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The Present Perfect is constructed by using the verb "have" in the Present Simple as an auxiliary and the Past Participle form of the verb. 

+ Subject + Have/Has + Particple + Object

 - Subject + Have not/Has not (Haven't/Hasn't) + Participle + Object

? Have/Has + Subject + Have/Has + Participle + Object?

The Participle form of the verb has no change so it is the auxiliary that changes with the subject. 

I / you / we / you / they : Have

he / she / it : Has

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We use the Present Perfect to talk about:

  • experiences in the past:

I have been to Madrid

  • without specific reference to time


A) I have been to Madrid

B) I went to Madrid last year 

  • experiences that have an impact on the present

He has hurt his arm

(It still hurts now)

We have eaten too much

 (We still feel full now)

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Further Functions

There are some words we can use with the Present Perfect that can add further information or meaning to the tense. These "magic words" are discussed here

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Spelling notes for the Particple form

The vast majority of verbs have a regular structure so the participle is formed by adding -ED to the end of the infinitive. There are some exceptions. 

Irregular verbs are covered here.

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Related topics

Further functions of the Present Perfect

The Present Perfect Continuous

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