Speak About:

Present

Past

Past to Present

Future

Abilities - Responsibilities

Asking Questions

Choosing the Right Phrase

Combining Verbs

Explaining Ideas

Describing Your World

Complex Ideas

Relating Ideas, People, Objects

Speaking about Objects

Wondering about Situations

Past to Present

Present Perfect

Present Perfect to Express Past to Present

The present perfect connects an action or state which began in the past and to the present moment in time.

He has been studying electronic banking for more than six months.

Mr. Willis has used his debit card since getting it in November.

The money market hasn't been very good since 2008.

Positive Form:

Subject + have + past participle + (object(s))

The board of directors and the CEO have taken a unified stance.

Negative Form:

Subject + have + not + past participle + (object(s))

Our company hasn't had any account activity.

Question Form:

(Wh?) + have + subject + past participle + (object(s))

How long has it taken the loan officer to review your letter of credit?

Present Perfect to Express Duration

When an action begins in the past and continues into the present moment we use the present perfect. This use of the present perfect expresses duration over time FROM the past moment TO the present moment.

Example:

He has been studying electronic banking for more than six months.

Mr. Willis has used his debit card since getting it in November.

The money market hasn't been very good since 2008.

Contrast to the Present Simple

The use of the present simple expresses activities that occurs on a regular basis, such as habits and routines.

Example:

At what point do you acknowledge receipt of the package?

This bank branch does not accept third party checks

In contrast, the use of the present perfect expresses actions that take place over time beginning in the past and coming into the present moment in time.

Example:

The company hasn't had much liquidity in years.

We have gone through 26,000 balance-sheet consolidation files today.

Use of 'For', 'Since' and 'How long'

Use 'for' with the present perfect or present perfect continuous to indicate the duration of an activity or state.

They have worked to our mutual benefit for four years.

Our bank has used this warehouse for three years.

Use 'since' with the present perfect or present perfect continuous to indicate a specific point in time an activity or state began.

Mr. Willis has used his debit card since getting it in November.

Mr. Bill has worked in David and Stevenson Warehouse since 2007.

'How long' is used in questions to ask about the duration of an activity or state.

How long has it taken the loan officer to review your letter of credit?

How long has the limited liability company been in existence?