The Present Perfect Tense #6
Certain time adverbs ("time words") are especially
common with the present perfect tense. The most
common are probably ever, never, already, yet, still,
Ever means "at any time." One of its uses is in questions:
Have you ever seen a double rainbow?
Has Jim ever been late for work?
Have Julie and her boyfriend ever had a fight?
Another common use for ever is in negative statements
(in which it means "not at any time"):
They haven't ever arrived late.
She hasn't ever fought with her boyfriend.
Bob hasn't ever smoked.
Never means "not at any time." Its main use is in
They've never arrived late.
She's never fought with her boyfriend.
Bob's never smoked.
Already is used in affirmative (positive) statements and
questions. It shows an action or situation that happened
earlier than expected:
They've already left. /
Have they already left?
She's already forgotten what you did. /
Has she already forgotten what you did?
You've already finished. /
Have you already finished?
In the present perfect tense, still is generally used in
negative statements. It shows an action or situation
that has lasted longer than expected:
They still haven't left.
She still hasn't forgotten what you did.
You still haven't finished!
Yet is used in the same way as still. In present perfect
tense it frequently occurs in negative statements and
shows an action or situation that has lasted longer than
expected. Yet's position in a sentence is different from
They haven't yet left. OR
They haven't left yet. OR
She hasn't yet forgotten what you did. OR
She hasn't forgotten what you did yet.
You haven't yet finished! OR
You haven't finished yet!
Yet is also commonly used in questions:
Have they left yet?
Has she forgotten what you did yet?
Have you finished yet?
Note: In questions, yet is at the end of the question.
In the present perfect tense, just is used to show an
action or situation that finished only a short time
They've just left.
(They left only a short time ago.)
She's just told me what you did!
(She told me only a short time ago what you did.)
They've just finished.
(They finished only a short time ago.)
Ever and never are also common in the simple
He isn't ever late. /
He's never late.
He doesn't ever arrive late. /
He never arrives late.
He wasn't ever late. /
He was never late.
He didn't ever arrive late. /
He never arrived late.
Already is sometimes put at the end of
They've left already. /
She's forgotten what you did already. /
I've finished already. /
Note: In writing, this position for already is
In speaking, already is often used with
They already left. /
She already forgot what you said. /
You finished already. /
Note: In writing, already is much more
Still is used in negative statements in
They're still here.
She's still working.
You can still finish on time if you hurry.
In formal writing, yet is more commonly
not as good:
not as good:
not as good:
Note: The end-of-sentence position for yet is
In speaking, yet is often used with verbs
They didn't leave yet./
She didn't forget what you said yet. /
You didn't finish yet. /
Note: In writing, yet is much more commonly
In speaking, just is also frequently used with
They just left. /
You just finished. /
Note: In writing, just is much more commonly