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- The present perfect describes an action that began in the past but continues into the Present and may continue into the Future.. It is formed using the auxiliary "to have" with verb at the past participle:

(Il present perfect descrive un’azione iniziata nel passato che continua nel presente e può continuare nel futuro). 

Soggetto + Verbo ausiliario “have/has” e verbo al participio passato)

I have always wanted to visit Firenze.  (Ho sempre voluto visitare Firenze)   

I have played the guitar since 1998 (Suono la chitarra dal 1998)

- After expressions such as "since", "for", "how long", etc., the present perfect or present perfect continuous is generally used (Dopo espressioni come “since”, “for”, “how long”, ecc, generalmente si usa il present perfect o il present perfect continuous)

How long have you lived in Tuscany?  (Da quanto vivi in Toscana?)

- We can use the Present Perfect with: 

For / Since - Yet / already - Ever / Never, Just ecc.

Negative e interrogative

- In negative sentences, the present perfect expresses an action that has not yet happened, is formed by subject + have/has + not + past participle. For questions the present perfect is formed by have + subject + past participle. (Nelle frasi negative, il present perfect esprime un'azione che non è ancora avvenuta, è formato da soggetto + have/has + not + participio passato. Per le domande il present perfect è formato da have/has + soggetto + participio passato.)

I haven’t cooked yet (Non ho ancora cucinato)

have you ever tried sushi? hai mai provato il sushi?

Since / For

Since refers to a point on the timeline when something began, For refers to a line from when something began until the present. (Since si riferisce a un punto sulla linea temporale in cui qualcosa è iniziato, For si riferisce a una linea da quando qualcosa è iniziato fino al presente).

I have lived in Italy since 1976.

I have lived in Italy for 3 years. 

I have played the guitar since I was at Middle School

I have worked with Marco for 10 years.

I have worked with Marco since 2010.

I have lived in this house for 10 years.

I have had a house in Tuscany since 2021

I have studied English for a long time.

I haven’t seen my parents since yesterday.

Ever / Never

. Ever means 'at any time', the specific time is unknown or unnecessary, and is used in questions. (Ever significa "in qualsiasi momento", l'ora specifica è sconosciuta o non necessaria e viene utilizzata nelle domande.)

Have you ever met a famous person? (Hai mai conosciuto un personaggio famoso?)

. Ever is also used with nothing, nobody for things that haven't happened before. (Ever è anche usato con niente, nessuno per cose che non sono accadute prima.)

Nobody has ever travelled through time. (Nessuno ha mai viaggiato nel tempo)

. Ever is also used with 'the first time' for first experiences. (Ever viene utilizzato anche con "la prima volta" per le prime esperienze.)

This is the first time I've ever eaten apple soup. (Questa è la prima volta in cui mangio la zuppa di mele)

. Ever is used in negative sentences, to express a doubt, or to ask a question. It is the opposite of always. (Ever è usato in frasi negative, per esprimere un dubbio o per porre una domanda. È il contrario di sempre)

Don't ever talk to me like that! (Non parlarmi mai così)

If you ever see him, tell him he still owes me money (Se lo vedi digli che mi deve dei soldi)

Have you ever heard of Sonia? (Hai mai sentito parlare di Sonia?)

Never is originally a contraction of 'not ever', it means the subject hasn't had a certain experience before. (Never è originariamente una contrazione di "not ever", significa che il soggetto non ha avuto una certa esperienza prima.)

Have you ever been abroad? No, I've never been abroad. (Sei mai stato all'estero? No, non sono mai stato all'estero.)

. Never can be used in negative questions to show the surprise that you've never had a certain experience before. (Never può essere utilizzato in domande negative per mostrare la sorpresa di non aver mai avuto una certa esperienza prima.)

Have you never played soccer? (Non hai mai giocato a calcio?)

. Never and ever share similar meanings but are used differently. Never means 'at no time' and is a negative term, used in affirmative constructions (to avoid double negatives). Ever means 'at any time' and is generally not used in affirmative sentences (apart from the exception mentioned below). 

Never e ever condividono significati simili ma sono usati in modo diverso. Never significa "in nessun momento" ed è un termine negativo, usato nelle costruzioni affermative (per evitare doppi negativi). Ever significa "in qualsiasi momento" e generalmente non viene utilizzato nelle frasi affermative (a parte l'eccezione menzionata di seguito).

I never want to see this boy in your bedroom again. (Non voglio più vedere questo ragazzo nella tua camera da letto.)

He has never seen a nose so big. (Non ha mai visto un naso così grande.)

. Exception: ever can be used in affirmative sentences after superlatives, or restrictive adjectives like only, first. (Eccezione: ever può essere usato in frasi affermative dopo superlativi, o aggettivi restrittivi come only, first)

Matthey is the most demanding client I have ever met.  (Matteo è il cliente più esigente che abbia mai incontrato.)

The first job I ever had was in a factory (Il primo lavoro che ho avuto è stato in una fabbrica)

. We use 'ever' with questions. 

Have you ever studied German? - Has Lucy ever been to the theatre? - Do you ever come to London?

. For negative questions, we can use 'not ever'.

Doesn't he ever call his grandmother?

. We use 'ever' in negative sentences if we have 'not'.

I have not ever been here before = I have never been here before.

He doesn't ever take any exercise = he never takes any exercise.

. We use 'ever' with negative adverbs like 'hardly' or 'barely' or 'scarcely' and in sentences with 'nothing' or 'nobody' or 'no one'.

Nobody has ever bought my paintings before.

Nothing ever turns out right!

We hardly ever go to the cinema.

She barely ever replies to my emails.

. We can use 'ever' with superlatives and adjectives like 'only' and 'first'.

It was the first time that she'd ever been abroad.

That is the best meal that we've ever had.

It's the only thing that I've ever wanted.

. With comparatives, we can use 'than ever'

She was working harder than ever.

My life is better than ever!

. We can use 'ever' after 'if'.

If you ever want a job, let me know.

If she ever comes to London, she can stay with me.

. We can use 'never ever' to make the meaning of 'never' stronger. This is informal and often used by  children.

I'll never ever come here again!

. Sometimes 'ever' can mean 'always'. We use 'as … as ever' to say that something is the same as always.

  He's as kind as ever (= he's still very kind / he's as kind as always).

  The city is as exciting as ever (= the city is still very exciting / the city is as exciting as always).

. We use 'ever since' to mean all the time since a certain point. (We can also use 'since' without 'ever' in  these examples, but 'ever' makes it stronger.)

I've loved London ever since I was a child.

She's wanted to have children ever since she met her husband.

. We use 'ever' to mean 'always' when we say 'for ever' or 'forever'.

I will love you for ever and ever.

. We use 'ever' to mean 'always' in some compounds and in some set expressions like 'happily ever  after'.

The trees are evergreen.

The prince and princess lived happily ever after

Ever / never dialogue

Have you ever been to New York? 

No, I have never been to New York.

I have never been to New York either. 

Yes, I have been to New York.

When did you go? 

I went to New York in 1999, more or less.

Ever / never example

Do you ever go to Tuscany at the weekend?

Have you ever been to New York?

Have you ever met a famous person?

Have you ever been to London?

No, I have never been there.

Have you ever flown in a helicopter? 

Yet / Already

. Yet means 'at any time up to now'. We use it to emphasise that we expect something to happen soon. Yet (in this context) is only used in negative sentences and questions. (Yet significa "non ancora / in qualsiasi momento fino ad ora". Lo usiamo per sottolineare che ci aspettiamo che qualcosa accada presto; è usato solo in frasi e domande negative).

. Already used with the present perfect means 'before now'. We use it to emphasise that something happened before something else or earlier than expected. (Already significa 'già / prima d'ora'. Lo usiamo per sottolineare che qualcosa è accaduto prima di qualcos'altro o prima del previsto).

We always put yet at the end of the sentence and we use it in the question and 

negative forms. We put already between the auxiliary verb and the past participle and we use it in positive sentences. (Mettiamo sempre yet alla fine della frase e lo usiamo nella domanda e nelle forme negative. Mettiamo already tra il verbo ausiliare e il participio passato e lo usiamo nelle frasi positive).

Yet / Already dialogue

(before the trip)

. Have you prepared the necessary things for your trip? 

. No, I haven’t got my passport yet.

. Have you bought a plane ticket yet?  

. No, I haven’t bought it yet.

. Do you intend to get a passport? 

. Have you organised your trip on the internet? 

. Yes, I have already organised it. 

. I've already spent my salary and it's two weeks before the trip!

. The plane has already left!

(We meet a week before the birthday party)

. Have you bought a present for your niece yet? 

. No, I haven’t done it yet. 

(We meet the day before the birthday party)

. Hi, I’m in a hurry! I’m just going to get my niece’s present!

. Haven’t you bought her present yet!!!! The party’s tomorrow!!!! 

    (negative question to express surprise)


. Have you finished your homework yet?

. I haven't finished it yet. I'll do it after dinner.


Just means 'a short time before'. Just comes between the auxiliary verb (have/has) and the past participle. (Just significa solo 'appena / poco tempo prima', si trova tra il verbo ausiliare (have/has) e il participio passato).

I've just seen Susan coming out of the cinema

Mike's just called. Can you ring him back, please?


We use Still to emphasise that we expected something to happen earlier. Still is  only used in negative sentences and comes between the subject (the bus, they, etc.) and auxiliary verb (haven't/hasn't). (Still lo usiamo per sottolineare che ci aspettavamo che qualcosa accadesse prima, è usato solo nelle frasi negative e si trova tra il soggetto (l'autobus, loro, ecc.) e il verbo ausiliare (non hanno/non hanno).

I've been waiting for an hour and the bus still hasn't come.

They promised me that report yesterday but they still haven't finished it.

She still hasn't replied to my email. Maybe she's on holiday.

Resume and example

I have lived in Italy since 1976

You have (haven't) walked enough

Have you finished your homework yet?

Hasn't she visited my parents?

Importante: lista verbi irregolari

Scritto da www.brunogalazzi.com il 21/11/2022


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