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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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
789 views

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
7k views

“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
886 views

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
2k views

“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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1answer
783 views

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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2answers
6k 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, ...
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1answer
24k views

“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
555 views

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
52k 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".
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1answer
2k views

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
184 views

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
187 views

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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1answer
44k views

“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
878 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 ...
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2answers
55k 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.
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1answer
1k views

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
30k views

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
7k views

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
878 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
7k views

“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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1answer
10k views

‘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
169 views

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?
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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 ...
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3answers
193 views

What does “It can't have been her you saw yesterday: she is abroad.” become in indirect reported speech?

What does the sentence: It can't have been her you saw yesterday: she is abroad. become in indirect reported speech? He told me it… can't have been (?) couldn't have been (?) … her I had seen ...
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1answer
300 views

For a past situation: simple infinitive or perfect infinitive after “ought to”?

In Michael Vince's New First Certificate Language Practice, page 92, exercise 2, sentence number 10, you are given the sentence: "I thought that you would know better!" which has to be re-written ...
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1answer
586 views

Present Perfect for the past? [duplicate]

I've come across the - more or less - following sentence in a book (American publisher): "They have done it in the past" I've always thought that "PAST" and "PRESENT PERFECT" can't go together. The ...
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1answer
2k views

“…mustn't have done..”: can it mean reproach for a past action or prohibition of a future action?

Can "You mustn't have done that" have a similar meaning to "You shouldn't have done that" / "You were not supposed to do it (but you did)"? (not logical probability but obligation) Since we have the ...
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1answer
4k views

“meeting called to order” vs “meeting call to order”

Which do you think is more appropriate, "Meeting call to order" or "Meeting called to order" if it's used in a printed meeting program? As for now, the program looks like this: 13:45 [Doors open] 14:...
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5answers
21k 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 ...
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1answer
12k 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 ...
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1answer
213 views

PrP Continuous vs. PrP | Nuance?

I have a question regarding the usage of the Present Perfect and the Present Perfect Continuous. So first, here's the context: I was playing an online game with a couple friends and in this game you ...
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3answers
2k views

Until you have confirmed + past or present?

Which one of these sentences is correct? The contract will not be signed until you have checked the manuscript and confirmed that everything is ok. The contract will not be signed until you ...
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1answer
667 views

[pronoun]'ve for possessives [duplicate]

My sister just wrote me, "I've a meeting a noon." The contraction "I've" stuck out. I've always thought the contraction was limited to the perfect tense, and do not recognize it as an indicator of ...
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1answer
3k views

“I have been reading your letter with pleasure”? [closed]

Is this a correct choice of tense? If yes, what conditions would justify the use of Present Perfect Continuous? It seems much more natural to say I have read your letter. (I have recently ...
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2answers
41k 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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1answer
25k views

What does “Compound Tense” mean? [closed]

I have problems with learning about "Compound Tenses". Please help me.
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7answers
198k 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 ...
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2answers
167 views

confusion about the past perfect continuous

I'm writing the profile section of my résumé/CV. I'm hesitating about the proper verb form: During my work experience I have applied engineering methods to solve problems. I have been ...
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1answer
5k views

I only watched or I have only watched [duplicate]

If someone ask me "Do you like Indian movie?" Which tenses would fit the answer to the question ? "yes I do. But I watched only some of them" "yes I do. But I have wathed only some of them" "yes I ...
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1answer
515 views

I was able to re-introduce the process that had not been done anymore. Past perfect?

I am not sure whether or not there should be past simple or past perfect: I was able to re-introduce the procedure that had not been being followed anymore. I was able to re-introduce the ...
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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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1answer
458 views

Future perfect or simple in this context

In a movie I saw, a young boy told to an old man that he would be gone for a long time when something happens. I'm trying to figure out what the boy actually said and what tense should have been used (...
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2answers
5k views

“Have been occupied” VS. “have been being occupied”

I have a question about the present perfect. Here's a sample dialogue. Mary: Hey, John...Are you listening? Hello?? John: Oh hey Mary...I've been occupied with this dreadful thought. Mary:...
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2answers
560 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 ...
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2answers
1k 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 ...
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1answer
5k views

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 ...
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2answers
21k 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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2answers
1k views

Simple Past and Present Perfect [closed]

could you possibly enlighten me about any differences between 2 sentences below: (a) I went to Warsaw this year. (b) I have been to Warsaw this year. Thank you very much in advance!