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Can you explain to me the difference between Past, Present and Future Perfect tenses? When we use this tenses? How quickly recognize that you should use Perfect tenses in your speech?
Feb 25, 2014 5:57 AM
Answers · 8
The "perfect" tenses (Past perfect, present perfect, and future perfect) are used to talk about something that is complete, finished or already done: Past perfect: I had woken up. (or "The alarm rang, but I had already woken up") Present perfect: I have woken up. (or "The alarm is ringing, but I have already woken up") Future perfect: I will have woken up. (or "The alarm will ring at 8am, but I will have already woken up") I don't know the rule to "quickly recognise" when to use them. You will pick it up naturally as you practice speaking, reading, writing and listening to English.
February 25, 2014
Here's a link to some helpful explanations and exercises: A language partner or tutor can really help you gain fluency and accuracy (knowing when to use the right tense) by leading you through discussions and role plays that force you to use the right tense over and over in context. For example, a great activity for practicing future perfect tenses is talking about changes in the future e.g. By the year 2040 all cars will have been banned from the road. Doctor/patient role plays are good for present perfect: How long have you been feeling ill? I've been feeling ill since yesterday. For past perfect you can put a bunch of things on a table, close your eyes, and have someone move them around; when you open your eyes you have to describe what happened like this: When I opened my eyes you (had moved the pen). Practice makes perfect! Hope that helps!
February 25, 2014
Past perfect and future perfect just describe when you could have used present perfect. Ex. I will have done it. (ie. I will be able to say "I have done it") I had done it. (ie. I could have done it) Past perfect is really just a combination of present perfect and past simple. Future perfect is a combination of present perfect and future tense. With that in mind, you should always be able to figure out when to use each with logic as long as you understand past simple, present perfect and future tense.
February 25, 2014
If you can, find a 'time line', where the verb is measured either as a point (ie; he died at 1410hrs33seconds) or as a range (she read the book that week). The time line goes from past (left) to present (middle) to future (right) and events/verbs/doings are marked on it. Also references are marked on it; eg on Thursday evening, or Wednesday morning 0527hrs, etc. What you will find is that English verbs typically use 3 references in a verb. The time the verb happened (either interval or point). Another time relative to that. And a time relative to this last time. Otto Jesperson (the grammarian) and Hans Reichenbach (the philosopher) explain the matter best.
January 20, 2016
Language Skills
English, Polish, Russian
Learning Language