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Is this a proper past tense?

Today I've darkened 59 appropriate circles.

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What are you asking? Can you provide some context? – Steve Melnikoff May 24 '11 at 10:37
Can you please improve this question? Provide context and what you want to achieve. EDIT: @Steve beat me to it :D – Alenanno May 24 '11 at 10:38
For the love of Archimedes, just don't disturb them. – Grant Thomas May 24 '11 at 10:42
@Alenanno, people always seem to beat you to it. – Thursagen May 24 '11 at 11:21
@Third Idiot: Should I answer seriously? – Alenanno May 24 '11 at 11:33

That sentence is grammatically absolutely correct.  I’ve darkened is indeed one kind of past tense; specifically, it’s what’s known (depending on how technical one’s being) as the perfect tense or the simple present perfect tense, and also by various other terms.  Expanding it to I have darkened, have is an auxiliary verb, and darkened is a past participle.

The sentence is also completely confusing out of context — I have no idea what it’s supposed to mean.  Was that deliberate?  I’m reminded somewhat of Chomsky’s “colourless green ideas sleep furiously”.  Edit: Stuart Bentley in comments points out a very plausible context.

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Somewhat is important; Chomsky is attempting semantical nonsense, and in case of OP semantic can easily be justified: if there are 60 circles on the screen, out which one is not appropriate (it is black) and others are too bright then you could darken 59 appropriate circles (there are no intrinsically i.e. semantically contradicting adjectives or verbs). – Unreason May 24 '11 at 13:42
Darkening appropriate circles = en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optical_Mark_Recognition – Stuart P. Bentley May 24 '11 at 14:32
@Stuart: Ah! Thankyou — in light of that it makes much more sense. – PLL May 24 '11 at 17:39
@Stuart - indeed, the first thing I thought of when I saw the question was the SAT. – MT_Head May 24 '11 at 17:48

Strictly "I have darkened" is a perfect tense using the past particple; some people would call it the present perfect. By contrast, "I darkened" would be a past tense; some people would call it the simple past and others the preterite.

Wikipedia has an article on past tenses.

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