Look at these sentences:
- Leo’s English improved when he started a course at Langports English College.
- His English is improving.
- His English has improved since he started at Langports.
The first sentence gives information about the past, only the past. So we use the Past Simple: improved. We don’t know if Leo’s English continued to improve. We don’t know about his English now.
The second sentence only gives information about what is happening now, what is in progress. So we use Present Continuous: is improving. (Present Continuous is also known as Present Progressive.) This sentence does not tell us about Leo’s past.
The third sentence gives information about the past, the present, and the time which connects the past and present. So, we use Present Perfect: has improved. This sentence gives a lot of information. We know that:
Leo’s English began to improve after he started at Langports, and …
During his time at Langports, it continued to improve, until …
Now. We can see the improvement now.
So, if we want to give information about the past, the present, and the time in between, in one sentence, we can use Present Perfect Tense.
- Leo’s English has improved since he started at Langports.
- He has attended every lesson.
- Marcello has missed a lot of lessons because of sickness, so his English has not improved.
- Rihanna has been looking for the ideal man all her life. Check-out her Youtube video: Where have you been? (When we use Present Perfect Tense and want to show that something has been in progress and has not finished, we can use Present Perfect Continuous: has been looking.) In the Youtube video, Rihanna is still looking for him.
* For further explanation of Present Perfect and online exercises, check out Englishpage.com:
* Check out these two animations from The British Council:
1) Present perfect for experience
2) Present perfect or past simple
* Song with Present Perfect Tense:
Here is a link to Rihanna’s Youtube video: Where have you been?
Here is a link to a Youtube video of the song with the lyrics (words):