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Perfect aspect

You use the perfect verb aspect to express when an action is completed, like "I have done the dishes.".

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  • piceratops seedling style avatar for user Priyanka Kundnani
    will u please elobrate little bit more that future perfect tense ??
    (49 votes)
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    • duskpin ultimate style avatar for user David Rheinstrom
      Sure, Priyanka! The future perfect refers to something that will be finished in the future.

      Let's say I put some clothes into a washing machine and then went to bed. If someone asks me when the washing will be finished, I can say, "It will have been done by the time I wake up."

      I'm referring to something in the future, but by the time the future gets here, that something will have already taken place.
      (107 votes)
  • leaf blue style avatar for user Jun
    Is it correct to say that Present Perfect Aspect allows you to say that you have completed an action recently or just then?

    "I have studied grammar." --> Does this implies that I have finished my grammar studies just recently?
    (19 votes)
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  • leaf red style avatar for user veer
    I also don't get the difference between " I have washed the dishes" and " I washed the dishes"
    (13 votes)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user jamie_chu78
    Why not just say 'I just washed the dishes', since the word have can also refer to something in possesion, for e.g, 'I have a Nyan Cat', where 'just' actually means something occured within a very short span of time? See, 'I have washed the dishes', is true if it occured 10 years or 10 seconds ago, but you can't say 'I have just washed the dishes 10 years ago'.

    Furthermore, some will say 'I have just done x', where 'I just done x', would also seem to suffice.
    (12 votes)
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  • aqualine sapling style avatar for user Lakshyathehuskyboy
    So, are these example correct (I wrote them and want to make sure I am doing them the right way)

    Present perfect:
    I have finished eating the cake.
    Past perfect:
    I had finished eating the cake.
    Future perfect:
    I will have finished eating the cake.

    (9 votes)
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    • female robot amelia style avatar for user Johanna
      Yes, those are correct for the tenses/aspects you listed!

      (I'd just like to specify that in all of those sentences "eating the cake" is a noun phrase acting as the direct object. "Eating" isn't part of the verb there.)
      (14 votes)
  • leafers seedling style avatar for user Shrimpy
    Hmm i'm a bit confused. So I would use "had" for actions that happened way in the past that were finished? For example: John had/has/have traveled to Europe already. Which should I use? Why?
    (8 votes)
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    • piceratops ultimate style avatar for user Hecretary Bird
      If the whole sentence was in past tense, and you were talking about John's trip to Europe before that, you would use "had". If you were in the present talking about how John went sometime before the present, you would use "has". "Have" is for plural subjects and first and second person, so you wouldn't use it with John.
      (6 votes)
  • blobby blue style avatar for user bleau
    why can't you say"I washed the dishes instead
    "I have washed the dishes"
    ...so confused
    (8 votes)
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  • sneak peak green style avatar for user daniel 💀
    Wait, I have a question: How does "I will have washed the dishes" make sense? What if you say "I will wash the dishes". Isn't that the same thing but makes more sense?
    (8 votes)
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    • female robot grace style avatar for user Chelsea Flynn ✎
      Hey, Daniel!
      Saying "I will have washed the dishes." is actually speaking in the future tense, while saying "I will wash the dishes." is also future tense but it a different form. In the first one you are saying that you have already washed the dishes but in the future. [ie. "I will have washed the dishes by the 5 o' clock."] In the second one, you're just saying that you'll wash the dishes. You're not giving an event that will happen by the time you wash the dishes.
      Hope this helped! :)
      (8 votes)
  • winston baby style avatar for user Julius Vance
    I am trying to sort out the three different aspects but the more I watch the video the less I understand it
    (1 vote)
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    • aqualine tree style avatar for user David Alexander
      Draw them out on a time line, which has "the current moment" at the center point. Often perfect aspects are putting the timing of one action into a position compared to another point in time. So, present perfect aspect means you are standing in the present and saying that at some time in the past, but not necessarily connected to now, and for an unstated duration of time, you once engaged in whatever activity. As in "I have fished in the Columbia River." In the past perfect tense, you are talking about an event at a certain time in the past, and then setting another event into a time frame to compare to that. As in: "When I was your age, I had fought in Vietnam for 6 months." As a future perfect, you are standing in the present time talking about two future events, as in: "By the time you finish your popsicle, I will have finished washing the dishes."
      (19 votes)
  • female robot grace style avatar for user James Harp
    Is be + past form perfect aspect? One of the perfect answer had "are removed" as perfect aspect. Is this something to do with voice?
    (9 votes)
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Video transcript

- [Voiceover] Hello grammarians, today I want to talk to you about the idea of the perfect aspect of verbs. And what that means is that it's not, you know, beyond reproach, or that it's like beautiful and shiny. No, no, no, no, no. What it means is really that whatever we're talking about, whatever action we are talking about is complete. So we use the perfect aspect in all tenses to illustrate when something has been completed prior to the present moment. So when we talk about the present, we're talking about one point: now. But when we're using, when we use aspect, it enables us to talk about a period between then and now. You're speaking in the now referring to a point previous. So we could say, using the perfect, the way you form the perfect is you simply add have and then you use the past form of the verb. So if my assignment, for example, were to wash some dishes, when the dishes were complete, I would say to the person that told me to wash the dishes, "I have washed the dishes." So I'm using the present tense form of to have, and the past tense form of washed. So as with the progressive aspect, the thing that changes is the helper verb. This part, the main verb, does not change. It remains in the past tense, even if we're talking about the present or the future. The part that changes is have. So if we want to put this story in the past, you know, talk about a period that is "then" but also say that we washed the dishes at a period before then, right, before the moment in the past that we're talking about, if that makes sense, we would say, "I had washed the dishes." And if we want to talk about something in the future that happens before that future moment but after now, we would use the future perfect to say, "I will have washed the dishes." And that's what the perfect aspect allows us to do. It allows us to travel backward in time a little bit extra. It allows us to say, oh, well, before the point in the story that I'm mentioning, this thing was already completed. So the perfect enables us to say, here is a thing that happened in the past, here is a verb action that has completed in the past prior to the moment I'm talking about. So to recap, the perfect refers to something finished. You can learn anything, David out.