Present Perfect Tense

have/has + Past Participle
(have/has done)

There are three main uses:

I. an action completed at an unspecified time before now
For example:
- I have already been to Thailand, this time I want to go to Vietnam.
- I have broken a leg and I know how much it hurts.

We are talking about something that has been done before now. We do not specify when, it is not important. The only thing that matters is that this event has taken place.
In these cases there is some result. It might be mentioned (I know how much it hurts) or implied (Thailand is known to me, so I want to go somewhere else).

In short: an action, completed at an indefinite past time with a result in the present.

★A sub-group here are actions, completed at a time that is not yet over, for example:
- I have already been to the cinema 4 times this week.
- I have never (in my life) seen you so angry before.

II. an action which started in the past and continues until now
- I have taught English for 15 years.
- I have eaten greasy banichkas for breakfast since I was a child.
- I have had a dragon tattoo on my belly since I was at university.
- For 10 years I have lived next door to a pianist, I am used to noise.

In these cases we started doing something some time ago and we are still doing this (teach, eat) or we fell into a state and we are still in it (have, live).
In short: an action that started in the past and continues until now.

III. an action competed immediately before now.
- I have just come back from work.
- I have just had breakfast.

This can also be seen as a sub-category of the first use, since it happened before now. In American English the past simple is preferred in these sentences.


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