The Present and Past Perfect Tense

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  • Topic: Past tense, Grammatical aspect, Grammatical tenses
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  • Published : March 15, 2012
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THE PRESENT PERFECT TENSE
 The present perfect tense is made up of :
1. has / have + past participle (active form)
2. has / have + been + past participle (passive form)  
Present Perfect Tense is used:
1. To refer to a recently / newly completed action.
      e.g.      I have just completed my homework.                   My neighbours have recently sold their car. 2.   To refer to an action that occurred at an unspecified or unknown time in the past.       e.g.      The Jones have been to Australia many times.                   The birds have flown away. 3. To refer to an action that began in the past, and is still going on at the moment of speaking.       e.g.      Ruhil has known Kamarul for many years.                   They have lived in this house since 2001.  

THE PAST PERFECT TENSE
The past perfect tense is made up of:
     1     Had + past participle (active)
     2     Had + been + past participle (passive)
 
 Past Perfect Tense is used to :
1. To show that one past action took place or was completed before another action took place.             e.g.      The bell had rung before I reached school.                         The children had gone to bed long before their father got home.  2. To show that an action had been completed / taken place by a particular time in the past.             e.g.      By the time we arrived at the cinema, the movie had alreadystarted.                         Mother had cooked dinner by 6.30 p.m. yesterday.  

3. To express a wish, a desire or regret about a past event or situation.  This is usually expressed with a conditional clause that contains ‘if’.             e.g.      If we had attended Normala’s party, we would have met some interesting  people.                         If I had listened to you, I wouldn’t be in the mess I’m in now.  

4. To replace the present perfect tense in reported speech.             e.g.      Direct: “ I have been robbed!” screamed the woman.       ...
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