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Intermediate

Present Perfect vs Past Perfect - Rules and exercises for intermediate level

Written by
Friday, 04 December 2009
Example of present perfect vs past perfect: We weren't hungry. We'd just had lunch. This image is licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license

A comparison between the present perfect vs past perfect tenses in English with a clear explanation of the differences in use between these two tenses, with straightforward explanations and exercises. Online resource for intermediate-level English students. 

 

Different uses of the present perfect and the past perfect

Present Perfect

We use the Present Perfect Simple for an action or a state that began in the past and is connected with the present i.e. The action still continuous now or there is a result in the present from the action.
• The house is dirty. They haven't cleaned it for weeks.
• We aren't hungry. We've just had lunch.


We use the Present Perfect Continuous to show an action or a state that started in the past and has continued up until now with duration.



• I hope the bus comes soon. I've been waiting for 25 minutes.


• She's out of breath. She has been running .

 

Past Perfect

We use the Past Perfect Simple to express a completed action in the past before another action in the past.
• The house was dirty. They hadn't cleaned it for weeks.
• We weren't hungry. We'd just had lunch.


We use the Past Perfect Continuous for emphasizes a duration of an action which happened before another in the past.



• At last the bus came. I'd been waiting for 25 minutes.


• She was out of breath. She had been running.

- The Past Perfect Continuous gives past activities time and duration.

- In the Present Perfect Continuous the action began in the past and continues to the present.

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Last modified on Sunday, 05 February 2017 22:43

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