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  1. #1
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    Jun 2004
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    Default The perfect tense

    Dear teacher
    I want to know how to use the perfest tense in my writing.
    I just can't get it right. Can you help me to understand it with the meaning it provides to the sentences.
    Thank you

  2. #2
    vladz Guest

    Default Re: The perfect tense

    Quote Originally Posted by latoof
    Dear teacher
    I want to know how to use the perfest tense in my writing.
    I just can't get it right. Can you help me to understand it with the meaning it provides to the sentences.
    Thank you
    All you need to remember in using the perfect tenses, you are dealing with two actions or time and the other one happened first before the other.

    Present Perfect
    -used to indicate an action that happened in the past with out specifying the exact time.

    Form: has / have + past participle (has / have eaten)

    Example

    Peter: Have you eaten in that restaurant?
    John : Yes, I have eaten there.
    Peter: When did you eat there?
    John : I ate there last Tuesday.

    Note: In the sample sentence, notice the use of the present perfect tense (have eaten) and the simple past tense (ate). Simple Past was used because the exact time in the past was specified unlike in Present Perfect, it implies that the action happened in the past but the exact time was not mentioned.


    Past Perfect
    - deals with two action that both happened in the past but the other action
    happened first before the other.

    Form: had + past participle (had eaten)

    Example

    a.) John had eaten when Peter arrived.
    b.) John ate when Peter arrived.

    Note: Notice the difference of the two sample sentences. In the first sentence, John had already completly finished his eating when Peter arrived. However, in the second sentence, John only ate after Peter arrived. Use the past perfect tense to clearly specify which of the action happened first when using the connectives "when" and "by the time".

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: The perfect tense

    Thank you very much that was useful.
    Just to check my understanding.
    If I went out side and came back home, I should expect them to ask me
    1. Where have you been?
    2. I went to visit a friend. "I sould say"
    This is for the present perfect.

    I may ask a friend about her last visit to France:
    1.Had you seen the "fistival or what ever"?
    2.Yes twice.
    This will be for the past perfect.

    Any way. Thank you very much. I was reading a book in the Perfect tense, but it was full of theory which got me a headache.
    Thank you. :D

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    Default Re: The perfect tense

    Quote Originally Posted by Latoof
    Thank you very much that was useful.
    Just to check my understanding.
    If I went out side and came back home, I should expect them to ask me
    1. Where have you been?
    2. I went to visit a friend. "I sould say"
    This is for the present perfect.

    I may ask a friend about her last visit to France:
    1.Had you seen the "fistival or what ever"?
    2.Yes twice.
    This will be for the past perfect.

    Any way. Thank you very much. I was reading a book in the Perfect tense, but it was full of theory which got me a headache.
    Thank you. :D
    Ops, I thik I got the past perfect wrong.
    What about, Latefa had already met Fatime when I saw her.
    Which means that Latefa and Fatime have been intorduced to each other before I arrived.
    I wish to get it right this time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    12,971
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    Default Re: The perfect tense

    Quote Originally Posted by Latoof
    Ops, I thik I got the past perfect wrong.
    What about, Latefa had already met Fatime when I saw her.
    Which means that Latefa and Fatime have been intorduced to each other before I arrived.
    I wish to get it right this time.
    When you get confused, try this template:

    First I_________, then I_________.

    The 'First" event is in the past perfect; the 2nd event, the 'then' event, is in the simple past, like this,

    EX: First I had eaten dinner, then I watched TV.
    ==> I had eaten dinner before I watched TV. :D
    ==> I watched TV after I had eaten dinner. (Reverse) :D

    EX: First Latefa had met Fatime, then I met Latefa.
    ==> Latefa had met Fatime before I met Latefa. :D
    ==> I met Latefa after she had met Fatime. (Reverse) :D

    All the best,

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    Default Re: The perfect tense

    Thank you very much for this useful information.
    I thought that I won't get this tense right, but you have explained it in a very easy way.
    Thnk you very much.

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