking

     has/have been eating

Past perfect progressive:

     had been talking

     had been eating

Future perfect progressive:

     will have been talking

     will have been eating

Did you notice that we went back to the present participle when we put them in the progressive form?

Here's how some of the perfect tenses might be used:

present perfect:

Preston HAS TAKEN his driving test three times. 

Past perfect: 

He said he HAD STUDIED really hard. 

Future perfect:

By the time he gets his license, he WILL HAVE FAILED more than anyone I know. 

Present perfect progressive:

I HAVE BEEN ARGUING with my neighbor. 

Past perfect progressive: 

He HAD BEEN STEALING my newspapers for a week before I even said anything about it.

Future perfect progressive:

As of next Tuesday, I WILL HAVE BEEN PUTTING up with him for a whole year.

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