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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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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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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“As if I had known you” vs “As if I have known you”

First, here's a material that made me keep thinking about this issue in the first place. http://www.grammaring.com/as-if-as-though I feel as if I had known you all my life. I haven't ...
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Did + past tense or past participle?

I don't know how to use did+present tense OR past tense Did sarah go to the party this Thursday? OR Did sarah went to the party this Thursday? Where had you been? OR Where have you been?
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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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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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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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I have been aware or I'm aware

I wrote this sentence "I have been aware, that my job is good" but my friend told me is not correct an answer. He said "I'm aware that my job is good" Why I can't use present perfect?
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Present Perfect vs. Present Perfect Continuous

I've wondered/been wondering... Which one is correct? My teacher supposes that 'wonder' is a stative verb. But I've seen several times in texts the usage of 'been wondering'. So what does it mean? Is ...
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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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Can “have” in perfect tenses be used to make questions?

A: I have a bus. B:Have you a bus? Here have is used to make a question by bring have in the beginning of a sentence. My question is can we behave the same toward have in perfect tenses? For ...
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when to use have been

I have read that we use "have been" with the present perfect continuous as in the formula [has/have + been + present participle], e.g., You have been waiting here for two hours. But sometimes I ...
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Which tense should I use in this sentence?

I want to say that someone is my favorite actor for the last 10 years, and that he still is. Do I say He is my favorite actor for the last 10 years. He has been my favorite actor for the last 10 ...
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“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 ...
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Is there a present perfect error [closed]

Zur Situation Von Konstruktionen b/w Les Mots Ètranges is Les Trucs first 7″ on fettkakao. well – at least a very own 45. they have had a split out in 2010 w/ Sex Jams and contributed a song to the ...
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What is this infinitive describing “to have +third form of verb” [closed]

What is this non finite describing "to have third form of verb " e.g,to have been,to have crossed etc.Is this showing any completeness of a work or something else. Edit is valid to above context
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present perfect progressive?

Which sentence is better? I have been trying to contact you for 4 weeks but did not get any answer and was disappointed. But today got one at last..... I tried to contact you for 4 weeks, did not ...
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“I wanted/have wanted/was wanting to be a doctor since I was ten”

Please help me answer the following question: I have wanted to be a doctor since I was ten I wanted to be a doctor since I was ten I was wanting to be a doctor since I was ten Which one ...
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1answer
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A future change in how things are seen - “will be seen” or “will have been seen”

I want to write a sentence which says that in the future current events at some point in time might start to be seen differently. It would be fun to know which events from the present will be seen ...
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Past action but present perfect?

I know all about that film because I have seen it twice. In this sentence the person says they saw the same film twice in the past. Then why is the present perfect used instead of past perfect? Can ...
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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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Meaning difference between using “is” and “has been”

What is meaning difference in the below sentences? Once your ID card number has been noted, there’s no way of escaping the fine. and Once your ID card number is noted, there’s no way of ...
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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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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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Is a past-tense *when* clause acceptable with a present perfect main clause?

He has helped me when I was lonely. Is this past tense ok?
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To refer to some state after somehting action has completed

I want to refer to some state after somehting action has completed. For instance, I will be at home after I've completed all of my work. Is the present perfect common in the case?
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“It needs to {be / have been} deviated for 1 minute”

I would like to understand the difference between these two: "It needs to have been deviated for 1 minute" "It needs to be deviated for 1 minute" Are both saying that the deviation needs to be ...
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Word order in an example

My system requires the temperature to be deviated from the baseline for X seconds in order to become activated. Could I say that X: Specifies the number of seconds for which the temperature has to ...
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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 is this "would have had to"?
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When we join two past events, must we use the perfect participle or can we use the present participle as well?

When two incidents happen in past one after another we use past perfect tense. By the time she got to the theatre, the play had already begun. Is this rule also apply when we make a sentence using ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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“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 ...
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Hypocrisy don't makes you / doesn't make you a human

Hypocrisy don't makes you a human. Hypocrisy doesn't make you a human. Which would be grammatically correct: don't makes you or doesn't make you? Or perhaps it should be: Hypocrisy would never ...
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Would you help me with using present perfect? [closed]

Would you tell me what is the difference between sentences of A and B? If what you want to talk about is the nice feeling of being finished buying a new car—"It's done! I have bought a new car! ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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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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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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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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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What form should this auxiliary verb take?

When I want to denote a perfect tense like this: ‘she felt very pleased to see the ships have turned around.’ is the auxiliary 'have' supposed to be ‘having’ or ‘have’?
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A question about “should” and the past tense

I'm sending a message to my manager. I don't know if I should send the message to her or to my section head. At the bottom of the message I want to apologize to my manager if I've sent the message ...
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Is “I wish I had studied English further” correct?

I want to express regret for not having studied more English when I was a kid. Is this sentence correct? I wish I had studied English further.
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Is this 'might have p.p' a back-shifted form?

And Andrew shouted that the sea was coming in, so she leapt splashing through the shallow waves on to the shore and ran up the beach and was carried by her own im-petuosity and her desire for ...
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If this 'would' were 'would have p.p', is it not an irrealis but past form of would?

Then she remembered; Paul and Minta and Andrew had not come back. She summoned before her again the little group on the terrace in front of the hall door, standing looking up into the sky. Andrew had ...
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When 'past modal+have+past participle' accompanies with past tense in a sentence, can it be before the past or at the past?

Hermione, however, had more on her mind than the Sorcerer's Stone. She had started drawing up study schedules and colorcoding all her notes. Harry and Ron wouldn't have minded,[A1] but she kept ...
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Why does this infinitive have perfect tense?

She [my mother] quadrupled her already fabulous record and she was awarded the fairest prize of all - a ride in an army airplane. Oh, we were proud kids! Even vicariously this was an eminence we ...