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Could you tell what is the difference in meaning between the following sentences?

To get a place at the college, you have to pass the exams.

To get a place at the college, you have to have passed the exams.

To get a place at the college, you had to pass the exams.

To get a place at the college, you had to have passed the exams.

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perfect infinitive means one tense earlier than the main verb tense.

You have to pass (now)

You had to pass (past)

You have to have passed (should have passed before now, i.e., in the past)- have to (present)- have passed(in the past)

You had to have passed (should have passed before in the past, i.e., in the distant past)- had to(past) - have passed(in the distant past).

I lost a watch that I had bought yesterday. You lost (past), had bought(distant past: great past)

It seems to be true=It seems that it is true

It seems to have been true=It seems that it was true

One tense ealier than the main verb tense if you use "to+have+pp"

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  • Thank you for the answer! Could you clearify something? You said the second sentence means it that you should have passed by now, and the third means that should have happened in the past. Does that mean that the second and the third sentence means the person didn't pass? Feb 11 '21 at 13:02
  • You seemed to understand: It seemed that you understood. You seemed to have understood: It seemed that you had understood.
    – BEBYGONES
    Feb 11 '21 at 13:06
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    You have to have passed means, in effect, that you need an exam certificate to show to the college authorities. You had to pass/ have passed refer to the situation in the past (maybe when the entrance requirements were different). Feb 11 '21 at 13:18
  • Brandon: I'm sorry, but does your comment mean I'm right? Feb 11 '21 at 13:55
  • Kate Bunting: Thanks for your comment, but do you mean that there is no difference in meaning between the first and the second and the third and the fourth? Feb 11 '21 at 13:57

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