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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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Using “might have been” in the present perfect

How do we use "might have been" in the present perfect? For example, "The door might have been closed". How can we say this in the present perfect? Or is it already in the present perfect?
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I can say: “You shouldn't have done this!” Can I say: “You had better not have done this!”?

Provided "should" and "had better" are near synonyms (stronger advice in "had better" than in "should" or in more formal "ought to"), I know I can say You shouldn't have done this! But how about ...
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2answers
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Is “have/has got” a perfect for BrE, but not AmE?

In BrE the past participle of get is in most cases got, while in AmE it is almost always gotten. Does that imply that in the context of BrE "have/has got" is a genuine perfect construction, whereas ...
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Present Perfect vs Present Simple (Murphy)

Murphy 4-th edition, additional exercises page 303, ex 2, question 12: This is a nice restaurant, isn't it? Is this the first time (you are / you've been) here? It seems I have heard the first ...
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4answers
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What's with the passive present perfect progressive? [duplicate]

I was taught that we made passive voice using be + the participle of the main verb, without changing the verb tense. E.g., I send letters. (present simple) Letters are sent. (present simple ...
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2answers
999 views

“She is said to have been born in the 3rd century BC”? [closed]

Consider the sentence: He is said to be the best golf player alive. From this I can easily infer: People say that he is the best golf player alive. Consider another sentence, then: She is ...
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1answer
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What does the perfect infinitive mean?

I came across a sentence recently: Before I turn 40, I want to have written a book. Could someone explain to me what does it actually mean? I'd rather say: Before I turn 40, I want to write a book. ...
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Would it be 'meet' or 'have met' in this structure?

If I bumped into someone, who happened to be called John, yesterday, and I am telling someone else of the encounter, would I say: I happened to meet John yesterday. or I happened to have met ...
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2answers
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usage of HAS in tenses [duplicate]

"she RETURNED 2 days ago and she HAS KNOWN me for 2 yrs" Why in the 2nd sentences we have used "HAS" and not in 1st sentence?
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1answer
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“Has been” in conjunction with “prior to”

Is it correct to ever use has been and prior to in the same sentence? For example: The symbol has been respected prior to its official use on the state flag. I'm hesitant to instead write "had ...
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''When'' condition? When we've finished, we'll have

I had a question in an exam and I don't understand why I was wrong. 1) When we finish the painting we'll have a cup of tea. I PUT THIS ANSWER AND WAS WRONG 2) When we've finished the painting, we'...
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“Until” followed by past perfect or past simple

Recently we have been learning tense sequence with using after, before and so on. One of them - until turned out troublesome for me. My first exercise was to write this sentence with until: not to ...
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4answers
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'could have + past participle' to talk about possible events in the future

BACKGROUND In this earlier thread, Edwin Ashworth approved a use of 'could have + past participle' for the future event that was precluded by context as in: (1) Mary could have arrived tomorrow, ...
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2answers
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Passive Voice vs Present Perfect Passive Voice

Neither Jeremy nor his friends have been informed about the accident by the traffic police. Why is the present perfect passive voice (have been informed) used in the sentence? Is it correct to use ...
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1answer
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Two verbs of present perfect

I just read an article on Newyork times and I found a sentence having 2 present perfect verbs : After more than a year of speculation, Mr. Draghi, the never-predictable head of the European ...
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1answer
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Is there a better term for “perfect infinitive”, “perfect participle” or “perfect gerund”?

BACKGROUND There are grammar terms such as 'present perfect' and 'past perfect' as in: She has learned English for 10 years. [present perfect] She had learned English when she was little. [...
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1answer
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Sequence of tenses in elaborate sentences?

Sorry I've been pelting you with my linguistic questions lately, but since I'm trying to do my best to make my English perfect, I just have to keep bothering you :) Today's question regards something,...
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Usage of “since” and “for” in the present perfect and simple past tense [duplicate]

Can we use since and for with past tense? If we can use them, then what is difference between: I have learnt English for 3 months I learnt English for 3 months
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auxiliaries before homogeneous members of the sentence

Is it possible to omit the second auxiliary in this sentence: "She has followed our advice and (has) started..." P.S. I have always thought it is as the verbs to follow and to start refer to one and ...
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1answer
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Have been awarded or was awarded? [duplicate]

My question is which one is correct: a) I have been awarded the science award 5 times or b) I was awarded the science award 5 times Thank you :)
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0answers
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Present perfect or past perfect? [duplicate]

Since I have stopped working, I started to learn English at home. Since I had stopped working,I started learning English at home. Are both questions having the same meaning in this context?
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1answer
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Past Perfect Continuous vs. Past Continuous

Every now and then I come up with a sentence, that eventually undermines my confidence as to whether it's correct or not - just a part of my OCD issues I guess. Same thing happened yesterday and ...
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4answers
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Why “hadn’t gone” and not “didn’t go”?

I came across this sentence: We thought that Joe didn’t go to the museum with the rest of the class. The Manhattan Sentence Correction Guide says it’s an incorrect construction and it should be: ...
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2answers
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Using a perfect infinitive construction to express uncertainty

My sentence: " I needed for her to have called me." The only example that I can find is from google books- title: The Ghost of Samuel Cetawayo" with a similar use of the perfect infinitive: "I had ...
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1answer
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conditional perfect continuous [closed]

If he had not supported me, I would not have been standing here in front of you like this. Is the above sentence gramittically correct or not. Regards, sri.
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1answer
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Past Simple or Past Perfect? [closed]

Which is grammatically correct? He woke up late this morning because he had a party with his friends last night. Or He woke up late this morning because he had had a party with his friends last ...
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2answers
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How often do we use the “future perfect continuous” in everyday conversation? [closed]

Consider the following usage I will have eaten pizza by 5pm I will have been eating pizza How often do we use this type of grammatical structure? Honestly, I have never heard anyone using it :-(...
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1answer
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Tricky Past Perfect sentences

I'm having trouble establishing a sequence of events in the following sentences (italicized) and understanding why the past perfect is needed. "Once upon a time, when I was a child reading fairy ...
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2answers
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Two past perfect verbs in the same sentence

Both these sentences contain two verbs (correct me if I'm wrong) that are in the past perfect tense. I'd like to ask how do they occur in chronological order. Though my question is related to the one ...
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1answer
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“Had been planning” or “were planning” What is the difference? [duplicate]

We_________(had been planning /were planning) to felicitate John at our annual cultural fest when the news of his death______(had arrived /arrived). Can someone tell me which one to use and why, ...
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1answer
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Past perfect example confusion

My text definition of past perfect tense tells me that it is used to refer to an action that is completed at some point in the past and before the commencement of another past action. I came across ...
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7answers
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“I've gotten better-looking as I get older” When did “gotten” re-enter the BrEng vernacular?

This summer I went to Ireland, to be more precise Dublin. Overall good weather and good fun. Anyway, while I was staying in Dublin I'd buy the local newspaper and one tabloid headline caught my eye. ...
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present continuous tense, present perfect tense and present perfect continuous [closed]

What are the differences between following three sentences ? A. I am living here for 3 years. B. I have lived here for 3 years. C. I have been living here for 3 years.
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Can “would rather” be followed with a past perfect?

Can "would rather" be followed with a past perfect? Can it be used to express a regret, a wish the past had been different? Example taken from First Certificate Language Practice by Michael Vince, ...
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“glad to receive something” or “glad to have received something”? [closed]

which is correct? "I am glad to receive your letter." or "I am glad to have received your letter." The intent is to talk about a specific letter recently received in the past.
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1answer
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Use of present perfect after past simple as clauses of the same sentence

Here is the thing I've written lately. Now, when I look at it, I'm not sure whether this is the right (natural, basically) way to put things. This post was written about a year ago, but it has been ...
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2answers
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“We are finished” vs. “We have finished”

Is "we are finished" grammatically correct? I thought it would be more correct to say "We have finished".
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could be or could have been stolen? [duplicate]

Please consider the following. Supposing the context is such that the frame was never stolen, is it acceptable to use "could have been stolen" instead of "could be stolen"? What would be the ...
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1answer
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Future tense and future perfect tense [closed]

Given two sentences: If we goad him into doing what he should have been doing all along, then it will be a smashing success. and If we goad him into doing what he should have been doing all ...
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4answers
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Use of past perfect

We’re having a discussion here on whether or not to use the past perfect in following sentence: The cargo was visible through the gap and was noted to have (had?) sustained damage. Which is ...
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“How long have you stayed there?” vs “How long did you stay there?” [duplicate]

I have a doubt about the difference between those two questions. Could you guys give me an appropriate examples and explanation? Thanks in advance!
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2answers
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“has scientists excited” or “has excited scientists”?

I saw the following on the Facebook page of Time. Is "has scientists excited" or the perfect version "has excited scientists" correct? What's the difference if both are correct? The recent ...
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2answers
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Is this grammatically correct: “It has happened for a while now.” [closed]

If not, why? I think it sounds awkward but I cannot be sure it's incorrect.
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is hidden or has hiidden [closed]

What is appropriate to use he is hidden or he has hidden ? It is bit confusing sometimes ,where to use the perfect form and where to simple
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6answers
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Present Perfect with the word “ago”?

First, I check that my native language is not English, and the problem described below met on one of the exams. With this sentence: "The most important news is that my parents [...] a new ...
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2answers
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Can I use the present perfect tense with a specific time expression? [closed]

Is it grammatical to combine the present perfect tense with time? For example, I've seen that movie two days ago. I've completed the 12-step program last summer. The deadline was two days ...
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1answer
788 views

Responsibility, the Gerund, and the Perfect Aspect

In the process of answering this question on ELL, I hit upon something I can't explain. The sentence in question is: Who is responsible for leaving the window open? I think anyone hearing that ...
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2answers
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“He denied having killed him” vs “He denied he had killed him”

I'm trying to understand the perfect aspect of the verbs and I am not sure whether both are correct: He denied having killed him He denied he had killed him. If not, what is the problem? ...
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‘He decided’ vs. ‘He had decided’

He decided that I could have the apartment before he looked at my credit report. I found that sentence in an exercise, and I wonder why it isn't: He had decided that I could have the apartment ...
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4answers
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Passive or Past perfect?

a) The train was left by then. Or b) The train had left by then. Could you tell me which alternative is correct?