Quote Originally Posted by tdol
Present and Past are rather confusing and, IMHO, innacurate terms. ;'-)
I guess you are referring to the terms for the Participles?

1. IMHO, another "misleading" or inadequate definition is that given for the Perfect tenses. A lot of explanations describe the Perfect Participle (or the Perfect tenses) as expressing COMPLETION. This is only sometimes true. E.g. the various perfect/perfect cont tenses:
(a) I have eaten lunch. (Now, completed)
(b) I had finished my work when ...arrived. (Past, completed then)
(c) I have lived here since.... (Now, still on)
(d) I have been doing this for...years (Now, still on).

2. I believe students find the perfect tenses difficult because this "completed" idea sticks in their mind. I look at "perfect" as denoting two things: Begun and/or Completed.

3. I have used the following explanation/definition for the Present Perfect tense (in the humble text that I'm writing): The PrPT is used to express an action that is already completed at the present time, OR an action begun earlier and spanning a period to the present time.