Present Perfect Simple
· Situations and states that started in the past and are still true.
I’ve been a member of MENSA for over five years.
· A series of actions continuing up to now.
She’s done a BA, an MA and a PhD so far.
· Completed actions at a time in the past which is not important or relevant.
Have you ever read any books by Edward Bono?
· Completed actions where the important thing is the present result.
She’s been awarded a scholarship to study at Harvard.
· Actions completed recently
I’ve just received my exam results.
Words and phrases often used with the present perfect simple
Since / for / It’s the first/second/etc time / before / already / yet / ever / just / still / recently / up to now / (up) until now / so far
Present Perfect Continuous
· Actions and situations continuing up to the present (or just before the present)
We’ve all been wondering what to get Tony for his birthday and we just can’t decide.
Words and phrases often used with the present perfect continuous
Since / for / just / all day/week/etc
· We usually use the present perfect simple to specify a particular number of times/things.
I’ve written two essays this week.
· We usually use the present perfect continuous to emphasise the duration of an action/situation.
I’ve worked here for five years. (no emphasis)
I’ve been working here for five years. (emphasises the duration)
Past Perfect Simple
· Situations and states before the past.
Had you had your computer long before it broke down?
· Completed actions before a moment in the past.
When Dimitra called, I had managed to fix her computer.
· A series of actions continuing up to a moment in the past.
By the time of his death, Thomas Edison had invented a number of things that changed everyday life.
· Completed actions where the important thing is the result at a moment in the past.
I beat Jason at International Captain because I’d played it a lot with my brother.
Past Perfect Continuous
· Actions and situations continuing up to a moment in the past (or just before a moment in the past).
She’d been writing computer games for over ten years before she finally had a hit.
Future Perfect Simple
· Completed situations before a certain time.
It looks as if Jake will have lost his job by the end of the week.
· Continuing situations up to a certain time.
This time next month, I’ll have worked at the company for exactly 25 years.
Future Perfect Continuous
· Continuing situations up to a certain time (emphasises the duration).
This time next month, I’ll have been working at the company for exactly 25 years.
· After verbs like seem and appear to look back to a previous time period.
He seems to have forgotten us.
· Used with different time periods.
It’s great to have finished my exams.
He said he was sorry to have missed your party.
We hope to have done the work by 5.00
Complete the sentences with the correct perfect form of the verbs in brackets.
1. When they found Chris, he said he __________________ (live) on the streets for years.
2. I ______________ (not finish) the project by Monday. I still have to do all the research.
3. Congratulations! It must be great _____________ (win) two major prizes in two years!
4. Sorry about the delay. _____________________________________ (you / wait) long?
5. Before he died he told us he _____________________ (bury) the money in the garden.
6. Junko, the garage is a mess! _________________ (you / play) with the children there?
7. We asked the neighbours, but they seem ________________ (not notice) anything strange.
8. I hear you’re looking for a job. Who ______________________ (you / speak to) so far?
9. By 2020, Martha ____________________ (work) for the same company for fifty years.
10. Is Werner OK? He _______________________________ (hide) in his room all evening.
11. Seeing Liz after twenty years, I realised she ___________________ (not change) at all.
12. Jane looked at me suspiciously. ___________________________ (discover) my secret?
1. had been living
2. won’t have finished
3. to have won
4. Have you been waiting
6. have you been playing
7. not to have noticed
8. have you spoken to
9. will have been working
10. has been hiding
12. Had she discovered