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

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2answers
218 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 ...
0
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1answer
173 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? ...
2
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2answers
163 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
8k views

What does “Compound Tense” mean? [closed]

I have problems with learning about "Compound Tenses". Please help me.
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1answer
1k 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
17k 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
788 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 ...
0
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1answer
228 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 ...
0
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4answers
346 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 ...
1
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1answer
627 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?
3
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3answers
857 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?
2
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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
votes
1answer
123 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 ...
0
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3answers
389 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? ...
1
vote
1answer
6k 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 ...
0
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1answer
140 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 ...
1
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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.
2
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3answers
689 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 ...
-1
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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.
2
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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 ...
0
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3answers
6k 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.
1
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1answer
338 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
521 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 ...
3
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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
474 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 ...
2
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2answers
17k 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
14k 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 ...
0
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2answers
94 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 ...
0
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5answers
5k 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
161 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
1k 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
votes
1answer
10k 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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votes
2answers
19k 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
vote
3answers
445 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
154 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
vote
1answer
469 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
votes
1answer
452 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 ...
7
votes
9answers
38k 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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
74 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 ...
0
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1answer
314 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
547 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 ...
0
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2answers
2k 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
votes
3answers
838 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
335 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 ...
-2
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1answer
998 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 ...