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Perfect Tenses

Perfect Tenses

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Published by: Ezekiel D. Rodriguez on Feb 01, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Perfect TensesThe three perfect tenses in English are the three verb tenses which show actionalready completed. (The word perfect literally means "made complete" or "completely done.")They are formed by the appropriate tense of the verb to have plus the past participle of the verb.Present Perfect:I have seen it.(Present tense of to have plus participle. Action is completed with respect to the present.)Past Perfect:I had seen it.(Past tense of to have plus participle. Action is completed with respect to the past.)Future Perfect:I will have seen it.(Future tense of to have plus participle. Action is completed with respect to thefuture.)Some authorities consider the passive voice of certain verbs that are alwaysintransitive to be the perfect tense also.Example:They are gone.Example:He is risen.
Past Perfect[had + past participle]The Past Perfect expresses the idea that something occurred before another actionin the past. It can also show that something happened before a specific time in the past.Examples:
You had studied English before you moved to New York.
Had you studied English before you moved to New York?
You had not studied English before you moved to New York.Present Perfect[has/have + past participle]Examples:
You have seen that movie many times.
Have you seen that movie many times?
You have not seen that movie many times.We use the Present Perfect to say that an action happened at an unspecified time before now. The exact time is not important. You CANNOT use the Present Perfectwith specific time expressions such as: yesterday, one year ago, last week, when Iwas a child, when I lived in Japan, at that moment, that day, one day, etc. We CANuse the Present Perfect with unspecific expressions such as: ever, never, once,many times, several times, before, so far, already, yet, etc.

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