The Present Perfect Tense + already/still/just/yet

1. Review: the present perfect tense

The present perfect tense is used when the action is finished but the time is not finished.

The present perfect tense is made by:

  • subject + have + past participle (+ unfinished time)

*Present perfect = gone, eaten, seen, been, etc.

VerbPresent perfect
(finished action)
Unfinished timeExample sentence
watchhas watchedthis weekAndy has watched the film twice this week.
misshave missedthis monthI have missed school three times this month.
gohas goneSusie’s lifeSusie has gone to Cairo twice.
decidehave decidedour work lifeWe have decided to leave the company.
performhave performedtime the girls have been in classThe girls have performed really well in their new class.

2. The present perfect + already

‘Already’ goes between ‘have’ and the past participle.

Adding ‘already’ to a present perfect sentence gives extra meaning:

  • for something finished earlier than expected
  • for something finished now, which could have been finished later
  • for something finished and that can’t be changed
SubjectPresent perfect + already
(finished action)
Example sentenceMeaning
Ihave already finishedIt’s only 4pm, but I’ve already finished my dinner.finished earlier than expected
Youhave already gotYou’re only 18, and you have already got married. Unbelievable.finished earlier than expected
Shehas already dumpedI can’t believe she’s already dumped him: they had only been going out for 2 weeks.finished earlier than expected
Ellen’s party guestshad already goneOh dear. Ellen has just arrived, but her party guests have already gone home.finished earlier than expected
Ihave already doneI‘ve already done my homework, so I’m going to watch TV.finished now, but could have finished later
Hehas already paintedHe has already painted the wall, so is now working on the roof.finished now, but could have finished later
Tracyhas already spokenTracy has already spoken to the boss, so you don’t need to worry.finished now, but could have finished later
Markhas already completedThe manager asked for the report by Friday, but since Mark has already completed it they will start the project early.finished now, but could have finished later
Ihave already wornI can’t take it back to the shop now: I’ve already worn it.finished and can’t be changed
Hehas already marriedI wanted to tell him that she is a horrible person, but he has already married her.finished and can’t be changed
Ihave already seenI would go to the cinema with you, but I have already seen that movie.finished and can’t be changed
Hehas already readThe teacher gave him a book to read, but he has already read it.finished and can’t be changed

3. The present perfect + just

‘Just’ goes between ‘have’ and the past participle.

Add ‘just’ to the present perfect for things that have finished or happened very recently.

I have only just got here. Did I miss anything?They have just bought a house. We should go and visit.
She has just got divorced, so be nice to her.Peter is tired because he has just run a marathon.

4. The present perfect + yet

For ‘yet’, the present perfect uses ‘have not + p.p.’.

‘Yet’ can go either after the p.p., or between ‘have’ and the p.p..
Usually it goes after the p.p.

Use ‘present perfect + yet’ for something not done, but will be done (or is planned to be finished)

I haven’t done my homework yet; I’ll do it after dinner.We haven’t met them yet, but I have heard they are very nice.
Don’t worry, the game hasn’t started yet.Bill hasn’t bought the house yet, so maybe he will change his mind.

5. The present perfect + still

For ‘still’, the present perfect uses ‘have not’.

‘Still’ goes before ‘have’.

Use the present perfect + still for negative situations that have not been stopped, but will be.
*This is a similar idea as ‘yet’ – they should be stopped, but haven’t so far

I still haven’t called him, but I will do it after dinner.She still hasn’t seen that movie. We should ask her to come with us.
They still haven’t got married? Wow, they have already been dating for 10 years.Lisa and Chloe still haven’t heard from the bank, so don’t know whether they have the money.

6. Making questions

Present perfect questions use the following structure:

Have + subject + past participle

Question words (what, why, who, when, etc.) can be added to the front.

Words such as already, just, yet and still can also be added.

Question wordHaveSubjectPast participleExample question+ already / just / yet / still
haveyouseenHave you seen Li?Have you seen Li yet?
WhyhaveweboughtWhy have we bought that?Why have we just bought that?
WhohasshetalkedWho has she talked to?Who has she already talked to?
Whathashenot doneWhat has he not done?What has he still not done?

7. Test yourself

Click here to test your knowledge of this grammar point.