The Grammar GuideVerbsWhat forms should you use after "have"?

What forms should you use after "have"?

What forms should you use after "have"?

The present perfect tense uses "have + verbed" to describe something that occurred in the past and has either present consequences or is still occurring. The structure uses the past participle instead of the simple past tense form of the verb. For irregular verbs, these are not always the same word.

Incorrect: I have went to Disney World three times.

Correct I have gone to Disney World three times.

We use the present perfect tense to describe an event that has happened in the past and is A) still occurring or B) has consequences in the present. This verb tense can be confusing to conjugate because it requires the use of the past participle.

The structure of past perfect is" has/have + past participle.

The past participle of regular verbs is the same as the past tense. These end in -ed (e.g. lived, worked). But many irregular verbs have a completely different past participle. Let's take a look at some regular verbs written in the present perfect tense.

  • She has worked at ProWritingAid for three years.
  • We have lived in this house my entire life.

Conjugate have based on the subject. If the subject is third-person singular, use has. Otherwise, use have.

Now, let's take a look at some examples with irregular verbs.

  • I have written four books.
  • He has chosen his path.
  • They have sung in the choir for ten years.
  • You have grown so much

You can see that the past participles are different from the past tense verbs. Sometimes, these words are the same, but not always. You can easily find the past participle of a verb by looking at a dictionary entry. It's sometimes abbreviated as "p.p.".

We also use a similar form for past perfect. This structure is had + past participle.

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