Present Perfect - Use


The German Present Perfect is very often used in the spoken language.

You use this tense for:

1. actions or situations finished in the past
    Example:   Er hat gestern ein Fahrrad gekauft.
    Phonetic Script:   [e:ɐ hat 'gɛstɐn ain 'fa:ɐra:t gə'kauft]
    English:   He bought a bike yesterday.
    Literally:   He has yesterday a bike bought.
2. actions finished in the past which still have an effect on the present situation so that the consequence is in the foreground


    Example:   Ich habe die Prüfung bestanden.
    Phonetic Script:   [ɪç 'ha:bə di: 'pry:fʊŋ bə'ʃtandən]
    English:   I have passed the exam.
    Literally:   I have the exam passed.
    Example:   Jetzt bin ich froh.
    Phonetic Script:   [jɛtst bɪn ɪç fro:]
    English:   Now I am happy.
    Literally:   Now am I happy.
3. an action which will be finished in the future (together with a temporal adverb spoken)
    Example:   Bald hat sie ihr Studium beendet.
    Phonetic Script:   [balt hat zi: i:ə ˈʃtu:diʊm bə'ɛndət]
    English:   Soon he has finished her studies.
    Literally:   Soon has she her studies finished.
Normally the Simple Past is used in the written language. But if you write to family members or close friends, you also use the Present Perfect in messages or letters.