Present Perfect with Dialogs
The present perfect is made with
have (for plural subjects, you, and I) + a past participle
has (for singular subjects) + a past participle
I have seen The bear has gone They have lived The boy has taken
The present perfect is used for several reasons:
1. to talk about an unfinished action:
I have lived in New York for 25 years. (…I’m still here)
She has known him for a long time. (…she still knows him)
He has had his car since 1987. (…he still has it)
2. to talk about an indefinite past:
He has seen The Wizard of Oz many times. (I can’t tell you when.)
I‘ve talked to your teacher. (I don’t remember the date we spoke.)
Have you eaten Japanese food before? (You don’t know when or even if.)
3. we use the present perfect with certain words (for idiomatic reasons):
never We’ve never met him.
ever Has he ever seen Beauty and the Beast?
already I’ve already finished the first assignment.
yet Have you done the dishes yet?
lately How has your mother been lately?
recently What good books have you read recently?
so far She hasn’t learned very much so far.
up until now Up until now, I haven’t gotten any mail from him.
just Your secretary has just finished the report.
Past vs. Present Perfect
Use the simple past with ago: (how long ago?)
He came here seven years ago.
Use the simple past (or a time) in the since-clause, but use the present perfect in the main clause:
She’s hated him since the day they met.
She has heard from a lot of relatives since she won the lottery.
I’ve worked for him since 1987.
I’ve been waiting since 3 o’clock.
Put a length of time after for: (for how long?)
I delivered papers for three years. I quit when I was fourteen.
I’ve lived here for 25 years, and I don’t plan to move.
Present Perfect Dialogs
by Rick Shur
The Job Interview
Ms. Green: Have you ever had an interview with us before?
Palmer: No, I haven’t.
Ms. Green: Can you drive?
Palmer: Yes, I’ve had my license for five years.
Ms. Green: Have you ever had an accident?
Palmer: I crashed once while trying to park.
Ms. Green: I see. Have you ever been arrested?
Palmer: I was arrested once for drinking and fighting.
Ms. Green: I see. Mr. Palmer, why do you want to work for us?
Palmer: I’ve never driven a truck before. I think it might be fun.
Ms. Green: Have you ever been seriously ill?
Palmer: I was in the hospital once after somebody stabbed me with a knife, but I’ve never been sick.
Ms. Green: I see. Well, thanks for coming.
Palmer: But we’ve just started the interview.
Ms. Green: Yes, but I think I’ve heard enough. We’ll let you know if anything becomes available.
Palmer: I’ve always been a hard worker.
Ms. Green: I’m sure you have. Thank you for dropping by.
Palmer: I’ve never missed a day of work, except when I’ve been in jail.
Ms. Green: I’m sure you’re very reliable. It’s been a pleasure.
Palmer: I’ve only been in jail three or four times in my whole life.
Ms. Green: That’s wonderful news. Our secretary will help you find the door. Bye-bye!
Henry: Dr. James, we’re ready to begin the experiment.
Dr. James: Have you prepared the monkey’s food?
Henry: Yes, I have.
Dr. James: Have you tied the monkey to the chair yet?
Henry: Yes, I’ve done that, too. I did it early this morning.
Dr. James: Have you put the blindfold over the monkey’s eyes?
Henry: No, I haven’t done that yet.
Dr. James: Well, do it now.
Henry: Wait a minute… Where is he?
Dr. James: I don’t know, Henry. I haven’t worked with him since yesterday. When did you tie him to the chair?
Henry: I tied him up at about 8 o’clock this morning.
Dr. James: Have you checked on him since you tied him up?
Henry: No, I haven’t. I’ve been busy preparing the special bananas.
Dr. James: Oh, my God! That means Boo Boo has escaped!
Henry: I can’t believe it. I tied him up so carefully.
Dr. James: He’s always been a very smart monkey, Henry. In fact, he’s always been a little smarter than you.
Henry: I’m sorry, Dr. James. It won’t happen again.
Dr. James: I haven’t performed a good experiment since the day you started working here!
Now find that monkey, or you’ll eat those bananas!
Henry: But Doctor! Those bananas might be deadly!
Dr. James: We haven’t proven it yet.
Henry: But if I die, we will prove it!
Dr. James: And we’ll also save the life of a very intelligent monkey.