First, read Present Perfect Tense – Part 1, posted on November 3, 2013.
Second, look at this conversation:
Peter: Hi Mum. What’s for dinner?
Mother: I haven’t started to cook it yet. You said that you were going out with your girlfriend.
Peter: We only had coffee, so I haven’t eaten since lunch and I’m really hungry! Can I eat these potato crisps?
Mother: Yes, but please be careful. As you can see, I’ve just washed the floor. When are you going to clean up your room?
Peter: I’ve already done it!
Mother: Really. When?
Peter: I did it this morning. I vacuumed the floor in my room and put away my stuff.
Mother: That’s great. Perhaps you could help me to get dinner ready?
We use Present Perfect Tense to describe something that happened in the recent past which has a result or evidence NOW.
In the above conversation, the mother has not started to cook dinner yet. Result: the dinner is not ready now.
- Peter has not eaten since lunchtime. Result: he’s hungry now.
- The mother has just washed the floor. Result: it’s wet and clean now.
- Peter has already cleaned his room. Result: it’s clean and tidy now.
We use adverbs in English to give more information. In the above conversation, the adverbs yet, just, and already are used. They are often used with Present Perfect Tense when we are talking about expectations and events around this time.
1. We use yet when we expect something, and/or want to know if it has happened. Peter expects dinner to be ready, but his mother has not started it yet. (I haven’t finished writing this post yet.)
2. We use just when something has happened very recently. She has just washed the floor, probably a few minutes ago. (I have just had a coffee.)
3. We use already when we expect something to happen and find out that it has happened before we expected. Mother wants Peter to clean his room and assumes that he hasn’t done it. But, he has done it! She is surprised and asks him ‘when?’ (I have already eaten my lunch and it’s only 11:00am.)
* For further explanations of Present Perfect Tense with yet, just, and already, as well as online exercises, check out these websites:
* Check out this animation from The British Council:
Present perfect with ‘yet’, ‘just’, and ‘already’