Thursday, April 7, 2011

PERFECT TENSES

How do we make the Present Perfect Tense?The structure of the present perfect tense is:

subject + auxiliary verb + main verb
have past participle
Here are some examples of the present perfect tense:
subject auxiliary verb main verb
+ I have seen ET.
+ You have eaten mine.
- She has not been to Rome.
- We have not played football.
? Have you finished?
? Have they done it?

Contractions with the present perfect tense
When we use the present perfect tense in speaking, we usually contract the subject and auxiliary verb. We also sometimes do this when we write.

I have I've
You have You've
He has
She has
It has
John has
The car has He's
She's
It's
John's
The car's
We have We've
They have They've
Here are some examples:
• I've finished my work.
• John's seen ET.
• They've gone home.

Present Perfect Continuous Tense

I have been singing

How do we make the Present Perfect Continuous Tense?

The structure of the present perfect continuous tense is:

subject + auxiliary verb + auxiliary verb + main verb
have
has been base + ing

Here are some examples of the present perfect continuous tense:

subject auxiliary verb auxiliary verb main verb
+ I have been waiting for one hour.
+ You have been talking too much.
- It has not been raining.
- We have not been playing football.
? Have you been seeing her?
? Have they been doing their homework?

Contractions

When we use the present perfect continuous tense in speaking, we often contract the subject and the first auxiliary. We also sometimes do this in informal writing.

I have been I've been
You have been You've been
He has been
She has been
It has been
John has been
The car has been He's been
She's been
It's been
John's been
The car's been
We have been We've been
They have been They've been

Here are some examples:

• I've been reading.
• The car's been giving trouble.
• We've been playing tennis for two hours.

How do we use the Present Perfect Continuous Tense?

This tense is called the present perfect continuous tense. There is usually a connection with the present or now. There are basically two uses for the present perfect continuous tense:

1. An action that has just stopped or recently stopped
We use the present perfect continuous tense to talk about an action that started in the past and stopped recently. There is usually a result now.

I'm tired because I've been running.
past present future
________________________________________ !!!

Recent action. Result now.

• I'm tired [now] because I've been running.
• Why is the grass wet [now]? Has it been raining?
• You don't understand [now] because you haven't been listening.

2. An action continuing up to now
We use the present perfect continuous tense to talk about an action that started in the past and is continuing now. This is often used with for or since.

I have been reading for 2 hours.
past present future
________________________________________

Action started in past. Action is continuing now.
• I have been reading for 2 hours. [I am still reading now.]
• We've been studying since 9 o'clock. [We're still studying now.]
• How long have you been learning English? [You are still learning now.]
• We have not been smoking. [And we are not smoking now.]

For and Since with Present Perfect Continuous Tense

We often use for and since with the present perfect tense.
• We use for to talk about a period of time - 5 minutes, 2 weeks, 6 years.
• We use since to talk about a point in past time - 9 o'clock, 1st January, Monday.
for since
a period of time a point in past time
________________________________________ x ________________________________________

20 minutes 6.15pm
three days Monday
6 months January
4 years 1994
2 centuries 1800
a long time I left school
ever the beginning of time
etc etc

Here are some examples:
• I have been studying for 3 hours.
• I have been watching TV since 7pm.
• Tara hasn't been feeling well for 2 weeks.
• Tara hasn't been visiting us since March.
• He has been playing football for a long time.
• He has been living in Bangkok since he left school.

How do we make the Past Perfect Tense?

The structure of the past perfect tense is:

subject + auxiliary verb HAVE + main verb
conjugated in simple past tense past participle
had -ED OR IRREGURAL

For negative sentences in the past perfect tense, we insert not between the auxiliary verb and main verb. For question sentences, we exchange the subject and auxiliary verb. Look at these example sentences with the past perfect tense:

subject auxiliary verb main verb

+ I had finished my work.
+ You had stopped before me.
- She had not gone to school.
- We had not left.
? Had you arrived?
? Had they eaten dinner?

When speaking with the past perfect tense, we often contract the subject and auxiliary verb:

I had I'd
you had you'd
he had
she had
it had he'd
she'd
it'd
we had we'd
they had they'd

The 'd contraction is also used for the auxiliary verb would. For example, we'd can mean:
• We had
or
• We would

But usually the main verb is in a different form, for example:
• We had arrived (past participle)
• We would arrive (base)

It is always clear from the context.


Past Perfect Continuous Tense

I had been singing

How do we make the Past Perfect Continuous Tense?

The structure of the past perfect continuous tense is:

subject + auxiliary verb HAVE + auxiliary verb BE + main verb
conjugated in simple past tense past participle present participle
had been base + ing

For negative sentences in the past perfect continuous tense, we insert not after the first auxiliary verb. For question sentences, we exchange the subject and first auxiliary verb. Look at these example sentences with the past perfect continuous tense:

subject auxiliary verb auxiliary verb main verb
+ I had been working.
+ You had been playing tennis.
- It had not been working well.
- We had not been expecting her.
? Had you been drinking?
? Had they been waiting long?

When speaking with the past perfect continuous tense, we often contract the subject and first auxiliary verb:

I had been I'd been
you had been you'd been
he had
she had been
it had been he'd been
she'd been
it'd been
we had been we'd been
they had been they'd been

How do we use the Past Perfect Continuous Tense?

The past perfect continuous tense is like the past perfect tense, but it expresses longer actions in the past before another action in the past. For example:

• Ram started waiting at 9am. I arrived at 11am. When I arrived, Ram had been waiting for two hours.
Ram had been waiting for two hours when I arrived.
past present future
Ram starts waiting in past at 9am.
9 11
________________________________________
________________________________________

I arrive in past at 11am.

Here are some more examples:
• John was very tired. He had been running.
• I could smell cigarettes. Somebody had been smoking.
• Suddenly, my car broke down. I was not surprised. It had not been running well for a long time.
• Had the pilot been drinking before the crash?

Future Perfect Tense

I will have sung
The future perfect tense is quite an easy tense to understand and use. The future perfect tense talks about the past in the future.

How do we make the Future Perfect Tense?

The structure of the future perfect tense is:

subject + auxiliary verb WILL + auxiliary verb HAVE + main verb
invariable invariable past participle
will have -ED OR IRREGULAR

Look at these example sentences in the future perfect tense:

subject auxiliary verb auxiliary verb main verb
+ I will have finished by 10am.
+ You will have forgotten me by then.
- She will not have gone to school.
- We will not have left.
? Will you have arrived?
? Will they have received it?

In speaking with the future perfect tense, we often contract the subject and will. Sometimes, we contract the subject, will and have all together:

I will have I'll have I'll've
you will have you'll have you'll've
he will have
she will have
it will have he'll have
she'll have
it'll have he'll've
she'll've
it'll've
we will have we'll have we'll've
they will have they'll have they'll've

We sometimes use shall instead of will, especially for I and we.

How do we use the Future Perfect Tense?

The future perfect tense expresses action in the future before another action in the future. This is the past in the future. For example:

• The train will leave the station at 9am. You will arrive at the station at 9.15am. When you arrive, the train will have left.
The train will have left when you arrive.

past present future
Train leaves in future at 9am.
9 9.15
________________________________________ ________________________________________

You arrive in future at 9.15am.

Look at some more examples:

• You can call me at work at 8am. I will have arrived at the office by 8.
• They will be tired when they arrive. They will not have slept for a long time.
• "Mary won't be at home when you arrive."
"Really? Where will she have gone?"

Future Perfect Continuous Tense

I will have been singing

How do we make the Future Perfect Continuous Tense?

The structure of the future perfect continuous tense is:

subject + auxiliary verb WILL + auxiliary verb HAVE + auxiliary verb BE + main verb
invariable invariable past participle present participle
will have been base + ing

For negative sentences in the future perfect continuous tense, we insert not between will and have. For question sentences, we exchange the subject and will. Look at these example sentences with the future perfect continuous tense:

subject auxiliary verb auxiliary verb auxiliary verb main verb
+ I will have been working for four hours.
+ You will have been travelling for two days.
- She will not have been using the car.
- We will not have been waiting long.
? Will you have been playing football?
? Will they have been watching TV?

When we use the future perfect continuous tense in speaking, we often contract the subject and auxiliary verb:

I will I'll
you will you'll
he will
she will
it will he'll
she'll
it'll
we will we'll
they will they'll

For negative sentences in the future perfect continuous tense, we contract with won't, like this:

I will not I won't
you will not you won't
he will not
she will not
it will not he won't
she won't
it won't
we will not we won't
they will not they won't

How do we use the Future Perfect Continuous Tense?

We use the future perfect continuous tense to talk about a long action before some point in the future. Look at these examples:

• I will have been working here for ten years next week.
• He will be tired when he arrives. He will have been travelling for 24 hours.

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