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Verb patterns and structures
Subject + present perfect + adverbials/complements
The present perfect is a present tense. So when we use the present perfect, the action cannot be placed at a point of time in the past. But a period of time extending up to the time of speaking may be mentioned – (e.g. for two hours, for three years, in the last two years etc.) Adverbs like just, recently, as yet, ever, never, already, today, this morning etc., can also be used.
If you have to mention a finished point of time in the past, you have to use a simple past tense.
The present perfect is used in the subordinate clause only when the verb in the main clause is either in the present or future tense – not in the past tense.
Verb patterns with present perfect progressive tense
The present perfect progressive shows that an action started in the past, has continued up to the present and is still continuing.
Since the action started in the past and has been continuing ever since, the only point of time that can be mentioned in such a sentence is the time when the action started.
You can also mention the period of time during which the action has been going on.
But it is wrong to say:
You must say:
Verb patterns with the past perfect
The past perfect denotes an action completed some time in the past before another past action or event started.
Note that the past perfect tense is not used to simply say that something happened sometime ago. We use the simple past to convey this meaning.
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