We use the present perfect tense to talk about actions that started in the past and may or may not happen again in the future. To form this tense, we use the auxiliary verb (helping verb) ‘to have’ plus the past participle of the main verb.

have/has (not) + past participle

I have traveled to Italy.
He has talked about this issue more than once.
Have you called your mother this week?
How many times have you called your mother this month?

We haven’t eaten lunch.
She hasn’t written any books.
Why hasn’t he finished his homework?

Forming the past participle

The past participle form of regular verbs can be formed by adding ‘-ed’. There are no rules when forming the past participle form of irregular verbs. These must be memorized. Here is a short list of commonly used irregular verbs.

Base form Simple past Past participle
Be Was/Were Been
Become Became Become
Begin Began Begun
Bid Bid Bid
Bite Bit Bitten
Blow Blew Blown
Build Built Built
Choose Chose Chosen
Come Came Come
Cost Cost Cost
Cut Cut Cut
Do Did Done
Drive Drove Driven
Eat Ate Eaten
Get Got Gotten
Go Went Gone
Grow Grew Grown
Have Had Had
Hear Heard Heard
Hit Hit Hit
Keep Kept Kept
Know Knew Known
Sleep Slept Slept
Write Wrote Written

You can view a longer list of irregular verbs via The OWL at Perdue Online Writing Lab.




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