Business English Grammar Lesson – Present Perfect

In this Business English lesson we will look at how to use the Present Perfect grammar tense. There are three ways to use this grammar tense and we will explain when they are used and also look at examples.

The present perfect tense is used in three situations:

  1. For something started and completed in the past with no real time determinant.
  2. For something started in the past and still ongoing
  3. For something that was done in the past, but still has an effect today

Present perfect, when used for talking about something in the past, does not use a time determinant. In other words, no exact time in the past in given. For example, if you want to say you went to a country you can say “I went to Scotland”, or “I went to Scotland last year”. The first sentence tells people you went to Scotland, but not when you went, and the second sentence tells that you went to Scotland and when you went. You can use present perfect and say “I have been to Scotland”. You cannot say “I have been to Scotland last year”. The first sentence just lets the listening or reader know that you went to Scotland at some time in the past. The second sentence is not grammatically correct and should have used the simple past tense.

You can use present perfect to talk about something that was started in the past and is still ongoing. Present continuous tense can do the same thing, but with a difference. With present continuous you cannot say when you started. For example you can say “I have worked for GTI Corporation since 2014”. This tells people that you are still working at the company and you started in 2014. Present continuous does not work in the same way as it doesn’t tell you when you started – “I am working at GTI Corporation”.

The final situation where you can use present perfect is to talk about something that happened in the past and is still having an effect in the present. For example you can say “The new computer system we installed last year, has helped improve our efficiency”. The computer system was installed in the past and it is still having an effect on the company’s efficiency.

I hope that this quick business English grammar lesson on the Present Continuous tense has helped you to understand when to use present continuous in your writing and speaking.

 

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