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 ...
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7 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
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What's the difference between the simple past tense and the present perfect?

The simple past tense indicates that an activity or situation began and ended at a particular time in the past. The present perfect expresses the idea that something happened (or never ...
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16 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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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 ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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Difference between Simple Past and Past Perfect

What is the difference in meaning between the two examples below? When she returned home from office, she was shocked to see that her husband and daughter were missing. (Simple Past) When she ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Difference in meaning between 'I'd be surprised if he hadn't/hasn't'

"Has he tried to flirt with you yet? I'd be surprised if he hadn't." "Has he tried to flirt with you yet? I'd be surprised if he hasn't." Is the first one more appropriate than the second? ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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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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4 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,...
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2 votes
1 answer
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The nuance of "could have done"

I think I could have failed this time as well. Could the above phrase mean two things? First it means that I could have failed without your help or something. So with help I could have been ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What role does this past-participle take?

Someone standing outside the Great Hall might well have thought some sort of explosion had taken place, so loud was the noise that erupted from the Gryffindor table. Harry, Ron, and Hermione stood ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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He had known what I had done VS He had known what I did

(1) "He had known what I had done." (2) "He had known what I did." What is the difference between them?? What does it mean by using past perfect in a clause when a main clause is ...
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4 votes
4 answers
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"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" ...
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2 votes
3 answers
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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 ...
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She hoped to have done

I saw a sentence She hoped to have done Or a sentence, created with the same structure. I don'tunderstand how it works. Then I saw a full version of it: She hoped that she had done So, it's like a ...
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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: ...
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20 votes
8 answers
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"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 ...
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3 answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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8 votes
1 answer
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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. (...
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6 votes
2 answers
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"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 ...
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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 ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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Time expression in Present/Past Perfect tense

My questions are about being able to use a past time expression in a Present/Past Perfect tense. An excerpt from: http://www.englishpage.com/verbpage/presentperfect.html We use the Present Perfect to ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
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1 answer
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Is it correct to say 'I have been waiting for you for an hour, and I am leaving now'?

I am pretty sure this statement is wrong, and I'd better use 'have waited for you for an hour', that is I got annoyed and now I am determined to leave. But, please dispel my doubts whether this may ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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What is perfect for a stative verb?

I have been struggling with understanding perfect tense since I started learning English. This is what I have learned so far: It is generally said that if an action happened in the past but it has ...
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-1 votes
3 answers
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Difference between: "it has rained / been raining for two hours" [duplicate]

​I read that this is the difference between present perfect and present perfect continuous. A1: It has been raining for two hours [and I don't expect it to stop soon]. A2: It has rained for two ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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Future Pluperfect Tense

I was reading this question Future pluperfect and was really interested in how real is the Future Pluperfect tense. I found this information: This is from "The Future Pluperfect: Double Tenses in ...
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2 votes
5 answers
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"has felt"/"has been feeling" - why is the first wrong here?

I know that both a) She has walked for two hours. and b) She has been walking for two hours. mean the same thing: that she started walking two hours back and is still walking. So according to the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Can present perfect be used for events occurred long time ago?

I had a discussion with my mate about the usage of present perfect tense, and he raised the point that it can only be used for recent past events. First off, it's illogical, because we can't agree ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Tenses in English

Sandra finds her mobile phone very useful. She uses it all the time She has been using it all the time. Which one is correct in the second sentence? Please tell me!
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1 vote
1 answer
246 views

Correct structure/grammar [closed]

Which one of the following is correct? The report has been completed. Copies have been filed in the cabinet The report is completed. Copies are filed in the cabinet The report has been completed ...
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1 vote
3 answers
108k views

"became" vs "has become"

The name of the team became a symbol of a fast and furious play The name of the team has become a symbol of a fast and furious play Is any of these two sentences wrong? When doing a test I ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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reported speech and past perfect

Several defense witnesses corroborated Sacco’s account of his day off, establishing a timeline of his activities from morning to late afternoon. Carpenter Dominick Ricci said he saw Sacco in the ...
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