Questions related to the English Perfect Construction, which is sometimes called "the present perfect tense".

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Grammar: Had been + vb or has been + vb

Should I use '' I had been listening to this concert since it started snowing, at seven.'' or ''I have been listening to this concert since it started snowing, at seven.'' I never know when to use ...
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3answers
56 views

Should I use past perfect tense here?

I was thinking about a certain situation. Suppose that one week ago, I played basketball once, and that today I was talking with a friend. I: I played basketball once last week. My friend: ...
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5answers
171 views

“Sally broke her leg” or “Sally has broken her leg”? How does switching the past simple with the present perfect affect meaning?

Earlier today I had a private lesson with an Italian student—intermediate level, who has been studying the present perfect vs. past simple tense. His teacher had given him an exercise where a list of ...
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1answer
166 views

Present Perfect, American English and “since”

I'm wondering: I was always taught at school that when using "since", you always have to use Present Perfect (BrE), e.g. Since when have you played chess? But is Since when did you play ...
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2answers
74 views

Leaving the “been” out of the present perfect

I work (in the UK) with someone who habitually leaves the "been" out of the present perfect (or so it seems to me), using phrases like "Has an appointment created?" or "If an appointment has ...
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1answer
33 views

Pres. perfect + going to + past infinitive

I have seen the following sentence: For four months now John has been going to have finished his novel by today. I hope I understand it (I assume it says that he has been trying to finish his ...
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1answer
60 views

I hope you enjoyed/have enjoyed staying in Italy [duplicate]

A friend has written me a message in which she tells me that she is leaving tomorrow from Italy. I want to say that I hope that she had/ has had a great time here in Italy. What is the right way to ...
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1answer
65 views

What does the presence of the perfect tense reveal about us? [closed]

Other languages might say 'the floor is clean' or 'the cat is hungry'. An English speaker might say this, or we might equally choose to say 'the floor has been cleaned' or 'the cat hasn't been fed'. ...
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1answer
80 views

“Yesterday you didn't tell me John was with Finch last year”

"Yesterday you didn't tell me John was with Finch last year" here why aren't we using "John had been with Finch last year"? (since I spoke to you yesterday and with respect to that shouldn't it be ...
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3answers
99 views

Difference in meaning between “booking is amended” and “booking has been amended” [duplicate]

What is the difference in meaning between "booking is amended" and "booking has been amended"?
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3answers
69 views

How to understand “We have not been smoking”?

Given a sentence: We have not been smoking What is the exact meaning the speaker wants to express? One interpretation: We smoked an hour ago, but we stopped smoking after ten minutes, then ...
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2answers
77 views

Present Perfect Tense - Specific phrase

I am studying present perfect, and I found the following phrase: Susan hasn't mastered Japanese, but she can communicate. What's the difference between this phrase and the next: Susan don't ...
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4answers
232 views

Present Perfect with the word “ago”?

First, I check that my native language is not English, and the problem described below met on one of the exams. With this sentence: "The most important news is that my parents ... a new ...
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1answer
53 views

Difference in terms of location between “been to” and “been in” at the time of speaking(now) in sentences using present perfect

I would like to ask a question about the proper use of "been to" and "been in" in sentences using present perfect. Currently I'm reading English Grammer in Use (2nd Edition Cambridge Press - ...
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2answers
58 views

Perfect of modal “to have to” in infinitive-clause

Take the following sentence: I claim to have had to have done something. As I understand it, it means that I was obliged at some point to have done/finished something at that time. Is that ...
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2answers
524 views

this is/was the best meal I have ever had/had had

We are currently discussingq with my colleagues what the correct grammar would be in this context: you have just finished a meal and want to say it was/has been the best meal you ever had. What tenses ...
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2answers
922 views

It will be the first time I have flown to America - why not just present simple?

I have been reading a long discussion about another grammar thing and stumbled upon the following: It will be the first time I have flown to America. I wonder why there is present perfect tense ...
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4answers
106 views

Present perfect continuous in negative with period of time

Could you answer my question? 1) I haven't smoked for years. 2) I haven't been smoking for years. In Raymond Murphy's book English Grammar in Use with Answers. A Self-Study Reference and ...
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3answers
284 views

Usage of Present Perfect and Past Simple in answer

I'm reading "English Grammar in Use" by Raymond Murphy and I have a question about Present Perfect and Past Simple. Here's the example from the book: They've gone away. They'll be back on Friday. ...
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3answers
475 views

Can I use the present perfect tense with a specific time expression?

Is it grammatical to combine the present perfect tense with time? E.g. I've seen that movie two days ago. I've completed the 12-step program last summer. The deadline was two days ago, ...
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1answer
88 views

Simple past or present perfect when describing a series of recent actions

I, as an American, would opt for the simple past rather than the present perfect in the following sentence: Today she has gone to a class, and after that she has been shopping. Is this sentence ...
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4answers
164 views

We were/have been together all day?

When you have specific dates in the past, do you always have to use the simple past? On 01/31/2013 I met my friend. We were/have been together all day long.
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2answers
864 views

“Did you do it?” vs “Have you done it?”?

If someone did something that made me mad, which is correct to say: Did you do it? have you done it? If not, what is the proper situation for saying Did you do it?
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2answers
57 views

Present Continuous instead of Present Perfect Continuous? [closed]

Is it possible to simplify sentences like: "I've been having soy milk for 10 yrs now" "I've been standing here for an hour"* into: "I'm having soy milk for 10 yrs now" "I'm ...
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1answer
67 views

Is this sentence correct? Present Perfect for finished past

Is this sentence correct? "Post-Soviet Russia has long hesitated before definitively recognizing the frontiers with its new neighbors" The recognition comes after the hesitation; therefore, the ...
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2answers
192 views

Present perfect or simple past in combination with past perfect?

I am grading student assignments and I ran into some unforeseen complications: Children have been suffering from post-traumatic stress and depression, more than six months after the city had been ...
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3answers
862 views

What brings you here? What has brought you here?

Why do we ask people "What brings you here?" instead of "What has brought you here?" According to Oxford Dictionary, "bring" here means "cause someone to come to a place." The cause of the visit ...
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1answer
106 views

What is the difference between following 2 sentences? [duplicate]

What is the difference between following 2 sentences? Can you please explain me the meaning of both? "I have eaten my lunch" "I ate my lunch" Thanks a lot for helping.
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1answer
3k views

how to use “has been” [duplicate]

I had been preparing for a tennis event since March, but it has been postponed until next year. Question: Can "it has been postponed" be replaced with "was postponed" grammatically without changing ...
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2answers
45 views

If I write this sentence in others ways, what differences do you think they will bring to native speakers?

I just read the following sentence in the text book New Concept English: A public house which was recently bought by Mr. Thompson is up for sale. My question is, how is it different from saying ...
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1answer
126 views

Do dietitians 'teach'? And confusion between present perfect vs past simple [closed]

Is the given sentence correct grammatically and semantically? A consulting dietitian by profession, Tina has enjoyed teaching young children about healthy eating habits for over a decade. I ...
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1answer
268 views

Past Simple or Present Perfect: Tried or Have Tried

I’ve tried to help you. The action happened in the past but I don’t say when. I tried to help you yesterday. The action happened in the past but I say when. Which is correct and which is not? I’m ...
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1answer
98 views

What is the difference between Past perfect cont and present perfect cont?

Could you explain the differences between the two tenses? When should I use present perfect continuous and when should I use past perfect continuous? "I had been doing before I was young" "I have ...
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2answers
1k views

I have been sick for the last week? [closed]

I' would like to know whether or not the following sentences are correct and why: I have been sick since last week. I have been sick since the last week. I have been sick for the last ...
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1answer
214 views

Is “the photo I had taken” correct? [closed]

Which of the following sentences is correct: I've just uploaded the photo I had taken on Monday. I've just uploaded the photo I took on Monday. I guess that this sentence Yesterday I ...
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1answer
199 views

When to use present perfect and when present perfect continuous?

In my English book it says ''I have done'' is used when an action is ended, but where there are consequences in the future. For example: 'There has been an accident, and as a result the street is ...
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0answers
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Which tense is more appropriate in the clause of this sentence, the simple past or present perfect? [duplicate]

Sentence 1: It is quite disappointed that I was not able to pass the exam even after having worked hard for three months. Sentence 2: It is quite disappointed that I have not been able to ...
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2answers
437 views

Fixed vs Have Fixed

Suppose I am writing an email to let people know I fixed a bug (and committed the fix). What should I write ? I have fixed the bug and committed the fix or I fixed the bug and committed ...
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3answers
146 views

“I had no sooner returned than I turned on” vs. “I have no sooner returned than I turn on”

Context: As a teacher who loves writing, I am interested in posting messages on the twitter. Which of the following options is correct? Please explain the reasoning. I am so interested in ...
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2answers
118 views

Past perfect in Crime and Punishment

I've just started reading the English translation of Crime And Punishment, and come across the following sentences where the usage of past perfect tense has confused me: He was so badly dressed that ...
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1answer
110 views

Present Perfect Simple versus Present Perfect Continuous: a tricky case

The parents come back home, see the living-room is in a terrible mess. Do they ask their little ones "What have you done?" or "What have you been doing?" What is understood in each of the questions? ...
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2answers
140 views

Using “in” in Present Perfect Tense

I remember my grammar teacher saying that: If we want to tell the length of time a person has not done something, then we can use either for or in. As in: I haven't written a single line of ...
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2answers
3k views

What does “Compound Tense” mean? [closed]

I have problems with learning about "Compound Tenses". Please help me.
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1answer
625 views

What is the difference between “I have worked here” and “I have been working here”? [duplicate]

What is the difference between the following sentences? When can I use either? I have worked here and I have been working here
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3answers
690 views

“She has put on some weight.” vs “She put on some weight.”

Say, you ask the father... A: How is Mary? B: She is fine, but she put on some weight. Say, you ask someone who just saw Mary after a long time... C: How is Mary? D: She is fine, but she ...
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2answers
821 views

Difference between “deny doing something” and “deny having done something”

What is the difference between "deny doing something" and "deny having done something"? The context is as follows: While being questioned on the court, the man denied [taking/having taken] the ...
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1answer
328 views

built vs had built [duplicate]

What is the difference between the two sentences below A: He learned about good design from the house where his family lived. An architect called John had built it. B: He learned about ...
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1answer
192 views

I need point of view of native speakers on the perfect tense

My question could seem to be very simple, but the reasons why I ask it connect with the understanding of fundamental principles of the construction of the English language. That’s why my question is ...
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4answers
207 views

at which point I can shift from past perfect back to simple past?

Imagine I'm writing a story in past tense. Here come some questions: SENTENCE 1: "Tom simply couldn't imagine how different the world had been when his father was at Tom's age: there hadn't been ...
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1answer
357 views

I knew it already 20 yrs ago vs I knew it as early as 20 yrs ago

I know that "already" is mainly used with present perfect. I want to emphasise that something was known 20 years ago. Are the following the same? I knew it already 20 yrs ago I knew it as early ...