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

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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
110 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
2k 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
363 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
219 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
24 views

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
750 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
171 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
142 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
139 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
145 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
5k views

What does “Compound Tense” mean? [closed]

I have problems with learning about "Compound Tenses". Please help me.
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1answer
867 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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2answers
9k views

“could have” vs. “could have been”

Can somebody explain when to use could have and could have been and under what circumstances? Please explain with an example. Is it something to do with the active (could have) and the passive ...
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3answers
1k 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
1k 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 ...
0
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1answer
473 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
205 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
263 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
436 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 ...
2
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1answer
1k views

“Have you gone” vs. “have you ever gone”

When talking about past experience, what is the difference between these two sentences? Have you gone to Hong Kong? Have you ever gone to Hong Kong?
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3answers
670 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 ...
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2answers
1k views

“He told me that he [has/had] got temporary residence of England”

Telling a friend about another friend, Yesterday I met John. He told me that he has/had got temporary residence of England. Which one is fine here, has or had?
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1answer
1k views

“Do you ever do something” vs. “Have you ever done something” [duplicate]

In "Pragmmatic Programmer" by David Hunt and Andy Thomas, there is a sentence: Do you ever watch old black-and-white war movies? To my best english grammar knowledge, present perfect tense ...
2
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1answer
113 views

Is it okay to use “has been” here?

My Dad (diabetic) and I went to a doctor for a checkup. The doctor advised my dad to increase his insulin because his sugar was high in those days. Furthermore doctor told my dad to call him after a ...
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2answers
252 views

I didn't hear what you've said

Is the sentence I didn't hear what you've (just) said a natural one? Some tell me that it's unnatural, but not ungrammatical. Others tell me that it's all right. I'm puzzled. What do you think? ...
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1answer
4k views

“Have been born” vs. “are born” vs. “were born”

We are native to this country. We have been born here to serve it. Is the use of "have been" acceptable here? I think the simple past were is more appropriate. Also, what about: We are ...
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1answer
120 views

What does “perfect” in say past perfect imply? [duplicate]

Many verb tenses such as "past perfect", "present perfect", and "future perfect" exist. I understand what these tenses mean and when they should be used, but what does the word perfect imply? Are ...
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2answers
2k views

Difference between “have had” and “having”

What is the difference between the following two sentences? I have had a headache since this morning. I am having a headache since this morning.
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3answers
592 views

Present simple and present perfect in this context

I have been told that the following are the same: It has been twenty years since I last saw her. It is twenty years since I have seen her. But I somehow do not understand why; usually the ...
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2answers
1k views

Difference between present perfect and perfect continous [closed]

What is the difference between these two sentences:- The traffic police has blocked the road for heavy vehicles since last Friday and It has been raining heavily since morning.
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2answers
2k views

'have been' vs. 'went' with time words

Sometimes I see the following in ESL learners' writing: I have been to America two years ago. Am I correct in saying that it should be: I have been to America. I went to America two ...
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3answers
4k views

“I ever met” vs. “I have ever met”

In the following context, is it okay to say "I ever met" or is it "I have ever met"? Three years later you remain the coolest person I met.
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0answers
203 views

Why the present perfect in “It is closed since 1900”? [closed]

I am struggling to understand the present perfect tense as my language does not have it. It is closed since 1900 should it not be: It has been closed since 1990? How is it grammatical? ...
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1answer
236 views

Should “How long were you at work?” have a simple or a compound tense?

I would like to know, if the following sentence can ever be correct in any context? How long were you at work? Or it must be: How long had you been at work? For example: How long were ...
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1answer
425 views

Present Perfect after “before”

I've been watching a TV show recently and in one of the episodes the following is being said: I don't want half my army killed before I've crossed the Narrow Sea. In the second part of the ...
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2answers
1k views

perfect continuous or simple perfect in negative sentences

I want to know the difference between present perfect continuous and present perfect in negative sentences. My textbook says (namely, English Grammar In Use, 2nd edition) 'use simple for negative ...
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2answers
413 views

Present Perfect Vs Present Perfect Continuous and Simple Past/ Past Perfect Vs Past Perfect Continuous [closed]

What is the difference in meanings of the following pairs of sentences? It's very confusing to me. a. I have lived in Paris for 4 years. b. I have been living in Paris for 4 years. a. I ...
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0answers
106 views

When could we use perfect tense? [closed]

Could you recommend me any grammar taskbook like Murphy with a lot of tasks and explanation of perfect tense? I haven't quite understood the meaning of the perfect tense and all cases when it should ...
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2answers
11k views

“Is used” vs. “has been used” vs. “was used”

I have three sentences of which I'm not sure which one is grammatical, and why. It refers to the Eiffel Tower. It is used as the symbol of Paris and of France for over a century. It was ...
3
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1answer
9k 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 ...
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2answers
87 views

Is reported speech reasonable in this example? [closed]

What is the right word to the gap (21)? (had/have) That is about 400 years earlier than when the Inca Indians were thought to (21) __ discovered the silver in the ground. I think it's had as ...
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4answers
4k views

Present perfect vs. passive voice

Here are two sentences that look pretty similar: The book was written by Hugo. The book has been written by Hugo. Each of them says that the action has been already performed in the past ...
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1answer
150 views

Is the sequence of tenses applied properly in this example?

I found this sentence in some book: When Mom asked Gramma why she hasn't been answering the telephone, Gramma said. . . . My question is about the sequence of tenses: shouldn't the past perfect ...
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1answer
565 views

“I been” or “I’ve been”? [closed]

In the famous song Every Breath You Take by The Police, Sting sings: Since you've gone I been lost without a trace… I admit that I am not some expert in English Grammar, but this "I been" ...
4
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1answer
7k 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 ...
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2answers
12k views

“Haven't” vs. “hadn't” [closed]

Are there any differences in meaning between the two sentences? We hadn't left the place yet; we will be there in 10 minutes. We haven't left the place yet; we will be there in 10 minutes. ...
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3answers
367 views

Is “have not worked here for a long time” ambiguous?

I have not worked here for a long time/for many years. Is it ambiguous? Which of the two below is the correct meaning? I have been working here, but only for a short period of time. I once ...
4
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2answers
858 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 ...
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2answers
136 views

Present and past perfect dilemma

This sentence is giving me trouble: For several days I (have/had) not had the chance to see her until a few hours ago. I think had is correct because the time reference is a few hours ago, ...