English Present Perfect in French

English Present Perfect in French

There is no Present Perfect in French!

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In English, we use the Present perfect:


1. For an action or an event started in the past and still true in the present.

You have passed your exam: tu as réussi tes examens

In French, we use le passé composé (however, le passé composé is not connected to the present in French, so, sometimes, you need to be clearer)

Fire has broken out in a building, in English, you mean that there is a fire now. But in French, the passé composé just says that it was true in the past, so you need to add more information:

Un incendie a éclaté dans un immeuble et l’immeuble est toujours en feu.

But remember, we use le passé composé.

2. With adverbs like ever, never, already, so far…

We also use le passé composé:

Have you ever been to France? As-tu déjà été en France?

Here the sentence is not related to the present tense, so we can use le passé composé with no problem.


3. With expressions like “this is the first time” , “the second time”…

This is the first time I have seen this movie.

In French, we use the present tense:

C’est la première fois que je vois ce film


4. After expressions like when, after…

Could you come when you have finished? Pourrais-tu venir quand tu auras fini?

In French, we use le Futur Antérieur (you remember that after when in French we can use the future tense and say: when I will be finished)

I will go back home as soon as I have found the keys

Same thing: Je rentrerai à la maison quand j’aurai trouvé les clés (futur antérieur)

For the Present Perfect Continuous and the use of for and since: Lesson

Ex: I have been in London for 2 days…
QUIZ: Choose the correct French translation

Pascal Dherve

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Pascal Dherve

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