how to you use perfect tense in english?
May 13, 2011 6:22 PM
Answers · 3
English has a perfect tense in both present, past and future, as well as perfect continuous ones that correspond. The present perfect is used for expressions of actions that happened at an unspecified time in the past; I have seen that film 20 times. I have met him once. Have you read the book? The concept of "unspecified time" is fairly unique to English - in the sentence "I have been to France" it means you have, at one point, been to France. No emphasis is put on how many times or when, but it can be modified - "I've been to France three times" or "I've never been to France". It is also used to express the idea of change over time; "you have grown since I last saw you", "my English has really improved". Actions that were expected to be completed, but haven't been, are often used with the present perfect + yet; "He hasn't finished his homework yet". Actions in the past that have happened multiple times without completion are also expressed; "they have attacked the city five times". In addition, expressions that happened in the past, but are still happening (albeit from a futuristic perspective) are expressed using the present perfect; "I have had a cold for two weeks", "I have been in England for six months". - The past perfect conveys a completed action in the past; it expresses events that had already happened before another in the past (the equivalent of the pluperfect). I had lost my wallet. I had never been to an opera before last night. In addition it expresses duration in the past before an event (the opposite of its other use); We had had that car for ten years before it broke down. They felt bad about selling the house because they had owned it for more than forty years. - The future perfect predicts that an action will have been completed in the future; You will have perfected your English by the time you come back from the U.S OR You are going to have perfected your English by the time you come back from the U.S. (different formation - same meaning). You can find out more here:
May 13, 2011
Hi, this website lists all the verb tenses with examples
May 14, 2011
A very short overview is that you are comparing two points in time, not one. The event which happens first takes the "perfect" pattern. Past perfect (had finished, had realised, had done, etc) tells me out of two past events, this happened first. This also means I can mention this event after everything else, and it will still remain the first thing which happened. Present perfect (have finished, have realised, have done etc) tells me that the past event is relevant to, or affecting, the present time. This is the only perfect tense where you don't need to mention a second event or time - the present time is implied. If you use past simple, you need to indicate when it happened. Also with past simple, the action is finished and no longer affects the present. Future perfect (will have finished, will have realised, will have done etc) tells me that a future event - which hasn't happened yet - will be completed by the time the second event or time arrives: it will become a past event. Very useful for discussing future plans and deadlines. I won't go into the perfect continuous forms, but I hope this helps. :)
May 13, 2011
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