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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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Present Perfect in the past time context

I have come across this paragraph in an English textbook: Does this ring a bell? I'm sure it does. We've all experienced annoying tricks when we were young – the brother who stole your toys and then ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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?...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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"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". ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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"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 ...
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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 ...
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"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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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2 votes
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"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 ...
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1 answer
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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 ...
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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. ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1 answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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.
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Woken or Have woken

Woken up late . I had to take a taxi to attend the first lecture. OR Have woken up late . I had to take a taxi to attend the first lecture. Which one is the correct sentence, please help me guys as ...
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3 votes
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What tense is "would have been"?

This is used in Conditional Type 3. But no one knows what tense this is...
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1 vote
3 answers
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Can you help with the difference in these past perfect tenses?

Example 1: 'Edison invented the light bulb. He had been working on it for years'. Example 2: 'Edison invented the light bulb. It had taken him years'. In example 1, the past perfect continuous makes ...
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Can You help me with my english? [closed]

Is It correct to say: "I had been his wife before he got married with her."?
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having been participled?

Is anything wrong in this sentence? The enemy, beaten at every point, fled from the field. According to my book it should instead be: The enemy, having been beaten at every point, fled from the ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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How is the present perfect “connected” with the present?

Practical English Usage and the Cambridge Grammar of English say that the present perfect “is connected in some way with the present.” Neither book explains this, and this is why I’m asking for you ...
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1 answer
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I have lunch at 1 pm [duplicate]

can anyone please explain me is it correct to say "I have lunch at 1 pm". My doubt is if it is correct then how can we use a specific time expression with present perfect tense? If it is wrong to say "...
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Which future type (simple-vs-perfect) is correct for talking about an event that’s done?

Graduated, I started attending the degree course in Computer Science and Engineering in 2017, where I will graduate after two years with ⁹⁸⁄₁₁₀. Is a simple will graduate ok here, or should I instead ...
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Actions That Terminate At Present Moment

Which tense should I use for actions which terminate exactly at the present time and the final point of the action is the present moment ? Can present perfect be used for this type of situation? Let'...
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3 votes
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What was the role of "compound" verbs in Middle English?

I was just reading a book where it is said that when perfect started to acquire modern meanings, "compound" verbs appeared. Here are some examples (I`m assuming with "compound" verbs on the right): ...
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What İs The Grammatical Logic of Continuative Perfect [closed]

What is the origin and logic behind the perfect aspect which is used for actions started in the past and ongoing at present time or past states which is still valid at present time. My question isn't ...
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See somebody do/doing something [duplicate]

Consider these two variations: Every morning, tourists can see soldiers raise the national flag in the square. Every morning, tourists can see soldiers raising the national flag in the square. What ...
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