Study this example situation:
Ann is looking for her key. She can’t find it. She has lost her key.
“She has lost her key” = She lost it and she still hasn’t got it.
Have/has lost is the present perfect simple:
The present perfect simple is have/has + past participle. The past participle often ended in -ed (finished/decided etc.), but many important verbs are irregular (lost/done/been/written etc.).
When we use the present perfect there is always a connection with now. The action in the past has a result now:
- “Where’s your key?” “I don’t know. I’ve lost it.” (I haven’t got it now)
- He told me his name but I’ve forgotten it. (I can’t remember it now)
- “Is Sarah here?” “No, she’s gone out.” (she is out now)
- I can’t find my watch. Have you seen it? (do you know where it is now?)
We often use the present perfect to give new information or to announce a recent happening:
- Ow! I’ve cut my finger.
- The road is closed. There’s been (= there has been) an accident.
- The police have arrested two men in connection with the robbery.
You can use the present perfect with just, already and yet:
Just = “a short time ago”:
- “Would you like something to eat?” “No, thanks. I’ve just had lunch.”
- Hello. Have you just arrived?
We use already to say that something happened sooner than expected.
- “Don’t forget to post the letter, will you?” “I’ve already posted it.”
- “What time is John leaving?” “He’s already gone.”
Yet = “until now” and shows that the speaker is expecting something to happen. Use yet only in questions and negative sentences:
- Has it stopped raining yet?
- I’ve written the letter but I haven’t posted it yet.
Note the difference between gone (to) and been (to):
- Jane is away on holiday. She has gone to Germany. (= she is there now or on her way there)
- Maria is back home from holiday now. She has been to France. (= she has now come back from France)