Hey ABA friends!
It’s time for more grammar fun! Today we are going to focus on something which can sometimes cause problems for non-native English speakers. The use of “since”, “for” and “just” with the present perfect tense have specific meanings and today we are going to analyse them
When do we use “since” with the present perfect?
The present perfect is used in English with “since” when we are referring to the point in the past when the action started
I have worked here since 1995
They have lived here since 2010
We have known each other since 2005
In all of these examples, only “since” can be used as we have mentioned the specific year in which the actions started. Also pay attention to the fact that the actions are still continuing in the present. In English, for any action which started in the past and is continuing in the present, we can only use the present perfect or present perfect continuous- NOT the present simple.
When should we use the present perfect with “for”?
When we use “for” in the present perfect, we cannot use a specific date or year but rather a duration of time.
I have worked here for 5 years
They have lived here for 10 years
She has travelled for 8 years
As we can see in these examples, “for” can be the only option as we have mentioned a duration of time, whereas “since” would be used for a specific date.
Is using the present perfect with “just” very different?
We use “just” with the present perfect to express that an action was completed in the very recent past.
Subject + auxiliary verb (present tense of “to have”) + past participle
I have just finished my homework
He has just arrived
They have just eaten their dinner
As we can see in these examples, the structure stays the same with “just” staying in between the auxiliary verb and past participle in all of the examples.
Learning the situations in which we use the present tense with “since”, “for” and “just” is the most important thing.
Since – a fixed date
For – a duration of time
Just – to show a recently finished action
If you would like more handy hints and tips on this grammar point, sign up for free and check out unit 86 of the ABA online course.