Lesson 8
The Present Perfect


The Present Perfect

Mastering starts by being able to knock off many rough edges.


We’ll continue reviewing the basics of verb tenses.  Now, let’s take a look at “The Present Perfect”. 


 

The Present Perfect

Structure:

  • Affirmative: Subject + have/has+ main verb ending in past participle + object. Example: I have bought a new book
  • Negative: Subject + have/has+ not + main verb ending in past participle  + object. Example: She hasn’t come home yet
  • Question:  Have/has+ subject + main verb ending in past participle  + object? Example: Have you seen them?
  • Negative question: Have/has + not + subject + main verb ending in past participle + object? Example: Haven’t you seen them?
  • Answers: Yes, + subject + have/has- No, +subject+not+ have/has. Example: Yes, I have- No, I haven’t.

Example “Present Perfect” audiobook , chapter 5: Example: Mr Isaacs has been very good to us.


Spanish equivalent tense: Pretérito perfecto. It is not exactly the same, but it’s similar and can be used as a reference for you to remember the English Present Perfect. Example: Yo ya he visto esa película.  I have already seen that film.


What is the past participle of a verb?

A past participle is a form of the verb that is mainly used in:

    • Perfect Tenses:  Ex. I have studied a lot.  He estudiado mucho.
    • Passive Voices: Ex.  The house was cleaned by a cleaning company. La casa fue limpiada por una empresa de limpieza.
    • Adjectives: Ex.  The cleaned house looked like new.

In the regular verbs, the past participle is the same as the past simple and ends in –ed.


-Work (infinitive trabajar- and present yo trabajo) worked (past tense-trabajó) worked (past participle- trabajado)


In the irregular verbs, the past participle is the third column of the irregular verb list.


Example:

- Write (infinitive- escribir- escribo) – wrote (past tense-escribió) – written (past participle-escrito).


In Spanish the past participle usually ends in –ado/ido (trabajado-comido) or irregular forms such as “visto” or “escrito.”


When do we use the Present Perfect?

  1. When we want to speak about actions that have happened in the past but have present consequences or a connection to the present.

Example: I have cut my finger. I can see the blood coming out (present consequence).

  1. When we want to speak about things that we did or didn’t do in our life, experiences we have or haven’t had.

Example: I have never been to Paris.


Contractions

  • All persons except he, she and it. ‘ve- Examples: I’ve done it. You’ve seen it.
  • He, she, it: ‘s. Examples: She’s done it. It’s done
Rule: Remember we don’t use the Present Perfect with past references such as: last month, last week, last weekend, yesterday, a year ago. In these cases, we have to use the Past Tense.



Remember:  

In the Present Perfect, the third person (he, she, it) is formed with HAS, not with have . Try to remember this when you speak. HAS he come? No Have he come? INCORRECT.


The contraction of “has” is ‘s. She’s gone. Ella se marchó.  Don’t confuse this ‘s with the contraction of the verb “to be”.




 


Please, go to chapter 5 of your audiobook now and listen to it at least two times. Then read it.

As you’ll see, I have highlighted the Present Perfect in purple.

 

Chapter 5

The oath

"Money? What does money matter? Love is more important than money."

  

"Mother! Mother! I am so happy" whispered the girl. "I am so happy" she repeated "and you must be too!"

 

Mrs Vane put her slim hands on her daughter's head.

 

"I am happy, Sibyl, when I see you act. You mustn't think about anything else than your acting. Mr Isaacs has been very good to us and we owe him money."

 

"Money, mother!" She exclaimed "What does money matter? Love is more important than money."

 

"Mr Isaacs has lent us fifty pounds to pay our debts.  You mustn't forget that, Sibyl."

 

Sibyl Vane turned her head and laughed.

 

"We don't need it now, mother.  Prince Charming has entered into our lives.  I love him" she said.

 

"Daughter of mine, you are too young to fall in love.  Furthermore, what do you know about this young man?  You don't even know his name. However, if he is rich..."

 

"Mother, Mother! Let me be happy!"

 

At that moment the door opened and a young man entered the room. He was stocky, had big feet and his hands moved clumsily. He didn't have the tenderness of his sister and looked nothing like her.

 

"You could save some of your kisses for me, Sibyl" said the young man.

 

"But you don't like people kissing you, Jim!" She exclaimed and crossed the room running to hug him.

 

James Vane contemplated his sister's face affectionately.

 

"Come for a walk with me, Sibyl. I leave tonight and I don't think I will ever return to this horrible London."

"Son of mine, don't say such horrible things" murmured Mrs Vane.

"Why not, mother? It's what I think."

 

"It hurts me, son. I think you will return from Australia a rich man."

 

"I only want to earn enough money so that you and Sibyl can leave the theatre. I hate it."

 

"Jim" said Sibyl, laughing.  "Do you really want to go for a walk with me? That will be lovely! Where shall we go? Let's go to the park."

 

"I'm not dressed well enough" he answered "only elegant people go to the park."

 

"Rubbish, Jim" said Sibyl, stroking the sleeve of his coat.

 

He dithered for a moment.

 

"Very well" he said finally "But don't take long to get dressed."

 

She went out of the door dancing.

 

He walked up and down the room two or three times.  After, he walked towards his mother.

 

"Are my things ready, mother?"

 

"Everything is prepared, James" she replied.

 

"I beg you to look after Sibyl.  Don't let anything bad happen to her. You must look after her, mother" said James.

 

"Of course I will look after Sibyl."

 

"I have heard that there is a gentleman who goes to the theatre every night and speaks to her afterwards. Is it true?"

 

"It seems that the young man is a gentleman and is also rich" replied his mother.

 

"However, you don't know his name" said the young man, firmly.

 

"No" replied his mother.  "He still hasn't given his real name. And I think it is very romantic."

 

James Vane bit his lips.

 

"Look after Sibyl, mother" he exclaimed "look after her."

 

"If that gentleman is rich, there is no reason not to marry him. They would make a charming couple. He is a very handsome man; everyone says so."

 

At that moment the door opened and Sibyl ran in.

 

"How serious you are!" She exclaimed "What's happened?"

 

"Nothing" he replied.  I suppose that sometimes we must be serious.  See you later, mother; I will have dinner at five o'clock.  My things are ready, so you needn't worry."

 

"See you later, son" she replied.

 

When they got to the park Jim asked Sibyl:

 

"I have heard that you have a new friend. Who is he? Why haven't you told me about him? You don't even know his name."

 

"He's called Prince Charming. Don't you like it?

Come on! Don't be stupid! If you saw him you would think he were the most marvellous person in the world. One day you will meet him, when you return from Australia. He will like you a lot.  He likes everyone; and I... I love him. I would like you to come to the theatre tonight. He will be there and I am going to play Juliet."

 

"I want you to be careful with him. If he ever hurts you, I will kill him" said the young man.

 

"How can you say such horrible things? You don't know what you are saying. You are simply jealous and cruel."

"I am sixteen years old" he replied "and I know what I am saying."





Listen and repeat the following sentences aloud.

Spanish English Phonetics Approximate Pronunciation

El señor Isaacs ha sido muy bueno con nosotras

Mr Isaacs has been very good to us

| ˈmɪstə ˈaɪzɪks həz biːn ˈveri ɡʊd tu əz |

Míster áissaks hass bin véri gud tu ass

He oído que hay un caballero

I have heard that there is a gentleman

ˈaɪ həv hɜːd ðət ðə z ə ˈdʒentlmən |

Ai hav herd dat der iss a yéntelman

Él no ha dado aún su verdadero nombre.

He still hasn't given his real name.

hi stɪl ˈhæznt ɡɪvn̩ ɪz rɪəl ˈneɪm |

Hi sstil hássnet given hiss rial néim

He oído que tienes un nuevo amigo.

"I have heard that you have a new friend.

ˈaɪ həv hɜːd ðət ju həv ə njuː ˈfrend |

Ai hav herd dat iu hav a niu frénd

¿Por qué no me has hablado de él?

Why haven't you told me about him?

waɪ ˈhævn̩t ju təʊld miː əˈbaʊt ɪm |

Wuái hávent iu tould mi ábaut him



As there are not too many examples of Present Perfect in chapter 5, I have gone over the previous chapters to check for other examples of this tense.


Here you have sentences in the Present Perfect that can be found in chapter 1 and chapter 2.


Listen and repeat the following sentences aloud. Try to memorise them

Spanish English Phonetics Approximate Pronunciation

Es lo mejor que has hecho.

It’s the best you’ve done

ɪts ðə best juv dʌn |

Its de best iuv don

Es lo mejor que yo he hecho nunca.

It’s the best I have ever done.

ɪts ðə best ˈaɪ həv ˈevə dʌn |

Its de best ái hav éver don

Estoy seguro de que usted ha tenido pasiones que le han asustando

I am sure that you have had passions that have frightened you

ˈaɪ əm ʃʊə ðət ju həv həd ˈpæʃn̩z ðət həv ˈfraɪtn̩d ju |

Ái am sher dat iu hav had pássionss dat hav fráitend iu

Pensamientos que le han dado miedo (a usted)

Thoughts that have scared you

ˈθɔːts ðət həv skeəd ju |

Zots dat hav skerd iu

Y sueños que le han avergonzado (a usted)

And dreams that have shamed you

ənd driːmz ðət həv ʃeɪmd ju |

And drims dat hav shéimd iu

Ha posado usted mejor que nunca

You have posed better than ever

ju həv pəʊzd ˈbetə ðən ˈevə |

Iu have poussd béter dan ever

No sé que lo que ha dicho Harry

I don’t know what Harry has said

ˈaɪ dəʊnt nəʊ ˈwɒt ˈhæri həz ˈsed |

Ai dount nou wuat hari hass sed

Yo sé que lo ha creído todo.

I know you have believed it all

ˈaɪ nəʊ ju həv bɪˈliːvd ɪt ɔːl |

Ai nou iu hav bilívdit ol

He prometido a Lord Henry Wotton ir con él.

I have promised to go with Lord Henry Wotton

ˈaɪ həv ˈprɒmɪst tə ɡəʊ wɪð lɔːd ˈhenri ˈwɑːtən |

ai





To sum up:

The Present Perfect is used:


When we want to speak about actions that have happened in the past but have present consequences or a connection to the present.


Example: I have cut my finger. I can see the blood coming out.


When we want to speak about things that we did or didn’t do in all our life, experiences we have or haven’t had.


Example: I have never been to Paris.


 

Homework:


Translate the following sentences into English.  Please, check the answers below.


Once you have corrected your mistakes, repeat the sentences aloud in English.


  1. No he visto a nadie
  2. Ellos no han estado en Inglaterra
  3. Nosotros no hemos cantando todo el tiempo
  4. ¿Han venido ya los niños?
  5. No he podido hablar con ella todavía
  6. Tú la has visto (a ella)
  7. No he escrito nada nuevo
  8. He estado en Francia.
  9. ¿Sabes dónde han estado ellos?
  10. Ella se ha comprado un coche.



Answers:

  1. I haven’t seen anybody
  2. They haven't been to England
  3. We haven’t sung all the time- Notice the sound of “sung” is not “sUng” like in Spanish, but “s^ng”- something similar to “sang”. See “a del tonto” in Lesson 3.
  4. Have the children come yet?
  5. I haven’t been able to speak to her yet
  6. You have seen her.
  7. I haven’t written anything new
  8. I have been to France
  9. Do you know where they have been?
  10. She has bought a car.

 

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