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

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“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
108 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
1k 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
497 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
836 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
1k 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
3k 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
172 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
160 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
368 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
349 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
99 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
7k 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
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 ...
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2answers
77 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
3k 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 ...
1
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1answer
144 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
257 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
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 ...
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2answers
8k 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. ...
1
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3answers
319 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
656 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
119 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, ...
1
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1answer
335 views

Present perfect or past simple? [duplicate]

I know the basic rules about using PP and PS (like specified time in the past etc.) but in some cases, it is not clear to me: I have finished painting. - present perfect, I just announce that. I ...
2
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1answer
301 views

I was sat thinking why you were stood there before I was took away by the word police [duplicate]

I know my sentence is dreadful but everyone now uses these words in this way, including my eight children aged 19—26. Yes, they are from Manchester but my husband uses he was took and he’s from ...
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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 ...
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1answer
72 views

“What I've” vs “What I” [duplicate]

I'm titling a post I'm writing as: What I've Learned At {company name} I'm struggling, however, with trying to figure if I should drop the I've for just I to make it: What I Learned At ...
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1answer
227 views

Reported Speech Tense Choice [closed]

Which of the followings sentences would be the best choice? The victim explained how he became addicted five years ago... His addiction is so bad that he is unable to keep a steady ...
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4answers
392 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 ...
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2answers
1k views

Is “have been being investigated” in the following sentence grammatically correct?

I need to know whether the following sentence is grammatically correct or not. Specifically, I am unsure about have been being investigated part. Do the times that I am using match each other? ...
5
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3answers
524 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 ...
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3answers
249 views

Tense choice in “the strategy was exploited so frequently before, that it has long lost its originality”

I am not sure if the Past Simple and Present Perfect tenses in the second part of the sentence are used correctly: Surely, we can experiment with various styles, combine genres and produce ...
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1answer
583 views

“Did you wash your hands?” or “Have you washed your hands?” and why? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do the tenses in English correspond temporally to one another? When do I use present perfect tense instead of the simple past? When will “Present Perfect vs. Past ...
0
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1answer
242 views

Present simple vs. present perfect

I'm doing a key word transformation and I've come to this sentence: There aren't any eggs left. "We ____ eggs". I should complete the sentence with 2–5 words using the word "run". At first I ...
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1answer
2k views

“Has been changed” or “has changed”?

Debate with a fellow writer: should I say "My email ID has been changed" or "My email ID has changed"?
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2answers
834 views

Meaning and sentence structure of “Why would we have thought otherwise?”

Here is a snippet from an article on CNN And of course the fiscal cliff turned out to be a dud. Why would we have thought otherwise? It somehow makes perfect sense that Washington created its own ...
3
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1answer
335 views

The original usage of past participles

I have heard that the origin of the present perfect construction is that sentences like "I have it done" (passive) changed to "I have done it" (present perfect). Is that true at all? If that's the ...
0
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1answer
1k views

“Had spent” vs. “has spent” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: where should we use has/have been and had been? [Company] had spent previous years a few blocks away from the new location. This sentence uses "had spent", but to ...
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2answers
8k views

“I've been working here since two months ago” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Proper usage of “since” and “from” with regard to duration of time Is “since I’m” now an acceptable alternative to “since I was”? With the Present Perfect ...
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2answers
6k views

“I got it covered” vs “I've got it covered” [closed]

Which of the two sentences is correct and why: I got it covered. or I've got it covered. Edit: I am referring to usage that implies that you have something under control: Sally: Did ...
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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 ...
4
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2answers
793 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 ...
1
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1answer
504 views

When not to use past perfect?

In a recent question: Past perfect or past simple in combination with present perfect? the asker presented three options. I have examined the document you gave me and... I have examined the ...
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3answers
9k views

“How long have you [had/been having] this?” - Cont. or Simple?

I'm studying Present Perfect tenses at the moment and have been wondering what tense should I use in this example: How long have you [had/been having] this thing? So I know that in some cases ...
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3answers
549 views

Past perfect or past simple in combination with present perfect?

Suppose I received a document from my colleague, studied it and then gave him feedback in a letter. How should I construct the following sentense? I have examined the document you gave me and... ...
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3answers
810 views

Present Simple instead of Present Perfect

I have come across interesting cases several times where the Present Simple is used instead of the Present Perfect. For example: 1) Lately I get the feeling that I am not so much being pulled down as ...
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5answers
1k views

Using “present perfect” for things that happen in future

Is it grammatical to use "Present Perfect" tense for something that is going to happen in future? As far as I know, the Present Perfect is used to say that an action happened at an unspecified time ...
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1answer
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“I was wondering what time it is” or “I was wondering what the time has been”

Can you tell me which option is more natural in this English sentence? I'm sorry to trouble you but I was wondering what (A) time it is (B) the time has been The whole story is that ...
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3answers
4k views

Present-Perfect: “hadn't heard” vs. “haven't heard”

Let's say I have just listened to a beautiful song wanted to immediately tell my friend about it. Which sentence should I use? A. I haven't heard a song this good for a while. B. I hadn't ...