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.

 


 

Comments

hello,in the example "I wasn’t feeling well. I must have eaten something bad" the action i must have.." happened before the other action so is not more correct to use the past perfect? so""I wasnt' feeling well.I had to have eaten ..?"

Hello manuel24,

'Must have' tells us that the speaker does not know the reason why they feel unwell, and is speculating. We use perfect modal verbs to speculate about the past in this way. If the speaker was sure then the past perfect (I had eaten) could be used, as you say.

 

You can read more about modal verbs in the appropriate grammar section:

https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/english-grammar/modal-verbs

 

We also have pages about deduction in the present

https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/intermediate-grammar/modals-deduction-present

and in the past

https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/intermediate-grammar/modals-deduction-past

 

Peter

The Learn English Team

This is the day which has taught me “what is the precious gift in this world”. Is this sentence is correct?

Hi simbu

'What is the most precious gift in this world?' is what comes to my mind, but I'm afraid it's difficult to say whether your version is correct without knowing what you want to say.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

This is the day which taught me 'What is the most precious gift in this world". Yes, that is your friendship. This the actual sentence Sir.

Hi again simbu

I can't say for sure without knowing the context or writer's intentions, but if I understand this correctly, I'd recommend:

Today I've learned what the most precious gift in this world is -- your friendship.

The sentence as you mention it is more or less intelligible, but the quotation marks seem to confuse the matter, as they don't indicate direct speech. And in general, simpler is better, which is why my suggestion is a bit shorter.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi , this my sentenc
-P.P
"she has studied for exam.
He has played football since 2years.
-Past.P
My brother had got a baby for 3 monthes
My sister had been worked since 6y ears
-P.P.C
He has been writing books since 10 years.
-PP.WILL
I can coocking today,I'll have studied right now.
_________________________________
-If she call me in a right moment, i would have called her
-She didn't bring a cake ,she might have forgetten about it.
-Yasterday i didn't doing will in my exam, i shoud have studied more.
-She not here, she must have come by now
-I will travel next week, but i shoud have fished my exam by then.
Is my sentenc correct?

Hello wedyan,

I'm afraid almost all of those sentences have errors in them.

I think you're trying to do too much at once here. You have many different verb forms on this page, which is designed not to teach all of them at the same time, but as a reference to summarise them for learners who have already studied each of them individually.

My advice to you is to not try to learn so many different forms at the same time. Build your language knowledge up step by step so that you have solid foundations. That way the more advanced forms, such as present and past perfect continuous, will be easier to grasp.

 

Looking at the level of your language in these sentences I think I would recommend these two series to you:

https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/learnenglish-podcasts/series-01-episode-01

https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/word-street

 

Each of these combines listening work with language work and I think they will help you to build up your English step by step.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

ok thank u

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