This is kind of confusing for me. Would be happy to get the answer and find out the right way of using these constructions:)

Is this correct and if not how I can use present and past perfect in one sentence?

“From the beginning of my teaching experience I’ve met people who had never sung before or they had had problems singing”

  • I think "...I've met people who have never sung before or who have had problems singing" would be more natural. You could say "...I've met people who had never sung before they came to my classes". Oct 4, 2019 at 9:36

1 Answer 1


Your sentence is perfectly fine. Kate Bunting's version, with have is good too.

But, as Kate implies, if you use the past perfect (with had) this suggests that "up to that time", i.e. that once they met you, they started singing. If that is what you meant, then that is how I would say it.

  • Thank you, Kate and Colin! Yes, I meant that those people hadn’t tried singing before they’ve met me. Oct 4, 2019 at 16:14
  • 'I’ve met people who had never sung before or they had had problems singing' surely violates a Ross constraint? Jun 30, 2020 at 13:13
  • Mebbe. I was focussing on the verb. You're talking about coordinating who and they? Not sure if that's a Ross constraint, but I agree it's infelicitous, though perfectly comprehensible.
    – Colin Fine
    Jun 30, 2020 at 13:32

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