Questions tagged [perfect-constructions]

Perfect constructions employ a form of HAVE as an auxiliary and the past participle of a lexical verb to express past events as a current state.

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Canonical Post #2: What is the perfect, and how should I use it?

This is a Canonical Post, intended as a reference and resource for both Questioners and Answerers. The English “perfect” is deeply puzzling for learners. Nearly one Question in every twenty here asks ...
StoneyB on hiatus's user avatar
20 votes
8 answers
9k views

"My boss was furious with me and I have been fired" vs. "My boss was furious with me and I was fired"

I have a question and I hope you can help me. I've been learning English for many years but I'm still struggling with the difference between simple past and present perfect. For example this sentence ...
Heda's user avatar
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18 votes
3 answers
313k views

Haven't {eaten / ate}?

While chatting with somebody, I first used haven't eaten, then I thought that it was wrong, and switched to haven't ate. Apparently, haven't ate is the one which is wrong. Can someone explain the ...
hjpotter92's user avatar
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17 votes
2 answers
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When should I use "didn't" instead of "haven't"?

Is haven't supposed to mean something I may still do and didn't not? Can I use didn't for something I might still do?
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16 votes
8 answers
185k views

"I am finished" vs "I have finished"

What is the difference between "I am finished" and "I have finished"? For example, when finishing a task, should I say "I have finished" or "I am finished". Is there a difference in meaning?
Jessica Reichenbach Debons's user avatar
12 votes
4 answers
9k views

Shouldn't it be "HAVE been put on hold" instead of "HAD been put on hold"?

I'm studying TOEIC through a book published by ETS. As always, I was reading scripts and got stuck in one script. The repair of the 300-year-old building began nearly a decade ago but had been put ...
msomangs's user avatar
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11 votes
4 answers
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"I would have liked [to have seen / to see] John ..."

I've come across the following sentence on a BBC Learning English page: I would have liked to have seen John before he left for Canada, but Mary didn't want to. I was just wondering can we ...
Mrt's user avatar
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8 answers
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"Carrie has arrived at the airport for two hours." - Is this sentence grammatically correct?

I'm helping my friend with his English exercise related to the simple past & present perfect tenses: Rewrite each of the following sentences in another way so that it means almost the same as ...
doquan0's user avatar
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10 votes
6 answers
11k views

Is "I have been to Italy two years ago for 2 months" correct?

When someone asked me "Do you like to go on another/foreign country trip?" or "Have you experienced to go another country?" Can I answer using one of these: "Yes, I do. I have been to Rome in Italy ...
Ted's user avatar
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8 votes
4 answers
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Tense when saying "This is the first time" you've been somewhere

I'm very confused about tenses. I have examples in two different situations here. Situation 1: I went to New York two months ago and was talking to someone about it. A. This is the first time I've ...
tennis girl's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
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Using "when" with Present Perfect

I have never heard that we could use "when" with Perfect tenses especially with Present Perfect before. We use Past Simple when we are talking about the time. But today I have found one example: ...
Anthony Voronkov's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
515 views

What does this perfect tense intend to say?

Quirrell's voice trailed away. Harry was remembering his trip to Diagon Alley - how could he have been so stupid? He'd seen Quirrell there that very day, shaken hands with him in the Leaky Cauldron. (...
Listenever's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
3k views

Perfect infinitive

I thought we can use perfect infinitive construction to talk about plans which didn't happen. For instance: I was to have started work last week, but I changed my mind. But what about that ...
Dmitrii Bundin's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
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Can I say "something is happened to my phone"?

Can I say "something is happened to my phone"? The word 'is' in the phrase is showing still the problem 'is' existing and affecting me not to use my phone, no calling. But since it happened before ...
msghana amlak's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
5k views

Is "If he had come tomorrow, I would have gone." grammatically correct

Is this sentence grammatically correct? If he had come tomorrow, I would have gone. I am trying to convey that He will not come and I can't go. Does it convey the same meaning? Can "If +had ...
vinayak pal's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
372 views

“Would have + past participle” in The Scarlet Letter

From The Scarlet Letter: Amongst any other population, or at a later period in the history of New England, the grim rigidity that petrified the bearded physiognomies of these good people would ...
nima's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
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How to ask a person how long he has been working in an office?

Context : Let say, I have just joined to a company and I want to ask my new friend how long he has been working here. Using Present perfect: How long have you worked here ? Or using Present ...
mockie's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
3k views

"Have never won" v/s "had never won"

In a book I found a sentence like this: The 2010 FIFA World Cup culminated in an epic final with two teams that have never won the World Cup. I'm wondering why have never won is used instead of ...
IKUKO YONESAKA's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
800 views

How can an event prove by itself?

I looked up in this online dictionary for the word, endeavour, http://www.englantisuomi.com/en/dictionary-english-finnish/endeavour but the example sentence even made me more confused. Here is the ...
kitty's user avatar
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5 votes
4 answers
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Use of "had/have been"

I had been for a long walk and was feeling tired. (An example sentence from a grammar book, without context.) I am not familiar with the use of "had been" here. I think it is equivalent to ...
ForOU's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
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Past simple or past perfect in a subordinate clause

Could you please have a look at this paragraph: Last Friday I arranged to meet my boyfriend at a restaurant. I arrived first and because it was pouring with rain, I went inside. After an hour ...
Yves Lefol's user avatar
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5 votes
4 answers
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Future pluperfect

Has anyone encountered the future pluperfect before?? I knew a dishonest landlord who knew a dishonest constable. She hadn't yet served a deadbeat tenant with legal notice, but she said "don't worry,...
B Chin's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
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Don't speak until I [tell, told, have told or what?] you?

I've one or two questions.. How [should or could?] you say this sentence? Don't speak until I [tell, told, have told or what?] you.
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3 answers
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Is added or has been added

What is right way to write or speak? I am a developer and want to add message to my application once the record has been added to the database. So I am confused about the right way to write/speak ...
pixelngrain's user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
6k views

"read and accepted" or "read and accept"?

Is this phrase correct? By purchasing this product, you certify that you have read and accepted the Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions... Is it just me or it feels like "read and accepted" ...
John Isaiah Carmona's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
6k views

He IS come - John 16:8

And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment -John 16:8-18 (King James Version) I could not understand the use of is in this. Also, I have observed ...
Maulik V's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
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'Having been released in ...' or 'Released in ...'? Is the Perfect Participle Necessary?

Admittedly, there are a few questions similar to this, but I find that the examples are usually compromised by other errors. In these two examples (below), which use participle clauses as supplements, ...
MJ Ada's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
278 views

What tense to use for an event that was no longer valid?

You know how I say I told my friend what had happened before she came to class. Above is a time line in red. Time goes to the right. Its arrow is the present. "came" is in the past, a little back in ...
most venerable sir's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
3k views

"I saw him before he had seen me" - paradoxical past perfect with before

Just saw this sentence in Quirke's Grammar: I saw him before he had seen me. full context: in 15.27 he says The last example "Sally stopped Ted before he had a change to reply' doesn't use the ...
Alexey Nekrashevich's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
19k views

Why is the past simple used in "As soon as I started the car I realised..."?

As soon as I started the car I realised that something was wrong with the engine I thought it would be possible to use present perfect "As soon as I've started the car...", meaning the action has ...
Márcio Santos Souza Carôso's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
150 views

Why is the present perfect simple used in this sentence (and not the present perfect continuous)

I'm looking for some advice on why this sentence (from a FCE book) is in the the present perfect simple: I have spent ages preparing for the party. This sentence requires the use of the present ...
CMCTS1's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
508 views

present perfect vs past perfect vs simple past

The dancers have rehearsed the ballet for almost three hours. They have displayed new CDs since Friday morning. She hasn't talked to her brother since he broke her cell phone. At first glance ...
user13267's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
185 views

What is this "would have had to"?

This stranger talked to me. Usually, I would have had to think something bad would happen. But I followed him. (One Day in NY) BY Pat Mathew What does the phrase "would have had to" mean in ...
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3 votes
2 answers
810 views

Present Perfect Tense Asking

I am a beginner for English grammar. I read following paragraph in my grammar book. I got your long email about two weeks ago and have been trying to find time to write you back ever since. I have ...
Austin Jeong's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
3k views

Is the phrase "are you come" in this sentence correct?

A man made big noise to rouse a Giant and the Giant rushed from his cave, crying: " You incorrigible villain, are you come here to disturb my rest?" This is from English Fairy Tales. I wonder ...
Yuuichi Tam's user avatar
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3 votes
4 answers
94k views

"I have completed" versus "I had completed"

I completed all the tasks assigned. How to convey this ? I have completed all the tasks. or I had completed all the tasks. Which one is correct ?
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3 votes
3 answers
480 views

Perfect vs non-perfect

She wants to finish it when you return She wants to have finished it when you return. These are examples from my text book. It says they are different in meaning. I made 3 and 4. I think they mean ...
ForOU's user avatar
  • 1,505
3 votes
2 answers
199 views

Do these sentences mean the same: "He has been found not guilty" and "He has not been found guilty"

He has been found "not guilty". He has not been found guilty. In terms of daily life, both sentences mean the same. Although the first sentence seems to be correct in terms of grammar, I ...
Yunus's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
276 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 ...
Zhang Jian's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

"If I had known it will be cheaper, I would buy/have bought it tomorrow"

I bought something today. But now I found out it will be cheaper tomorrow. Which of the following alternatives is grammatical? If I had known it will be cheaper, I would buy it tomorrow. If I ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
15k views

How to use "never" with Present simple tense

I learned that we could use "never" with present perfect tense about experiences in someone’s life. However, I don’t understand when we use never with other tenses like present simple tense. I never ...
nkm's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
5k views

use and meaning of perfect gerund

I have read in http://www.grammaring.com/the-forms-of-the-gerund about perfect gerunds. There are two kind of usage in the website,one about "being" and other about "having". The website describes ...
yubraj's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
5k views

Had done / had been doing

I had been eating before I visited you. I had eaten before I visited you. How do you know when to use either of them?
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3 votes
2 answers
251 views

By implementing/By having implemented new technologies, the company is going to generate more revenue. - differences in meaning

The company has implemented new technologies, and as a result, the company will generate more revenue in the future. Which one is the correct simplified version Example 1 "By implementing new ...
vincentlin's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
29k views

"they got married" vs "they have got married"

Is They got married the same as They have got married Is word "have" is ommited from the first sentence? But both have the same meaning. If not, why is got used with an adjective "married"?
sadegh askari's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
189 views

Complicated sentences in past perfect regarding hypothetical situations with reflection on the past?

Would have had to have been doing, e.g.: For him to have become a threat in the teachers eyes, he would have had to have been exhibiting severely bad behavior all the time. Would have had to be ...
user79773's user avatar
  • 141
3 votes
1 answer
97 views

Can I use present perfect in this context?

After finishing my homework I will check for the mistakes that I have made I'm skeptical about if I can use present perfect in this context and besides with conjunction can present perfect be used ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
982 views

Can I combine present perfect tense with past perfect tense?

For example: I have gotten a bad stomach because I had eaten a wrong food earlier. Is that sentence grammatically correct?
human_being's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
3k views

At completing vs at having completed

Here is an example sentence from http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/elation There's a sense of elation at having completed a race of such length. Is the part of this sentence “at ...
yubraj's user avatar
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3 votes
4 answers
26k views

The use of the Future Perfect Continuous Passive in 'The apples will have been being eaten by him'

The apples will have been being eaten by him. This sentence above was offered in my English class as an example of the future perfect continuous tense. This seems to me too awkward to be correct. ...
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