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Structure: ‘Present perfect 1’

Using the present perfect with ‘have you ever….?’

The present perfect is a common tense but is often confused because it’s used in a different way in other languages. It’s also confused in English because it’s used in a few different ways.

First we’ll focus on one situation when it’s used and talk about other situations in other posts.

One common use of the present perfect is to ask ‘have you ever ….?’ questions. These questions relate to the life of the person.

eg Have you ever visited China? This question relates to any time in your life.

Form: Have / has + subject + every + past participle (main verb)…

Example: Have you every flown a twin-engine plane?

To answer this question we usually start with;

  • Yes I have…
  • No I haven’t…

And after this we can continue with other tenses.

eg Yes I have been to China. (start with present perfect)

I went there five years ago. (add past simple verb form to talk about finished past actions)

I had a great time and visited a lot of wonderful places. (more finished past actions)

I’m going to visit there again in the future for sure! (talk about a future plan)

So we started with a present perfect verb form, then some past simple forms, then a ‘going to future’ verb form. Many other options are possible but what it important to remember is that with ‘have you ever…?’ questions, we usually begin with ‘yes I have….’ or ‘no I haven’t…’ and go from there.

Look at the diagram below for a summary of this.

Diagram of how to use the present perfect.
How to use the present perfect 1.

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