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I read ( or have read) a lot of English tenses until I mess up. So please what is the differences between these sentences?

have you finished the homework?

are you finish the homework?

do you finish the homework?

closed as off-topic by Andrew, James K, Lucian Sava, shin, Peter Mar 4 '18 at 14:33

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@Ronald Sole's answer is correct -- but maybe I can explain a bit more of the "why".

As you're probably finding, tenses in English can get weird. There are many ways to refer to the place of an action in time.

Have you finished the homework?

This is correct. It's in the present perfect tense. This tense is used for actions that happened at an undefined time in the past.

Present perfect is also used when describing actions that started in the past and continue into the present, such as "I have lived in the city for 10 years".

are you finish the homework?

This is incorrect. The word "are" implies that you are trying to use the present continuous tense. This tense is used for actions that are going on right at this moment.

The present continuous tense is formed by the present tense of the verb "be" and the present participle of the main verb. The present participle is usually the base verb plus "ing": "finishing", "drawing", "riding", "talking", etc.

So this sentence, written in present continuous tense, would be:

Are you finishing the homework?

This question is asking whether the person is finishing their homework right now. If they have already finished their homework, the correct answer to this question is "no". If they are doing something other than their homework, the correct answer to this question is also "no".

do you finish the homework?

This sentence may or may not be correct. It depends on what you are asking.

My guess is that this sentence is likely intended to be using the simple past tense. In that case, you should use the past tense of the verb "to do", which is "did".

Did you finish the homework?

This is correct. This question is asking if the action "finish the homework" happened in the past.

As you've probably noticed, both the simple past and the present perfect refer to an event in the past. In this particular case, there's not much difference between the simple past and the present perfect; as long as you are talking about an action in the past, either tense is correct. Many native speakers use the present perfect tense to talk about the recent past, and use the simple past tense to talk about something in the more distant past, but that's not a strict rule.


However, just to make things more complicated, "Do you finish the homework?" might be correct. It is a grammatically correct sentence, just maybe not in the way you (might) mean it.

Consider these sentences:

Do you live in the city?

Do you pay your taxes?

Both of these sentences are in the simple present tense.

The first question is asking whether I am living in the city right now. The reason this is correct is because "live in the city" is a continuous action, and the simple present is used to describe continuous actions.

The second question is asking whether I pay taxes in general. This sentence is not asking if I've paid my taxes for a specific year. The simple present is correct here, because the simple present is used when the exact time is unknown, indefinite, or doesn't matter.

Here's a conversation where "do you finish the homework?" is correct:

STUDENT: I don't understand why I am failing math class!

PARENT: Do you finish the homework?

STUDENT: No...

PARENT: Well, that's why you're failing!

In this case, the parent is asking if the student ever finishes their homework (or finishes their homework in general).

The parent is not asking if the student finished yesterday's homework, or last week's homework -- the simple present tense means the parent is not talking about a specific time.

My guess is that your 3rd sentence was meant to be in the simple past tense, in which case "did" is correct. But the simple present is also correct, depending on what you mean to ask.

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If you want to know whether the person concerned has completed their homework, you might ask:

Have you finished your homework?

You might also ask:

Did you finish your homework?

This construction is often used with a time reference:

Did you finish your homework before you went to bed?

If you want to know whether the person is completing their homework, you might ask:

Are you finishing your homework?

NOT: Are you finish your homework.

You would not ask:

Do you finish your homework?

except when you are asking a general question, such as:

Do you finish your homework on Friday evenings to leave the weekend free?

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