We use the present perfect to show that something has continued up to the present

They’ve been married for nearly fifty years.
She has lived in Liverpool all her life.

… or is important in the present:

I’ve lost my keys. I can’t get into the house.
Teresa isn’t at home. I think she has gone shopping.

We use the present perfect continuous to show that something has been continuing up to the present:

It’s been raining for hours.
We’ve been waiting here since six o’clock this morning.

We use the past perfect to show that something continued up to a time in the past:

When George died he and Anne had been married for nearly fifty years.

... or was important at that time in the past:

I couldn’t get into the house. I had lost my keys.
Teresa wasn’t at home. She had gone shopping.

We use the past perfect continuous to show that something had been continuing up to a time in the past or was important at that time in the past:

Everything was wet. It had been raining for hours.
He was a wonderful guitarist. He had been playing ever since he was a teenager.

We use will with the perfect to show that something will be complete at some time in the future:

In a few years they will have discovered a cure for the common cold.
I can come out tonight. I'll have finished my homework by then.

We use would with the perfect to refer to something that did not happen in the past but would have happened if the conditions had been right:

If you had asked me I would have helped you.
I would have helped you, but you didn’t ask me.
You didn’t ask me or I would have helped you.

We use other modals with perfective aspect when we are looking back from a point in time when something might have happened, should have happened or would have happened.

The point of time may be in the future:

We’ll meet again next week. We might have finished the work by then.
I will phone at six o’clock. He should have got home by then.

the present:

It’s getting late. They should have arrived by now.
He’s still not here. He must have missed his train.

or the past:

I wasn’t feeling well. I must have eaten something bad.
I checked my cell phone. She could have left a message.

 


 

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Comments

Can I say, "Have you ever gone to Japan?"
I've read in a reference that I can only say "Have you ever been to Japan?"
And please can you explain the reason why I can't use "gone" here?

And is it wrong if I say, "I have gone to France."

Hello Walid Peace,

We only use 'have... gone' when the person has not returned. For example:

She's been to the shop means that she did the shopping and returned.

She's gone to the shop means that she went out and is still out now.

Thus, the question with 'gone' is not possible as the person is present (otherwise they could not be asked).

You could say 'I have gone to France' only if you have not returned from your trip. For example, you might be in France and talking to someone who is not in France by telephone.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello The LearnEnglish Team,
Could you help me, please? Which of the two replies of Jack is correct in the following conversation?
Ann: Have you read "The Jungle Book"?
Jack: No, I haven't, but I have seen the film. OR No, I haven't, but I saw the film.
Thank you very much in advance.

Hello Yuriy UA,

Both of these are possible, depending on the context. However, as no time reference is provided, the most likely is the first option ('have seen').

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

" I was not feeling well. I must have eaten something bad."

"I was not feeling well. I had eaten something bad."

What's the difference between two of them?

regards

Hello chancornelius,

In the first sentence, 'must have' + past participle is used to show conjecture, i.e. that you're not sure, but you think you know the reason. The second sentence's use of past perfect implies that you know for sure that you felt ill because of what you had eaten. See our Modals - deduction past page for more on this.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

The qualities which have supported Smith and given him his hard earned success have been rare in politics.

The qualities which have supported Smith and have given him his hard earned success have been rare in politics.

The qualities which have supported Smith and gave him his hard earned success have been rare in politics.

Sir which one is true?

i usually get confused if 'and' is used in sentence.

Hello Sunny21parikh,

There is no difference in meaning here. Including the second 'have' or not is entirely a stylistic choice. I would say that not including it is more common, so that we avoid unnecessary repetition.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Ok sir......so 3rd sentence(gave) is wrOng. right???

Are there any sentences where we have to repeat Grammer tense (like 2nd sentence)after using 'and'??

Hello Sunny21parikh,

The third sentence can be correct - it depends on what you want to say. The different verb forms show different perspectives on the different events. By using 'gave', you situate the success in a finished past time (that isn't related to the present in the same way as the qualities are (because you use present perfect to talk about the qualities).

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

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