20 Jan 2015

The present perfect and typically related words (ever, never; for, since; just, yet, already)

Hi everyone!

Today we're going to focus on the present perfect tense and, more specifically, several words that are typically associated with it -although in future years you will see that they can be used in other tenses as well!

First of all, let us very quickly revise when we use the present perfect, especially in contrast with the past simple:

To cut a long story short (en resumidas cuentas), use the present perfect:

  • For life experiences (they are finished, they happened in the past, but I don't know when)
It is in this context that we typically use ever and never:
Have you ever swum with dolphins?; Have you ever tried bungee-jumping? 
I've never eaten Viatnamese food.
If you want to practise a little bit, complete this information about Loch Ness.
  • For actions that started in the past and still continue now.
It is in this context that we typically use the words for and since.

If you would like to have more information about for and since, click for a detailed explanation with plenty of examples that you can also listen to. If what you need is practice, click below:

Finally, there are three other words that are normally used in the present perfect: just, already and yet. Read the information below to understand their meaning and their position in the sentence.
  • We use just for something that has very recently happened (acabar de). We place it in the middle of the sentence, between have and the participle:
I've just learnt how to use for and since.
I've just been to the supermarket.
  • We use already in affirmative sentences to mean 'sooner than expected'. We generally place it between have and the participle, but it can also appear at the end of the sentence:
I've already finished reading Dracula / I've finished reading Dracula already.
I've already been to London three times / I've been to London three times already.
  • We use yet in negative and interrogative sentences. We place it at the end of the sentence:
I haven't started Sherlock Holmes yet.
Have you been to England yet?
  • BUT remember: we can also use already in questions when we expect a positive answer
Have you already started revising for the exam?

And now comes the practice!

To finish today's entry, here you have two websites to practise some of the grammar we have seen already :)
Remember that revising is even more important than studying something for the first time! :)

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