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

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19
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8answers
17k views

Is there any difference between Present Perfect and Present Perfect Continuous?

I have studied "present perfect" and "present perfect continuous" for a week. I know forms, verb and helping verb I should use when I write them. For me, they have nearly same definition because I ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is 'present perfect' present if it happened in the past? And why is it 'perfect'?

Why is 'present perfect' present if it happened in the past? And why is it 'perfect'?
11
votes
3answers
11k views

“I didn't finish” versus “I haven't finished”

If I worked on something yesterday but it was not finished, should I use "I didn't finish it yet" or "I haven't finished it yet"?
11
votes
3answers
3k views

When will “Present Perfect vs. Past Tense” cases be affected by culture?

Regarding actions taken in the past, besides the differences those two tenses have semantically, my teacher shared that it could be a British vs American English case. When talking about past ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

Is using the present perfect old fashioned?

I was talking to a Singaporean (English is her native language. I think, closer to American rather than British) friend. I learned in English class that you can use present perfect when there is a ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

When is the present perfect tense used instead of the past tense?

When is the present perfect tense used instead of the past tense? I know that the present perfect tense is used when some adverbs (e.g., never, ever) are present in the sentence.
10
votes
3answers
5k views

“She is gone” versus “she has gone”

When should I say "She is gone", and when should I say "She has gone" (and why)? I think that when I mean "She went away and she's still there", it should be "She has gone". Are there exceptions ...
10
votes
3answers
21k views

Difference between “are you done” and “have you done.”

I was just wondering, how can we differentiate "are you done?" and "have you done?", and what is the appropriate way to use each?
8
votes
7answers
16k views

What is the difference between “I've been to China” and “I've gone to China”?

Both are in the present perfect, but one uses the verb 'to go' and the other 'to be'. Is there a rule for this? Is there any chance that the differences between "I have been" vs. "I have gone", are ...
8
votes
3answers
43k views

Simple Past vs. Present Perfect: “was” vs. “has been” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Did it close” vs “Has it closed”? Which is correct: “has died” or “died”? How do the tenses in English correspond temporally to one another? ...
8
votes
1answer
6k views

Which is correct: “has died” or “died”?

To me, using Present Perfect form means the event can occur again. So, saying someone has died may not be grammatically correct. Also, I noticed (it might be just co-incidence): passed ...
8
votes
4answers
394 views

When was the form “is become” first used?

In the famous “Hallelujah” chorus from Handel’s Messiah, a line goes: The kingdom of this world is become the Kingdom of our Lord. I’ve noticed similar forms in many biblical texts and ...
8
votes
6answers
6k views

Is this correct: “I'd have to have had…”

This sentence makes my head hurt a bit, and it doesn't seem right, but perhaps you guys could help me sort it out. "If I would've gone to Canada, I'd have to have had some kind of winter gear."
6
votes
5answers
1k views

Present perfect continuous and “for”

Why aren't you allowed to say "I have been knowing her for ten years" or "It has been broadcasting for many years"? But you are allowed to say "I have been waiting for an hour".
6
votes
8answers
18k views

“have been working” vs. “have worked”

What is the difference between the following two sentences? I have been working here for 20 years. I have worked here for 20 years. The present perfect tense is used for repetitive or ...
5
votes
3answers
527 views

Is the use of the word “been” necessary or proper when discussing a completed event?

Is the use of the word "been" in the following sentence necessary or proper? The arbitration between the claimant and the respondent has already been concluded. Someone has been editing my paper ...
5
votes
2answers
29k views

When to use “has lived” vs. “lived” vs. “had lived”

Jim has lived there. Jim lived there. Jim had lived there. Are there any differences? When do I use one or the other? I'm trying to teach this to a foreign person and am having a hard ...
5
votes
2answers
837 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Past simple with today

For example, I want to say that I found a ball today. But "today" means action in present, am I right? I've already searched the Internet and it seems the right way is this: I found a ball today ...
5
votes
2answers
253 views

Is there a verb that doesn't take the participle form when used in Present Perfect?

I remember about a month ago I was speaking to a friend and I said a Present Perfect sentence like "I have [VERB]". I forget the verb but I remember it was an everyday verb, not something exotic. But ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Subject + “have had” + bare infinitive … ever correct?

In writing an email today I came up with the following sentence: "We have had two other ladies express an interest in the room." I'm a native English-English speaker and this felt fine to me. My ...
4
votes
2answers
23k views

“Has been” vs. “was”

Should one use has been or was in the following sentence, and why? For many years the USA has been a British colony. For many years the USA was a British colony.
4
votes
3answers
521 views

“Having influence” in perfect tense

I chatted on IRC and stumbled upon such a nice sentence: On the opposite, Tom has been a good influence on my life since I met him. For me it means that Tom is an influence, instead of Tom ...
4
votes
2answers
660 views

Why present perfect in “When the night has come”?

In the song “Stand by Me”, we see a sentence like “when the night has come.” I was taught that in a when clause, we use the past tense, yet the present perfect has been used in the sentence cited ...
4
votes
2answers
438 views

“Has reported” as present perfect vs. “has” as present + “reported” as a noun

In the following sentence below, I want to use the word reported as a noun, but it looks like I’m using the present perfect form has reported. How can one be clear when constructions like this ...
4
votes
4answers
378 views

Why no Future Perfect in “At the end of the year there will be an exam on everything you've studied”?

At the end of the year there will be an exam on everything you've studied. I'm just wondering why not use the Future Perfect tense here, as in: At the end of the year there will be an exam ...
4
votes
2answers
797 views

“I have been keeping ignoring you.”

Does this make any sense? I have been keeping ignoring you. Besides that it sounds awkward, my Chinese buddy who knows more grammar rules than I care to list said that the phrase is ...
4
votes
2answers
453 views

Present Perfect usage

Today I saw this quote from Michael Jordan, and the usage of Present Perfect in all of his past failed experiences got my attention: I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost ...
4
votes
3answers
622 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
5k views

“Lately” and “recently” in Present Perfect

If I use Present Perfect Progressive and Present Perfect with an expression of unfinished time, it implies that the action is continuing. But what about recently and lately — when used with ...
4
votes
2answers
578 views

Past simple or present perfect? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Present perfect for past action with present effect Is this sentence correct? What exactly does it mean? Person 1: Where did you hide my keys? Person 2: I put ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Why don’t people ever say “I have wanted to ask”?

Why do people never say the following: I have wanted to ask. . . . Maybe it would be better to ask whether it’s correct to say: I have wanted to ask. . . . But really I think I’ve never ...
3
votes
5answers
1k views

I have a question regarding present perfect and simple past

I have this example: Have you ever lost something valuable? The answer is : No, I haven't, but my brother ___ his camera on a trip once. My question is this. With what should I fill the ...
3
votes
3answers
447 views

Correct tense for events which happend long time ago but still have direct connection with present time

Suppose that a man disappeared twenty years ago and I haven't had a notice about him since then. What should I say to my interlocutor if I want to tell him about this story? You know, Harry has ...
3
votes
3answers
5k views

How is “I have come” + infinitive different from Present Perfect?

Consider the following examples: I have noticed that a lot of people are switching to Unity. vs. I have come to notice that a lot of people are switching to Unity. or: The Saddam I have ...
3
votes
3answers
7k views

Have lived vs. Have been living

What is the difference between the followings? A. I have been living here for 5 years. B. I have lived here for 5 years. Am I correct that these two represent the same event, but A ...
3
votes
2answers
177 views

Tenses and completeness of actions

When one uses simple past tense for some action, does it imply that the action is complete? For instance, when you say “I wrote my article yesterday,” does this imply that at this moment you have a ...
3
votes
2answers
264 views

Perfect tenses in conditionals

Why does one sometimes use the perfect tense in conditions of the first type? Say, I will do something if you have done something. I did something when he had done something. instead of, ...
3
votes
5answers
3k views

Is there another way to say “needn't have done”?

I'm learning modal verbs now and get in trouble with "need" one. In my textbook it is said that: don't need to == needn't -- present simple didn't need to -- past simple needn't have done -- ...
3
votes
3answers
534 views

Perfect vs Perfect Continuous

I saw this sentence the other day and it struck me as awkward. I went online and saw many instances of the Present perfect being used in such manner. She has worked here since 1995 Shouldn't ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

“For how many days have you been there?”

I read the following and was wondering if it was grammatically correct? Can we use this if the person just moved from that place and you run into him in a new place? For how many days have you ...
3
votes
3answers
645 views

Why present perfect in “How many points have you scored this season”?

Normally we use the past simple instead of present perfect when an action happened at a specific time in the past and is not linked with the present. Why is the below sentence grammatically correct? ...
3
votes
3answers
991 views

About using “only” with present perfect

I have seen this sentence in a status from one of my facebook friends. It doesn't sound right to me. We have only left the city for the day. I think that it should be something like: We have ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

“Whenever you arrive/are arrived/were arrived”

Which one of these sentences is grammatically correct? Would it be alright if the other sentences were being used in daily conversations? Let me know whenever you arrive. Let me know whenever ...
3
votes
4answers
20k views

“I have received” vs. “I received”

The option of using simple past vs. present perfect in situations like the following has been bothering me for quite some time. I sent you a letter a few days ago; I was wondering if you have ...
3
votes
3answers
839 views

Using present perfect continuous without mentioning time period

I am having a problem understanding the meaning of a sentence that uses the present perfect continuous without stating a period of time (how long, since, for, etc). Can the sentence still indicate ...
3
votes
2answers
505 views

Can you replace the present perfect continuous with present continuous when a concrete time period is specified?

As I have learnt, present perfect continuous should be used when we want to describe some activity which lasted for concrete period of time and is not finished still. For example, "I've been waiting ...
3
votes
1answer
7k views

Which is better: “was dead” / “died” / “has passed away” in my case? [duplicate]

I came across a question in Chinese@SE, which is about a status update of someone's cat. I asked the OP in the comment whether the cat was dead at that time: I assume his cat was dead, can you ...
3
votes
5answers
736 views

Present perfect passive voice

I have to put this sentence in passive: She took a long time to write the composition, but at last she wrote it. Trying to write this in passive, I wrote the following: The composition took ...
3
votes
3answers
227 views

Is there any pragmatic implication in ‘Beaky has enjoyed London’ here?

It says on a grammar book that in some cases, the present perfect form has pragmatic meanings. Joan has broken the teapot. (I have to get a new one.) I’ve had a bath. (I’m now clean.) Is ...