Learn English | A new lesson every week
Book your course now

Perfect Tenses for Beginners

Average: 3.7 (35 votes)

The Present perfect can be used to describe an action that starts in the past and finishes in the present.
The Present perfect is formed with have/has + past participle.

The Past perfect describes an action that started in the past and finished in another point in the past.
The Past perfect is formed with had + past participle.

The Future perfect describes an action that started in the present, past or future that ends in a more distant future.
The Future perfect is formed with will have + past participle.

Here are some examples of perfect tenses.


I have seen a few good films this year. (Present perfect)
I had seen that film before but I saw it again. (Past perfect)
I will have seen more than 20 films by the end of this year. (Future perfect)


I have been to London twice this year. (Present perfect)
I had never been to Moscow before last year. (Past perfect)
I will have been at university for five years when I am 26. (Future perfect)


Peter has gone skiing every year since he was fifteen. (Present perfect)
Peter had gone skiing several times but he got injured last year. (Past perfect)
Peter will have gone skiing when you arrive. (Future perfect)


She has run several marathons. (Present perfect)
She had run several marathons in the past. (Past perfect)
She will have run ten marathons by the time she is 35. (Future perfect)


I have known him for ten years. (Present perfect)
I had known him for ten years. Past perfect)
I will have known him for ten years next summer. (Future perfect)

Now choose the correct form for the following:
(remember to see the connection between the tense and the time phrases in each situation)

  • 1. He _ home by the time I arrived.

  • 2. I _ here for three hours and I am still waiting.

  • 3. Peter and Sarah _ each other for five years now.

  • 4. I _ a novel by the time I am 30.

  • 5. He _ every single Bond movie ever made.

  • 6. When I arrived the party _ .