English Grammar: Lessons in Perfect Tense

S.N. Singh | March 31,2011 05:09 pm IST

Perfect Tense

Perfect Tenses are composed of finites of have (has, have, had, will have), and a Past Participle. For example: -

1.

My friend has (had, will have) completed the job.
A.. Present Perfect Tense is the tense that indicates -

a) an action or condition was begun in the past and has just been completed.
b) an action or condition that was begun in the past and is still going on.

 

Study the following sentences -

1. We live in a village. (The sentence does not clarify anything except 'habit'.)
2. We have lived in a village for the last ten years. (We started living ten years ago and are still in the village.)
3. I have known these prominent leaders for the last five years.
4. Since when have you written this book on human passions?
5. I have taught in the college since July 01, 1966.
6. He has not been able to solve even a single question so far.
7. I have just taken my breakfast.
8. The film 'Sholay' has run in this hall for the last twenty weeks.
9. Have you been to London?
10. Have you completed the work allotted to you?

 

Note: Present Tense (Perfect Tense is Preferred) - Since - Past Tense

1. Many countries have got freedom since India got freedom.
2. Ten days have passed since I came to NOIDA.
3. Thousands of years have passed since Shravana Kumar died. Even today we remember him.
4. How many minutes have passed since you sat here?

 

B. Present Perfect Continuous Tense is the tense that indicates an action or condition that was begun in the past and is going on continuously without a break. The time is always there.
Study the following sentences -

1. The children are playing in the morning these days. (The sentence indicates only continuous action in the present.)
2. The children have been playing since morning. (The sentence indicates that the children started playing in the morning and are still playing.)
3. Your brother has been waiting for you at the Railway station since morning.
4. Since when have you been standing here?
5. Whom have you been awaiting here for the last two hours?

 

C. Past Perfect Tense is the tense that indicates that an action or a condition was completed at a time now past. It pre-supposes some relationship with an action or a condition expressed in the past.

Study the following sentences -

1. In 1999 fifty thousand villages got electricity.
2. By 1999 eighty thousand villages had got electricity.
3. Mr. Ramesh bought a car. He had collected money for it.
4. I asked the old man what had happened with him.
5. The police had arrested many leaders before the curfew was imposed.

 

Note: Past Indefinite Tense - After - Past Perfect Tense.
Past Perfect Tense - Before - Past Indefinite Tense.

1. The students held a meeting after the teachers had gone home.
2. We had bought tickets before the train arrived at the station.

 

D. Past Perfect Continuous Tense is the tense that indicates that an action or a condition was started in the past and was going on in the past. The time was advancing.
Study the following sentences -

1. The girls were playing in the morning. (The sentence indicates that the girls played in the morning.)
2. The girls had been playing since morning. (The sentence indicates that the girls started playing in the morning and might play for hours.)
3. China and India had been co-operating with each other for centuries.
4. We had been struggling for many years before we got freedom.
5. What had you been doing in the garden since morning?
6. Gandhiji had been fighting for the down-trodden all his life.

 

E. Future Perfect Tense is the tense that indicates that an action or a condition will be completed at a future time. However, this tense indicates the completion of an action or a condition in probability. Will have, shall have, would have, might have, must have + 3rd form of the verb.

Study the following sentences -

1. We all shall have completed the work by tomorrow.
2. My friend might have returned from Delhi.
3. Would (might) Krishna have done his work before we reach?
4. I must have been nine years old when my father died.
5. You must have heard the name of Gandhiji.

 

F. Future Perfect Continuous Tense is the tense that indicates an action or a condition is completed in future and is going on with advancing time.

1. We shall have been doing this work by tomorrow.

However, this tense is rarely used in speaking and writing.


Correct the following sentences: -
1. Ever since the earth came into existence, man is always in search of happiness.
2. We have created a lot of moral teachings to make others felt happy.
3. Since you have left the college, you did not write to me.
4. The strikers are sitting on hunger strike since the Govt. showed apathy towards reservation policy.
5. I am unable to attend the college as I am suffering from fever for the last two days.
6. The President's message was broadcasted and telecasted on the eve of the Republic Day.
7. Did you inform your parents what happened with you in the assembly?
8. Did your son visit you before he left for the USA?
9. Much have been said and written so far as the eradication of corruption is concerned, but nothing worthwhile has been done.
10. Glassware should be handled very carefully.
11. The police asked the burglars whether they ransacked the house of the inspector.
12. Many freedom fighters were brutally tortured or killed before India saw the rays of freedom.
13. Our ancestors were living in an uncivilized world for centuries before the advent of civilization.
14. The chief guest had condescended to come to the dais after all the arrangements were made.
15. Which project would you present before the CEO after he will come back from Japan?
16. He was sent home from hospital after his burns was dressed.
17. She was cooking food for half an hour when we reached home.
18. We reached the railway station before the train arrived at the station.
19. Since when are you waiting for us?
20. How many years passed since the Planning Commission came into existence?

 

Concluded

 

Click here to reach English Forums to post your answers to Exercise No. 5.

 

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S. N. Singh has taught English for more than 45 years.Facebook Profile...

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Comments


Xannon on 11/20/11 at 09:42 am

Great stuff, you hleepd me out so much!