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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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When is it necessary to use “have had”?

I have read a few sentences that contain "have had". I would like to know in what kind of situations we should use use this combination.
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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. ...
14
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5answers
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Can the present perfect continuous construct be used in passive voice?

Can the passive voice be used for sentences in the present perfect continuous? I understand the present perfect and its passive voice (have/has built, has been built). However, the passive voice of ...
13
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2answers
847 views

“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 ...
12
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2answers
71k views

How to use “have been —ing”

I know the present perfect continuous is used for activity which has stopped recently or now. When it combines with for, since, or how long an activity is done, it means the activity is still ...
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5answers
43k views

Difference in meaning: “would have had to be” vs “would have had to have been”

Being a non native speaker, I cannot spot the difference here: He would have had to have been there. He would have had to be there. The only thing that comes to my mind is that in the first case, ...
9
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1answer
8k views

How to correctly use the present perfect tense

This link states that: When you use the present perfect tense you have to be talking about a period of time that you still consider to be going on. For example, if it’s still morning, you can say, "...
9
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7answers
182k views

“could have” vs. “could have been”

Can somebody explain when to use could have and could have been and under what circumstances? Please explain with an example. Is it something to do with the active (could have) and the passive ...
8
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2answers
4k views

Dare + have done

Here is an example from an old book. I know it’s old but it can’t be simply discarded, I hope. "I never dare have spoken — never dare have told you that my love for you was killing me" So, I ...
6
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1answer
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Speculative conditional: Why does it use the past tense or past perfect tense?

We use simple past to state a hypothetical present situation that we would like to speculate about (If they were here, I would be happy), past perfect for a hypothetical past (had they been here, I ...
6
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3answers
18k views

Adverbs + Present Perfect

Here's my problem: I've been confused about the placement of adverbs in present/past perfect phrases. For example, which sentence would sound better: "We had been slowly drifting down the river ...
6
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4answers
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Can the Future Perfect be used in a main clause of a conditional sentence that has a stative/non-action verb in the if-clause?

A student asked me this question today about a sentence like: (1) If Canada's population is 40 million, the Canadian economy will have been more dynamic. I was asked if it corresponded, in a future ...
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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
17k views

“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 ...
4
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2answers
4k views

Why present perfect in “When the night has come”?

In the song “Stand by Me”, we see a sentence like “when the night has come.” I was taught that in a when clause, we use the past tense, yet the present perfect has been used in the sentence cited ...
4
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1answer
2k views

Present perfect continuous

Are the answers I chose correct. My choices are in bold. I have been pumping/I have pumped up three tyres. Would you like to do the forth? I have been greasing/I have greased my car. That's why my ...
4
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1answer
2k views

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 ...
4
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2answers
5k views

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, ...
4
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1answer
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perfect infinitives with main verbs

My question is about usage of perfect infinitives with main verbs e.g. I would like to have lived in the 13th century. She was going to have worked in her mother's business, but decided ...
4
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2answers
2k views

could versus be able

Let me start by saying what is written in grammar books on this issue and after that I will put my question. (Take heed that this usage of "could" ONLY refers to the past and ONLY to affirmative ...
4
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1answer
535 views

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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5answers
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past simple vs past perfect

My question might seem to be stupid enough, it's basic grammar, I believe; however, I'm at my wits' end. Should we use Past perfect or Past Simple in the following sentence: He promised/ had ...
4
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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 ...
3
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2answers
44k views

“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".
3
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4answers
3k views

Perfect vs Perfect Continuous

I saw this sentence the other day and it struck me as awkward. I went online and saw many instances of the present perfect being used in such manner. She has worked here since 1995 Shouldn't this ...
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5answers
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“hadn't have killed” vs “hadn't killed”

Can someone help? "Dave killed Peter." Dave asked Susan, "why was Peter here?" Susan said, "Maybe he would have told you if you hadn't have killed him." Would there have been any difference if she ...
3
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2answers
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Usage of 'future perfect' versus 'future simple'

I have a question about the usage of the future perfect thingy: I know that it is used to talk about a completed action before a time in future, but is it wrong to use just plain future simple in this ...
3
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1answer
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Past/Present tense in a conditional statement

I'm not an English speaker. Even though I do understand conditional statements that are written by others but when it comes to my turn I still feel confused and don't really know how to organize it. ...
3
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5answers
2k views

What tense should I use for describing an ongoing action which has started a long time ago? [closed]

Suppose I started working on a project several years ago and right now I'm still working on the same project. If I want to express this to someone else what tense should I use? The statement should ...
3
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2answers
935 views

Should “If I ever had a philosophy” be in the past perfect?

Excerpted from The Hills of Triumph: If I ever had a philosophy with which to govern my social life, even long after learning that social is often at the detriment of personal, it would have been ...
3
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4answers
385 views

“Be able to,” “can” in reduced relative pronouns

I am trying to remember whether the sentences below are correct: I don't know this guy being able to complete this task. I don't know this guy can complete this task. I think the first one is ...
3
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1answer
307 views

Time Travel Grammar

I recently watched a scene from the tv sitcom The Big Bang Theory with Sheldon explaining English grammar about time travel (related with the use of have, has, had...), is his explanation even ...
3
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1answer
504 views

“How could I” and “how could I have” in rhetorical questions

I have a question about using could and could have in rhetorical questions. I was watching a video where a very old man who was talking to a priest about his childhood asked the priest, “How could I ...
3
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1answer
861 views

Why is 'have' English's main perfect auxiliary?

The Wikipedia page for the perfect aspect says the following regarding the origin of the verb 'have' as the English auxiliary for the the aspect: The have-perfect developed from a construction ...
3
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3answers
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A question regarding the following usage of the perfect infinitive?

In regards to the usage of the perfect infinitive I've been wondering if it can be used simultaneously with verbs of perception by way of expressing your notion or belief involving either a person or ...
3
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1answer
651 views

“Will have been +ing” equivalent to “Must have been +ing”?

The book "Advanced Grammar in Use" third edition, on page 22, says: "We can use the future perfect continuous (will have been +ing) to say what we think was happening at a point in the past: ...
3
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1answer
54k views

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 ...
3
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2answers
325 views

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 ...
2
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2answers
42k views

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.
2
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2answers
849 views

Is “He should have gone running away” grammatical? [closed]

Is the use of the construction should have gone running away correct? Would not a better answer be “should have run away”? A teacher at my school had this question on her students exam and is curious ...
2
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1answer
11k views

“I would like to have come” vs “I would have liked to come”

I wonder why it is correct to say: I would like to have come but I was not informed. Wouldn't it be better to say: I would have liked to come? (I found many examples on Google). Is there a ...
2
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2answers
35k views

What is the difference between has gone and went in this context? [duplicate]

A: Is Mr. Bob at home? B: Sorry, he isn't at home. He___to Hong Kong for vacation? A. went B. has gone C. is going Which one is correct answer? and why it is not the other ones?
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4answers
25k views

What is the tense of “I would have been happy to…”?

I would have been happy to let you use the money, if you would give me a date to leave. Is this a past present tense? I need to explain this statement I made, correctly.
2
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2answers
493 views

Present Perfect or Past Simple to express duration in the past?

Have you ever danced? This is kind of a usual question. What if I want to ask someone about his experience and find out how long it lasted. Can I say Have you ever danced for 5 hours? (and ...
2
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2answers
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He has just been offered or he was offered

What are the differences in meaning between these two sentences: He was just offered a well-paid job with Radio Four. (Past Simple Passive) He has just been offered a well-paid job with Radio ...
2
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2answers
425 views

“I could have lunch before you arrived.”

I'm having a discussion on Duolingo about this sentence in French that translates into: I was able to have lunch before you arrived. An alternate translation (also accepted by Duolingo) goes like ...
2
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2answers
222 views

I have been person X? [duplicate]

When saying goodbye and thank you after hosting something, it is common to say something like "I have been your host" or "I, person X, have been your host" BUT, would it also be correct to simply say "...
2
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2answers
19k views

'have been' vs. 'went' with time words

Sometimes I see the following in ESL learners' writing: I have been to America two years ago. Am I correct in saying that it should be: I have been to America. I went to America two years ...
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3answers
65 views

Is it ok to say “something I will have come to learn later in the course”?

I have written It lacks exact references to the book, something about argumentative analysis I will have come to learn later in the course. I wonder if this is correct and what this tense would ...