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Time expressions English grammar

Time expressions used with the Present Perfect

For and Since

Since and for are very commonly used in the Present Perfect. We use for with a period of time, for example:

  • I have lived here for 20 years.

When talking about a starting point, we use since (followed by some point in time, for example: last june, 1967, yesterday).
  • I have lived here since 1960.
More about Time Expressions

Remember that in the Present Perfect you cannot use time expressions such as:

  • two months ago
  • one year ago
  • last week
  • yesterday
  • when I was five years old
Examples
  • I have visited my mother yesterday. WRONG
  • I have gone to the post office two months ago. WRONG


Those sentences are wrong because they specify accurately when something happened.

Instead, you should use the Present Simple.

Examples
  • I visited my mother yesterday. CORRECT
  • I went the post office two months ago. CORRECT

Use the following time expressions with the Present Perfect:
  • already
  • yet
  • before
  • never
  • recently
  • at last
  • ever
  • just
  • lately
Examples
  • Have you ever been to Great Britain?