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Questions tagged [perfect-aspect]

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14
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1answer
28k views

“I didn't know” or “I haven't known”?

Suppose that in a conversation, our conversational partner just said something completely new to us, and we want to express that we didn't know (or haven't known) about it before. For example, A: ...
13
votes
6answers
4k views

Is there a difference between “should not have done something” and “needn't have done something”?

What is the difference between shouldn't have done something and needn't have done something? Everything was okay. You needn't have worried. Can we say you shouldn't have worried instead of needn't ...
12
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6answers
100k views

What is the difference between “being” and “having been” in this context?

Being a teacher, she likes children. AND Having been a teacher, she likes children. What is the difference between these two?
11
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2answers
2k views

Is the present perfect ok in “We have seen them in 2011”?

Please look at the following emphasized sentence taken from the news Curfew without end. Neither of these — the government’s curfew and restrictions, or the protest programmes of the secessionist ...
10
votes
3answers
11k views

“I had not noticed.” but “I did not know.”

Did you hear that the engine produced some sounds? No, I had not noticed. And also other verbs: I did not know. I did not see. I had not heard. With some verbs it is common to use ...
6
votes
1answer
6k views

My grandpa died 30 years ago. I “have never met” / “never met” him. - Which one?

Which one of the following two sentences is correct/proper? My grandpa died 30 years ago. I have never met him. or My grandpa died 30 years ago. I never met him.
6
votes
4answers
1k views

How do I decide which of two past events took place first?

The people had taken shelter under a tree until the rain stopped. took shelter will be the 1st action The people took shelter under a tree until the rain had stopped. rain stop will be the 1st ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

Using have gone to / been to / been in

I understand the difference between these constructions: "has gone to", "has been to", "has been in": "has gone to" — there or on his way to; "has been to" — someone has been there but he ...
5
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3answers
80 views

Why is the past perfect used here? It doesn't seem to refer to two past actions…

"Although the waves barely covered my knees on this crossing, I still stopped on far bank and looked back to the mainland with a sense of exhilaration. I had made it back to my childhood island.(From ...
4
votes
2answers
344 views

past perfect in a time clause

I would like to know if we could write "What had happened while we were away." I think past perfect is not obligatory in time clause. When we returned from our holidays, we found our house in a ...
4
votes
2answers
134 views

“We have broken this rule for 2 years.”

We have broken this rule for 2 years. Can I use the verb to break in a Present Perfect with a time period adverbial, like I use to stand in the sentence "This tree has stood here for many years."
4
votes
2answers
2k views

I've never *been* sailing

Murphy's grammar (Unit 63D) explains the usage of the structure go -ing: go swimming, go climbing etc. It gives a number of examples: How often do you go swimming? When did you last go ...
4
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1answer
120 views

Past simple or past perfect in this case

Look at this sentence from an exercise "choose the correct form" I did not know about it. Nobody (told/had told) me about what had happened I choose 'told' and the correct answer was 'had told' ...
4
votes
1answer
789 views

Meaning of perfect aspect in infinite clauses

Motivated by this question I've realised I have some difficulty in interpreting infinite clauses. What is an infinite clause? One of my grammar books says that an non-finite clause is a dependent ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

“They have been exempted” vs. “they are exempted”

What is the difference in meaning between the following two sentences? They have been exempted from paying tax. They are exempted from paying tax. Are both sentences grammatically correct?
3
votes
3answers
102 views

How about “When I saw Debbie, she had played golf”?

Oxford Guide to English Grammar; John Eastwood; Oxford University Press 1994-09 Page 94 Compare the past continuous and past perfect continuous. When I saw Debbie, she was playing golf. (I ...
3
votes
2answers
762 views

Using perfect constructions after “since”

From OneRepublic's song "Feel again": It's been a long time coming since I've seen your face From Kelly Clarkson's song "Since U Been Gone": Here's the thing we started out friends It was ...
3
votes
1answer
110 views

Can Present Perfect with a time period tell about an action that stopped in the past

I spent 20 years in the software industry where... As I was taught, it implies that the talker doesn't work in this software industry now. Otherwise he would have said "I have spent 20 years..." My ...
3
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2answers
10k views

“ Have to ” vs “Have had to ”

1) This is not the first time that the residents of the capital have had to suffer such inconveniences. (This is collected from a daily newspaper) 2) "This is not the first time that the residents ...
3
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3answers
93 views

Have I had known about the lack of security

Is it correct to say "have I had known"? Thank you all.
3
votes
2answers
439 views

Is it necessary to repeat “had” in the following sentence?

I followed the dog. Luckily, as if it had become tired, or (had) reached its desired spot, it stopped. Do I need the second had? Why or why not?
3
votes
1answer
86 views

Should I use past simple or past perfect

Before I made a second order that did well, I had thought my first order had not gone through.But when I received the confirmation for both orders, I knew the first order had also succeeded. I ...
2
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3answers
3k views

You have gone through - you have been going through

Is there a difference in meaning between the following two sentences? I can't even imagine what you have gone through. I can't even imagine what you have been going through.
2
votes
2answers
281 views

“Was in labour for 3 hours” versus “had been in labour for 3 hours”

As a continuation to this question and AlicjaZ's beautifully explained answer, I would like to ask whether there is any difference in meaning between the following sentences? She was in labour for ...
2
votes
4answers
15k views

Future Simple and Future Perfect

I've read the question about Future Simple and Future Perfect, but I still can't understand the exact usage of these two tenses. Is there any diffrence between the following? I will do my homework ...
2
votes
1answer
910 views

Book Recommendations Re: accessible English Tenses System

I would like to know some of the best books (or other accessible materials) out there with a thorough treatment of English tenses and in particular the perfect state. The book should be accessible to ...
2
votes
1answer
134 views

How has she gone to Prague?

It feels awkward to me to say: Q : How has she gone to Prague? A : She has gone to Prague by plane. Wouldn't this sound more natural? Q : How did she go to Prague A : She took a flight.
2
votes
2answers
293 views

Past perfect for something that did not happen

I got a parcel from the label but it is not what I ordered. I ordered a copy of this and that I received two other things. Both of them had been already ordered and received. I knew you had problems ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

“I have never done it” vs “I have never been doing it”

"I have never been dating." I heard some non-native speaker said it. For me it should be just Present Perfect ("I have never dated.") Because my grammar book says that an absence of some action in ...
2
votes
1answer
180 views

By the time we get there, he will be/will have been gone

By the time we get there, he will be/will have been gone. I would like to know whether there is a difference between these two or the perfect tense is wrong here. I assume that with the perfect ...
2
votes
1answer
287 views

Why can't i use “I haven't known” someone in English

A few days ago, I read this sentence in "English grammar in use" by Raymond Murphy: We don't know where we're going for our holiday yet. I thought present perfect must be used here as: we haven'...
2
votes
1answer
36 views

Present or Past tense in this sentence

I wrote: The whole extraction command is optional and if it isn’t specified, no extraction is performed. But I think "specified" is taken place when the user writes the command, then should I use ...
1
vote
3answers
71 views

Can we use present perfect with a specific time?

For example, if I say "Today I have washed the dishes" or "Yesterday I have walked the dog", it comes off as wrong. This is why I understand that present perfect doesn't go with specific times. Past ...
1
vote
2answers
181 views

Why should there be a use of perfect to make this statement grammatical?

In a week's time I will complete my work. In a week's time I will have completed my work. Option 2 is given as the correct answer which is future perfect tense. The first sentence is simple future ...
1
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3answers
5k views

When to use simple past or present perfect? (I called him or I have called him)

There is someone knocking at the door. It must be the computer repairman. I ______ him to come to fix my computer. The answer is "called". But why not "have called" ?
1
vote
2answers
155 views

present continuous = present perfect in many cases

I have read the book Advanced Grammar in Use by Martin Hewings. One of the uses of the present continuous is: To talk about particular actions or events that have begun but haven't ended at the time ...
1
vote
1answer
30k views

In this sentence, “have heard” vs “heard”?

I have heard recomendations from doctors on TV. I can imply or emphasize that I have heard the recomendations at different times, at different places, not just once before. It can indicate ...
1
vote
1answer
257 views

Is it ok to say “would have had to have played” and “to have even had”?

Are the bold parts grammatically correct? It sounds to me like the tenses are a bit redundant. In the second round, Djokovic faced Bobby Reynolds, a journeyman American making his Centre Court ...
1
vote
2answers
342 views

My car has/had not made that kind of noise before

Which is one grammatically correct? After I got my car repaired, I noticed it started to make funny noises which it had not made before/ which I had not heard before. After I got my car ...
1
vote
2answers
37 views

Does every present perfect sentence have some kind of connection between what happened in the past and the present time?

We use the present perfect tense to address something that happened in the past, but we don't specify precisely when it happened. We also use present perfect to suggest some kind of connection between ...
1
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2answers
33 views

What is the difference between **could + have p.p.** and **could + infinitive**?

We could not imagine how the Inca could have built such a large city on top of a high mountain. I don't think could build can replace could have built in the sentence above, but I am not sure why ...
1
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3answers
48 views

Future Perfect and Future Continuous with present reference

I came across this dialogue: Is it too late to call them? Do you think they'll have gone to bed yet? Knowing them, they won't have finished their dinner yet. They'll be watching a film. My ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

Which one would be preferable here, Present Perfect or Present Perfect Continuous?

Sentences: Here you're! We have just talked about you. Here you're! We have just been talking about you. I think I made a little mistake when I chose to use Present Perfect instead of ...
1
vote
1answer
35 views

The preference of using Present Perfect Continuos

This is a translating task. The key says that the answer is "did you speak" (off topic: "speak" or "talk"). But I'm pretty sure that I should use Present Perfect Continuous. In this case it is an ...
1
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1answer
77 views

Having deal with “to get used to” and “to be used to”

I know "to get used to" means the process of accustoming whereas "to be used to" means that somebody has done it, this process is finished and now there is nothing unusual connected with this thing, ...
1
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3answers
2k views

Has been studying or Have been studying?

When using both the perfect aspect and also the progressive aspect for my verb “to have been studying”, should I use the present tense has or the past tense had here? She has been studying there for ...
1
vote
3answers
463 views

Which is correct, “Humans haven't walked” or “didn't walk”?

Is it right? 'Humans haven't walked on Neptune but maybe, in the twenty first century, it might happen.' Alternatively, should I say "Humans didn't walk.."
1
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3answers
131 views

past perfect here

Please could you have a look at this little text: I had preordered these books for a long time in a library, as they did not arrive I choose to find them by my self and finally found them. I had ...
1
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1answer
37 views

Should “The man has always needed religion and as profoundly as he has always needed food” use a simple tense instead?

Should this sentence's verbs indicate that the actions occurred in the past indirectly by using the compound present prefect construction: The man has always needed religion and as profoundly as he ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

Using “already” in Simple Aspect

I've found out an interesting fact. We could also use the adverbial modifier "already" not only in Perfect Aspect. We can do it, if we are amazed by something haven't been expected before? Like in the ...