Present Perfect

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Present Perfect

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The present perfect is a grammatical combination of the present tense and the perfect aspect, used to express a past event that has present consequences. The term is used particularly in the context of English grammar, where it refers to forms such as "I have left" and "Sue has died". These forms are present because they use the present tense of the auxiliary verb have, and perfect because they use that auxiliary in combination with the past participle of the main verb. (Other perfect constructions also exist, such as the past perfect: "I had eaten.")Analogous forms are found in some other languages, and these may also be described as present perfects, although they often have other names, such as the German Perfekt and the French passé composé. They may also have different ranges of usage – for example, in both of the languages just mentioned, the forms in question serve as a general past tense, at least for completed actions. In English, completed actions in many contexts are referred to using the simple past verb form rather than the present perfect.English also has a present perfect progressive (or present perfect continuous) form, which combines present tense with both perfect aspect and progressive (continuous) aspect: "I have been eating". In this case the action is not necessarily complete; the same is true of certain uses of the basic present perfect when the verb expresses a state or a habitual action: "I have lived here for five years."

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present perfect

ln modern English, the auxiliary verb for forming the present perfect is always to have. A typical present perfect clause thus consists of the subject, the auxiliary have/has, and the past participle (third form) of the main verb. Examples:I have eaten some food.You have gone to school.He has already arrived in Catalonia.He has had child after child... (The Mask of Anarchy, Percy Shelley)Lovely tales that we have heard or read... (Endymion (poem), John Keats)Early Modern English used both to have and to be as perfect auxiliaries. Examples of the second can be found in older texts:Madam, the Lady Valeria is come to visit you. (The Tragedy of Coriolanus, Shakespeare)Vext the dim sea: I am become a name... (Ulysses, Tennyson)Pillars are fallen at thy feet... (Marius amid the Ruins of Carthage, Lydia Maria Child)I am come in sorrow. (Lord Jim, Conrad)In many other European languages, the equivalent of to have (e.g. German haben, French avoir) is used to form the present perfect (or their equivalent of the present perfect) for most or all verbs. However, the equivalent of to be (e.g. German sein, French être) serves as the auxiliary for other verbs in some languages, such as German, Dutch, French, and Italian (but not Spanish or Portuguese). Generally, the verbs that take to be as auxiliary are intransitive verbs denoting motion or change of state (e.g. to arrive, to go, to fall).For more details, see Perfect constructions with auxiliaries.


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