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  1. #1
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    Default as if + Pr.Perf./Past Perf.

    Hello, guys!
    I wonder if following sentences are correct:

    1. She looks as if she has been beaten up
    2. She looks as if she had been beaten up

    If both of them are correct, what is the difference?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: as if + Pr.Perf./Past Perf.

    Quote Originally Posted by aaa
    Hello, guys!
    I wonder if following sentences are correct:

    1. She looks as if she has been beaten up
    2. She looks as if she had been beaten up

    If both of them are correct, what is the difference?
    Both correct. Very small difference:

    Present Perfect, HAS BEEN beaten up... today, in the present, very recently, she has been beaten up.. maybe the beating might start again in a minute.. maybe the beating never stopped, she is still being beaten up. "The teacher has been yelling at her all day."... maybe he is still yelling at her right now this minute...

    "My car has been breaking down" Breaking down today, yesterday... it might break down again in five minutes, all in the present. I am afraid it is going to keep breaking down.

    Past Perfect; the beating was defininetely in the past... not now, and it is very much over, finished. It will not start again.

    She had been beaten up.. I don't know when, maybe yesterday, maybe last week. But the beating happened, now it is over.

    "My car had been breaking down".. but it is not breaking down now! It is fixed! It was breaking down in the past, maybe yesterday, maybe last month, but it is not now breaking down.. and it won't break down in the future.

  3. #3
    M56 Guest

    Default Re: as if + Pr.Perf./Past Perf.

    [QUOTE=Robert B. Mercer]Both correct. Very small difference:

    <Present Perfect, HAS BEEN beaten up... today, in the present, very recently, she has been beaten up.. maybe the beating might start again in a minute.. maybe the beating never stopped, she is still being beaten up. "The teacher has been yelling at her all day."... maybe he is still yelling at her right now this minute...>

    Is it always recent?

    "She looks as if she has been beaten up at some time in the past."

  4. #4
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    Default Re: as if + Pr.Perf./Past Perf.

    Very good question!

    Present Perfect action...yes, it COULD have happened in the past, sometimes thousands of years ago.
    BUT, the name is PRESENT perfect because the action also COULD be happening today, again, in the present.


    But you use PAST Perfect when you are trying to say that 100% of the action happened in the past; it does not happen any more, something changed so that it stopped happening and it does not happen today.

    "Look at Pompei, Vesuvius, how it was buried by the volcano 2000 years ago. That shows you that Italy HAS suffered a lot from volcanos."
    They suffered in the past, and it could happen again today, it is not 100% in the past.

    BUT

    "... it shows you that Italy HAD suffered a lot from volcanos."... after that, a student might ask, "What happened after the last volcano? Why did the volcanos stop? What changed? Why do they not blow up in the present?"

    HAD, the Past Perfect, means that the action was 100% in the past... SOMETHING HAPPENED to make that action be only in the past.

    We look at two pictures of women beaten by their husbands. The pictures of their bloody faces were taken two years ago.

    Woman number one, I say "She HAS been beaten up a lot." You know that I am implying that maybe she still is being beaten up today, or maybe in the future.

    Woman number two, I say "She HAD been beaten up a lot." You would then probably ask, "What happen, did she get a divorce? Did her husband get treatment? What changed in her life that the beatings stopped?"

    The car HAD broken down, but I fixed it very well, it won't do it again.
    The car HAS broken down, so I am afraid it might do it again today.

    One last example...

    My friend: "Are we going to use your car? I thought it has been breaking down?"
    Me: "No, it HAD been breaking down."

    That exchange by itself would be all I needed to say. When I said, No, it HAD been breaking down, my friend understands that (for some reason) I believe the problem is fixed.

    One hour later, we are broken down by the side of the road.
    My friend: "I thought you said it HAD been breaking down, you idiot."

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