Questions tagged [perfect-aspect]

For questions about the perfect, a construction generally formed in English with a form of "have" followed by a past participle. The English perfect may be classified either as a grammatical "aspect" or "tense".

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Can We Use Participle Clauses as Supplements with Continuative and Non-continuative Perfects?

I've recently read a section in The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language where Huddleston and Pullum talk about the focus of the perfect. They talk about the referred time (in the case of the ...
MJ Ada's user avatar
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*Why* is "I've been to <place>" grammatically valid only in perfect constructions?

While riding my bike this morning, my mind was wandering. All of a sudden I realized that the phrase "I've been to (place)" is very strange because if you change the aspect of the verb, it ...
qdread's user avatar
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"When" + future perfect usage

A Scots friend of mine corrected my usage of future perfect in this construction: Right, see you in five years when your mother tongue will have taken another ten steps back. Maybe the construction ...
Titus Toia's user avatar
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1 answer
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Should it be Past Perfect or Present Perfect? [closed]

Past Perfect can't be used on its own, can it? I mean, if there is a sentence without context, just a sentence on its own, and there is no clause with predicate in Past Simple in it. Is it ...
Mia's user avatar
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Which tense to choose [closed]

There are a couple of sentences: The water froze and caused the pipe to burst. If it is a succession of past events it should be Past Simple. But if the first part happened earlier, it should be : ...
Jess3032's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
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Past and present perfect tense in scientific articles

There are various questions about this, but none that I found provided me with a satisfying answer. My problem lies mainly in the part of the paper were I introduce the necessary background, and in ...
Bubaya's user avatar
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1 answer
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Are both correct: "Having greeted you" and "Greeting you"? [closed]

Is it correct to say: I apologize for not having greeted you when you visited my house last month. Or is it only correct to say: I apologize for not greeting you when you visited my house last ...
Louie's user avatar
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1 answer
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Can past perfect continuous tense be substituted for past continuous without any change in meaning? [duplicate]

If you search for any video or article that teaches the past perfect continuous tense, you'll surely come across an example such as: "He had been throwing rocks at her window for five minutes ...
Let's user avatar
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Why does "we have been over this" mean something different from "we are over this"?

The whole sentence is: We’ve been over this a thousand times. The data is irrefutable! What does it mean to "have been over this" here in this context? How does this meaning differ here ...
dae's user avatar
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2 votes
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What is the reason for quasi-modals existing and why do they imply different meaning than the modals themselves?

What I mean is - Why do we have collocations such as "be supposed to", "have to", "be able to"? I understand that modals are defective, but maybe more fundamentally, why ...
Matěj Vais's user avatar
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5 answers
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I am having trouble coördinating two clauses in the past by using the past perfect in one or both of them

I am confused about using had, talking about walking into a building in the past tense: She had been humming when she had walked into the building. She had been humming when she walked into the ...
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I've planned my visit for years vs I've been planning my visit for years

Look at these two sentences: I've planned my visit to Japan for years. I've been planning my visit to Japan for years. To me, both are acceptable and interchangeable. Would I be incorrect? Both of ...
meepyer's user avatar
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1 answer
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It hasn't snowed vs it hasn't been snowing

Ok, to preface this question, I have read extensively on the subject of the present perfect and present perfect continuous. This question isn't about the present perfect for finished actions; rather, ...
meepyer's user avatar
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Past perfect continuous

I'm confused about the past perfect continuous sentence. One YouTuber who is an English teacher is explaining that there is a slight difference between the following two sentences, which makes me ...
miwowwow's user avatar
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1 answer
160 views

How many past perfect tense instances can be used in one sentence?

There's a sentence in which I have to express that one activity took place more recently than the other three. It's a classic case when past perfect should be used, but how does it look in terms of ...
Yan's user avatar
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2 answers
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I would like to know which option is the right one: Why did... or Why has...? [closed]

Why did the dog make so much noise this night? Why has the dog made so much noise this night?
Elena's user avatar
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1 answer
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must have been vs must be [closed]

These two paragraphs are from Toni Morrison's commencement address to the Barnard Class of 1979 (link), where she talked about Cinderella: What is unsettling about it is that the story is essentially ...
listeneva's user avatar
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the entire film/book

If I say: "I read the book." or "I watched the film." Does it mean that I read the entire book or that I watched the entire film? If it does, how should I say to emphasise that I ...
IlyaTretyakov's user avatar
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2 answers
55 views

Does this sentence imply 2 meanings? Present Perfect

"I have loved you for many years". As I understand it, this sentence can have 2 different meanings. I still love her. It started a long time ago. I don't love her anymore. Am I correct?
Savva Pavlenko's user avatar
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Can we use present perfect tense with past time expressions?

Can we use the present perfect tense with past time expressions if we are not telling stories or talking about the past, but if it is important to let know that an action happened at the exact time in ...
Shine's user avatar
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"Will have heard by now" sounds like bad usage to me; what is your opinion? [closed]

I posted the question here https://ell.stackexchange.com/questions/295727/bad-usage-of-will-have but it was closed due to insufficient details or clarity. I'm trying here. The following sounds wrong ...
Zohar Levi's user avatar
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Past Continuous in reported speech

Let's imagine someone has told me: Last month while we were traveling in Cyprus, my mother was packing her bags for her first ever foreign trip. I was wondering whether I could paraphrase it, and ...
Alexander Svetochev's user avatar
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1 answer
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The diagram for showing Future-Perfect-In-Past Tense

Consider this example: He said that he would have finished his task before we arrived. Let's assign a number to each clause: He said that he would have finished his task before we arrive If we ...
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If he got the job, he would be very happy now

Consider this, please: Person A: My brother was supposed to appear for an interview at 8am, and now it's 10. I don't know if he got the job or not. But one thing is for sure, If he got the job, he ...
Mr. X's user avatar
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I get/got/'ve got/'ve gotten/have it [duplicate]

When you want to tell someone that you understand something, you might say, "I get/got/'ve got it." But Q) Do we say "I've gotten it" or "I have it" in place of the above?...
Mr. X's user avatar
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On official forms, does the present perfect imply that the situation is ongoing or has not yet concluded?

I have a question specifically about present perfect usage in legal and “bureaucratic” writing. On official forms (for example, application forms from US government agencies or IRS forms), I sometimes ...
Rai's user avatar
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Sentence in which Past Perfect is not thought of as preceding the action [closed]

I can’t just wrap my head around it... In which sentence the action denoted by the Past Perfect is not thought of as preceding the action denoted by the Past Indefinite tense: a) He knew where hilda ...
Anastasia Romanova's user avatar
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1 answer
464 views

Meaning of 'could have done something'? [closed]

In the following sentence, If you had tried harder you could have succeeded. does could have succeeded mean would have been able to succeed, or might have been able to succed, or is it ambiguous if ...
user58319's user avatar
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-2 votes
1 answer
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Perfect infinitive [closed]

what is a perfect infinitive? when we should use it? Before I turn 40, I want to have written a book. VS Before I turn 40, I want to write a book. what is the difference?
Russian Blue's user avatar
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3 answers
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Q: "Did I charter a train and take it to the sea?" vs. A: "I did charter a train and took it to the sea." How to explain to a learner the usage diff.?

"Did I charter a train and take it to the sea?" vs. so this is simple past tense. What do we call the verb that changes the tense, while the others retain their present base form? But now in ...
William Dodds's user avatar
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18 views

"Hasn't been as bad as they had feared" or "hasn't been as bad as they feared"

I can't find other questions and/or information about the forms / tense I'm using in this sentence as most questions seem to be about the difference between "hasn't" or "hadn't". ...
Max Boone's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
57 views

What verb construction would you use?

Imagine you go down to the station at noon to meet your friend Mike there. You sit there and wait and wait for him to show up. Two hours later your friend finally arrives and says to you: Sorry I'm ...
FalaGringo's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
869 views

I've studied vs I've been studying

What's the difference from these two phrases? How would I know if keep studying or if I did it in the past?
novemberfourteen's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
96 views

What does the sentence "People felt that the cyclist was performing at a surprisingly high level." become in the passive? [closed]

This is a (one more!) question I have had to ask myself when dealing with the passive structure "someone is said to do/be doing/have done something"... which definitely is a tricky structure ...
user58319's user avatar
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“COVID-19 changed / has changed / has been changing the everyday life of people” [duplicate]

This is for the translation of a bachelor thesis and we have different opinions on the use of the word "change". Which is correct? COVID-19 changed / has changed / has been changing the ...
Lynn's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
746 views

"they had renovated" vs "had been renovating"

How can I understand the sentence 1b? 1 a When I last went to Moscow, they had renovated St Basil's Cathedral.    b When I last went to Moscow, they had been renovating St Basil's Cathedral The ...
illusory0000's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
208 views

Past Perfect strange usages ;)

1. I've read that "We can use the past perfect followed by before to show that an action was not done or was incomplete when the past simple action happened". Example: They left before I'd ...
Nasti 's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
361 views

"It had started to snow by 10 a.m. yesterday." vs "It started to snow by 10 a.m. yesterday." [closed]

I don't understand the timing in the following sentence: It had started to snow by 10 a.m. yesterday. I don't understand when it started to snow. And did it finish or is it still snowing? Is this ...
xBlind's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
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past-continuous vs present-perfect-continuous [closed]

I have watched a few videos on this theme, but still don't understand when I would use one and cannot use another. Example from one of BBC English videos: "I have been cooking soup for 20 minutes ...
user3518295's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
124 views

Past perfect continuous and use of since

I came across the following sentence with an instruction to rewrite it in past perfect continuous using the given time expression in brackets: Govind was working in this factory as a watchman. (since ...
Amrita Enakshi Mukherjee's user avatar
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0 answers
37 views

How do you differentiate the use of "When I asked..." and "When I have asked..."

This might be a very basic question for native speakers of English, but I'd really appreciate if you could help me to understand the difference between "When I asked" and "When I have ...
user389465's user avatar
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0 answers
164 views

use of Present Perfect without time reference

I have a doubt about the use of present perfect. If I want to say that something happened in the past but I don't want to express when it happened or it's not important, can I use present perfect? For ...
Andrea Fabris's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
5k views

"had spent" vs. "spent"

Which tense would be appropriate in this case - past perfect simple or past simple? "After he had spent some of the money, he decided to find his dream house." or "After he spent some ...
user388736's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
220 views

Could have - Would have been able - Could have been able

Is there any difference between: I could have done it I would have been able to do it I could have been able to do it ? I think the third one is excessive because it has two the same elements of ...
Michael Azarenko's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
52 views

The present perfect with distant actions in the past

The present perfect serves in different aspects and conveys different nuances two of which are these: 1) An action with a result in the present. I have bought a new sweater. = I have a sweater now. ...
user1425's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
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Expressing both completion and duration with perfect tense

Let's say that it's 2 p.m. now, and I ran this morning for 1 hour (normally I run for 30 minutes). I want to express that I'm still tired from running - so is it correct to say, "I have run for 1 ...
Lucas's user avatar
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0 answers
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Present Perfect and Past Simple together

I just wonder if i have a possibility to mix these tenses in this way. For example, i say about things happened in the past. Can i use present perfect to show result of this sentences in present? I ...
darya meoww's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
3k views

During with Present Perfect?

Can anyone make this clear for me? Look at this sentence: -"I have been making this Tshirt during the confinement period" Let's imagine that the confinement period is not over, and that the job with ...
Alberto's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
778 views

Present perfect with 'in the last 10 days'

I've read this sentence on TIME: But dozens of new cases have been confirmed in the last week. and months ago read this on a questionaire; Which have you used in the past? Is it OK to use the ...
wayra's user avatar
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0 answers
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is using past perfect continuous correct in this case?

Is this sentence correct and can I say the same thing using another tense? When I saw her account I realised that she had not been using her account for years.
a94's user avatar
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