Asking About Experiences in the Present Perfect Tense

Present Perfect Tense - Lesson #3

One of the main ways that we use the present perfect tense is to talk about life experiences or finished actions.

However, we cannot use a specific time when we use the present perfect.
  • I have been to Korea in May 2007.
If you want or need to use a specific time, then you need to use the simple past tense.
  • I went to Korea in May 2007.
Remember that we use the past participle verb form when using the present perfect.

Base FormPast SimplePast Participle

In the previous lesson, we talked about sentences. In this lesson, we will study how to make yes/no questions to ask about experiences or finished actions.

These questions are very useful. These questions are great for starting conversations, getting to know people, and getting information.

Here is the question pattern.

Have/Has + subject + past participle…?
  • Have you seen this movie?
  • Have you finished?
  • Have they been sky-diving?
  • Has he arrived?
  • Has she talked to you lately?
  • Have you seen her recently?
  • Has he visited you in the last couple of years?
  • Has he been here before?
We often add the words "ever", "before", "already", "yet", or "recently" to these questions.
  • Have you ever been there?
  • Has she been here recently?
  • Has Nick called you recently?
  • Have you finished yet?
  • Has he already finished?
  • Have Michael and Nick been to Europe before?
Adjectives, nouns, and prepositional phrases follow the verb "to be". So in these sentences, we use "been + adjective/noun/prepositional phrase".
  • Have you been sick lately?
  • Has he been a teacher before?
  • Has she been on time these days?
These are yes/no questions, so you can answer with short or longs answers.

Have you ever been to Italy?
  • Yes, I have been to Italy.
  • Yes, I have. / Yes, I've.
  • Yes.
Has he been to Nepal?
  • No, he hasn't been to Nepal.
  • No, he hasn't. / No, he has not.
  • No.
We can also make questions with question words. These are not as common when asking about finished actions or experiences, but we still need to know them.

Question Word + have/has + subject + past participle…?

Remember that you can also use other patterns with "what + noun" or "which + noun".
  • What countries have you visited?
  • What Korean food have you tried?
  • Why has she left?
  • When has been a good friend?
This is such an important kind of question. You should spend a lot of time studying and practicing it.

Example Questions
  • Have you ever seen a ghost?
  • Have you tried Brazilian food before?
  • Have you decided what you want to eat yet?
  • Have you been to Africa?
  • Have you called him yet?
  • Have you already eaten your sandwich?
  • Have we been here before?
  • Have the children brushed their teeth yet?
  • Have the students finished studying yet?
  • Have the students already finished their project?
  • Have the men already finished their meeting?
  • Have the children eaten breakfast this morning?

  • Has he tried Jujitsu before?
  • Has he already gone home?
  • Has the boy already finished his speech? It was so short.
  • Has Mary decided where she wants to go for her birthday yet?
  • Has she called recently?
  • Has she talked to you lately?
  • Has he ever tried Indian food?
  • Has the dog ever been sick?
  • Has your child ever broken a bone?
  • Has he been to the hospital before?
  • Has the company fired anybody recently?
  • Has the CEO walked past here in the last 15 minutes?
English Conversation 1

A) Have you ever read this book?
B) Yes, I have. It was really good.
A) I have only read 50 pages, but I already love it.
B) It is very addicting. There are 2 other books by that author and they are both good too.
A) That is great news. I can read those after I finish this one.

English Conversation 2

A) Have you seen Richard recently?
B) No. I haven't seen him for a long time.
A) Me either. Where do you think he has been?
B) Well, he got married recently. So, he has probably been busy spending time with his new wife.
A) You are probably right. Anyway, I think I will call him today.
B) Ask him to go golfing with us this weekend.

You can practice speaking English by finishing the questions below and then practice making your own questions. It is a simple yet effective way to learn English.

Tip: Say the questions aloud. This will help you practice speaking English and improve your English fluency.

Have you _______________?
Have you ever _______________?
Have you _______________ recently?
Has she _______________ before?
Has he already _______________?
Has she _______________ yet?
Have they recently _______________?
Have your friends _______________ before?