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

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“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
2k 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
130 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
135 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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3answers
275 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 ...
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2answers
110 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, ...
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1answer
2k views

Did you ever hear(see, do, anything else) vs. Have you ever(seen, done, and so on) heard? [closed]

What's correct? If both, what is the difference between these questions? An example from The Valley of Fear by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: MacDonald turned over the letter which Holmes had handed ...
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2answers
472 views

Use of the word “have”

In a menu title/button, does "have" need to be used? Is "1" okay or should "2" be used? 1) People who contacted you in the last 24 hours 2) People who have contacted you in the last 24 hours This ...
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3answers
2k views

“Like” or “have liked”? [closed]

Is this sentence correct? From early ages people like travelling. Isn't it better to say: Since early ages people have liked travelling.
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1answer
135 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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2answers
480 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
231 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 ...
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3answers
226 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
3k views

Use of “had said” in the “The Archers”

In the BBC radio drama The Archers, the following conversation takes place: A:             David, you are not going to say what you saw. You love your family, right? David:   What? A:    ...
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0answers
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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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0answers
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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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1answer
312 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 ...
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2answers
1k views

Why is the perfect tense used in this sentence?

I wish I have been there for the baby kicking for the first time? Could I change the sentence to I wish I was there for the baby kicking for the first time? What are the differences ...
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4answers
47 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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1answer
171 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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2answers
175 views

Is present perfect necessarily definitive action in past [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do the tenses in English correspond temporally to one another? If I say "I have worked in a supermarket." does it mean that all the work is in the past and that now, ...
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2answers
193 views

Present Perfect with “that”

I came across the sentence "It's been thirty years since my parents first met." I am sure that if I heard "It's been thirty years that my parents first met", I would accept it as grammatical, but I ...
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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
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 ...
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2answers
550 views

perfect tense: question on “unspecified time”

What kind of time descriptor can be regarded as an "unspecified time"? (So it can be used along with the perfect tense) For example, it's correct to say: I have seen that movie six times in the ...
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3answers
558 views

Present perfect and simple past

Here's a conversation: Speaker1: I have already seen this film. Speaker2: When have you seen it? [OR] When did you see it? Speaker1: Last month. Are both of the responses from Speaker2 ...
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2answers
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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
86 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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2answers
1k views

What does “Compound Tense” mean? [closed]

I have problems with learning about "Compound Tenses". Please help me.
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1answer
419 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
273 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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1answer
340 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
169 views

Trouble with mixed tenses [closed]

How many phones have you lost in total? I've lost 2 in 2 months, at this rate I could be catching you up!" In particular I've used the past simple in the first sentence. The second sentence ...
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4answers
14k views

“Have been + verb-ing” vs. “have + past participle”

What's the difference between the following constructions of present perfect: I've been waiting for you for seven years. I've waited for you for seven years. Googling yields no satisfying ...
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2answers
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“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
92 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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3answers
453 views

Present Perfect or simple past?

A student has written: Still, I have already been aware of most of the information even before watching the video. It doesn't feel right and I would normally use a past simple here. I'm on my ...
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1answer
318 views

Is that a correct usage of present perfect?

What do you think about this sentence? Do you have bought the lesson book? Is that a correct usage of "Do you have bought"? Or should I say "Did you buy"?
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1answer
113 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
94 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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4answers
139 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
103 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
704 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 ...
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4answers
3k views

Present perfect tense sentence

For the following sentence: I haven't been there in a long time. I want to know if the above sentence conveys any connection with time up to now. How can I correct this sentence it if it is ...
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2answers
670 views

Present perfect as continuing action (“for three years”) [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When to use “has lived” vs. “lived” vs. “had lived” I’m having trouble understanding this sentence: I have lived here for three years (I still live here.) I know ...
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1answer
45 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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1answer
175 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
34 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
74 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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1answer
122 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 ...