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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
151
votes
6answers
19k views

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 ...
6
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
44k views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
398 views

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? ...
8
votes
4answers
56k views

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'...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

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,...
2
votes
1answer
461 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
213 views

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 ...
5
votes
3answers
3k 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" ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

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 ...
2
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
115k views

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?
17
votes
3answers
264k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
380 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. (...
3
votes
3answers
4k views

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 ...
-1
votes
3answers
10k views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
573 views

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
163 views

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 ...
1
vote
3answers
68k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
757 views

Using “had just arrived”

I had just arrived at the hotel, checked in and gotten into my room. here, the reason we say "had arrived" is because we want to show the order, the series of actions, right? So arriving at the hotel ...