Listen to the verses of Queen’s classic song We Are the Champions. What sort of actions are they referring to?
They all refer to actions and states that occurred at an indefinite time in the past. To describe these concepts we use the Present Perfect tense.
We construct this tense by using the present simple form of the auxiliary verb to have together with the past participle form of the verb that describes our action.
I + [to have] + [to pay] ===> I have paid my dues, time after time
I + [to have] + [to do] ===> I have done my sentence
But [Ì’ve] committed no crime
And bad mistakes: I’ve made a few.
I’ve had my share of sand kicked in my face
But I’ve come through
Remember that you cannot use the Present Perfect if you want to be specific about when this action happened – we have the Past Simple for that:
“Have you had lunch yet?” Present Perfect – we’re talking about an unspecified time in the past.
“Yes, I ate a sandwich at 2 o’clock” Past Simple – we’re talking about the exact time that the sandwich was eaten.
We also use the Present Perfect to refer to states that began in the past, and continue to be true today:
“I have lived in Madrid for three years”.
“I haven’t slept for days… I’m exhausted!”
The song We Are The Champions is reproduced for educational purposes only, and is the property of Queen and Sony/ATV