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

And one more question.
Can I say "I hope you understand that we will have made less job today"?
Thx

Hello ivarsps,

When you say 'we will have made less job', I think what you mean is 'we will have done less work'. There is a good explanation of the difference between 'work' and 'job' on this BBC page. We use the verb 'do' (not 'make') with the word 'work'.

If I've misunderstood you, please let me know.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello.
May I say "We stopped working 20 minutes ago. We haven't been working for already 20 minutes"?
Thank you.

Hello ivarsps,

I think the best way to express this would be as follows:

We stopped working 20 minutes ago. We haven't been working for 20 minutes already.

or

We stopped working 20 minutes ago. It has been 20 minutes since we were working.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

she has prepared the breakfast since he came here
she has been preparing breakfast since he camehere

which one is correct? can we use situation after since in present perfect continuous tense?

Hello guddeti sahasra,

Both sentences can be used, but the second one is more likely, since the situation described is a typical one in which the continuous aspect is used.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Team
When referring to the past, can we use HAD in place of HAVE:
"I wasn’t feeling well. I must HAD eaten something bad.
I checked my cell phone. She could HAD left a message. "
Thank you.

Hello mohammad bazzy,

I'm afraid not -- there is no instance in standard English where that is correct.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

which one is correct: He is going to make a trip around the world / He is going to take a trip around the world ?

Hello Mehnaz Rashid,

The correct verb here is 'take'.

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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