Unit 8. present perfect (2) (i have done)
A. Study this example conversation:
DAVE: Have you travelled a lot, Jane?
JANE: Yes, I've been to lots of places.
DAVE: Really? Have you ever been to China?
JANE: Yes, I've been to China twice.
DAVE: What about India?
JANE: No, I haven't been to India.
When we talk about a period of time that continues from the past until now, we use the present perfect (have been/have travelled etc.). Here, Dave and Jane are talking about the places Jane has visited in her life (which is a period that continues until now).
* Have you ever eaten caviar? (in your life)
* We've never had a car.
* 'Have you read Hamlet?' 'No, I haven't read any of Shakespeare's plays.'
* Susan really loves that film. She's seen it eight times!
* What a boring film! It's the most boring film I've ever seen.
In the following examples too the speakers are talking about a period that continues until now (recently/in the last few days/so far/since breakfast etc.):
* Have you heard from George recently?
* I've met a lot of people in the last few days.
* Everything is going well. We haven't had any problems so far.
* I'm hungry. I haven't eaten anything since breakfast. (= from breakfast until now)
* It's nice to see you again. We haven't seen each other for a long time.
B. We use the present perfect with today/this morning/this evening etc. when these periods are not finished at the time of speaking (see also Unit 14B):
* I've drunk four cups of coffee today. (perhaps I'll drink more before today is finished)
* Have you had a holiday this year (yet)?
* I haven't seen Tom this morning. Have you?
* Ron hasn't worked very hard this term.
C. Note that we say 'It's the first time something has happened' (present perfect). For example:
Don is having a driving lesson. He is very nervous and unsure because it is his first lesson.
* It's the first time he has driven a car. (not 'drives') or He has never driven a car before.
* Linda has lost her passport again. It's the second time this has happened. (not 'happens')
* This is a lovely meal. It's the first good meal I've had for ages. (not 'I have')
* Bill is phoning his girlfriend again. That's the third time he's phoned her this evening.