Present Perfect tense with Yet & Already

Learn how to use the present perfect tense (have / has + past participle) with “just”, “yet” & “already” in this free English grammar lesson. This lesson is part of a complete Elementary English Course. The exercises for this project are here.

How to Form the Present Perfect Simple

Present perfect Simple

Have / Has + Past Participle

SubjectAuxiliary verbExample of subject + auxiliary verb + past participle
IhaveI have arrived
YouhaveYou have arrived
He / She / IthasHe has arrived / she has arrived / It has arrived
WehaveWe have arrived
TheyhaveThey have arrived

These examples show the present perfect in use.

  • He has gone.
  • She has eaten.
  • I have done it.


These examples show negative forms of the present perfect. The auxiliary verb is negated with not. it can be written as have not, has not or contracted to haven’t or hasn’t.

SubjectNegative auxiliary verb (no contraction)Negative auxiliary verb (with contraction)Example of subject + negative auxiliary verb + past participle
Ihave nothaven’tI haven’t arrived
Youhave nothaven’tYou haven’t arrived
He / She / Ithas nothasn’tHe hasn’t arrived / she has arrived / It has arrived
Wehave nothaven’tWe haven’t arrived
Theyhave nothaven’tThey haven’t arrived
  • She hasn’t gone.
  • She has not eaten.
  • I haven’t done it.


When we make questions in the present perfect we change the order of the subject (I, you, he, she, etc…) and the auxiliary verb (have / has).

SubjectAuxiliary verbExample of subject + auxiliary verb + past participle
IhaveHave I arrived?
YouhaveHave you arrived?
He / She / IthasHas he arrived? / Has she arrived? / Has it arrived?
WehaveHave we arrived?
TheyhaveHave they arrived?

Here are some examples of questions formed in the present perfect.

  • has she gone?
  • Has she eaten?
  • Have I done it?

When do we use the present perfect?

We use the past perfect tenses to talk about;

  • Recent actions.
  • Actions in an unfinished time.
  • General past experiences (ever, in my life).

Present Perfect for Recent Past Actions

Recent events and news can be described by the present perfect tenses.

  • “I’ve been working a lot lately.”
  • “Tom and Rosa have had a baby!”
  • “I’ve recently started a new job.”

Present Perfect Tenses for Unfinished Times

Whether the time that we say something happened is finished or not can dictate whether we use the present perfect or the past simple. 

Some unfinished times that go with the present perfect;

  • Today,
  • this week,
  • this month,
  • this year,
  • recently,
  • in my life.

Present Perfect for the General Past

We can use the present perfect tenses to talk about actions and states in the general (unspecified) past.

  • I’ve been to Paris a few times.
  • I’ve finished my exams.

To specify exactly when something happened you need to use the past simple;

  • I went to Paris in 1998, 1999 & 2005.
  • I did my last exam last Friday.

Past simple for specific past times or events

It is common to ask questions about the general past using the present perfect tenses and then change tense to talk about the details in the past simple tense;

  1. Have you ever been to Paris?
  2. Yes I have, I went last year.

or ;

  1. Have you ever met a celebrity?
  2. Yes I have, I met Mick Jagger at a bar once.

This lesson about the past simple and the present perfect gives more details about the differences between these tenses.

Just, Yet & Already


We use the word just to say that something happened very recently.

Just goes before the main verb.

  • They have just arrived! (They have arrived very recently).
  • I have just finished. (I finished a few minutes ago).


We use yet and already with the present perfect to say that something has or hasn’t happened before the present moment.

We use yet with negative verbs and questions.

  • I haven’t finished yet. (it is not finished at this time).
  • They haven’t arrived yet. (At this moment they are not here, perhaps they will come soon).


Already is used with a positive verb. It is placed before the main verb.

  • I don’t want any food thanks, I have already eaten.
  • I don’t want to watch that film, I have already seen it. I saw it at the cinema last year.


Check that you understand how to use this tense with the exercises below.