Perfect Tenses

perfect tenses

What are perfect tenses?

Perfect tenses are used to show an action that has been completed. There are three different forms and each are used to express things in a different way.

Past Perfect Tense

I had already finished my homework before I bought the tickets.

We use the this form to express an action that was completed before another event in the past. In the above example, both events happened in the past. First the homework was completed, then the tickets were bought after.

[had] + [past participle (finished)]



Present Perfect Tense

Oh no! I have lost my ticket!

We use this form to express an action that was completed and now impacts the present. In the above example, the losing of the ticket was done in the past but we are taking about its relevance to the present situation.

[have] + [past participle (lost)]



Future Perfect Tense

I will have seen this band 5 times after the next concert!

We use this form to express an action that will be completed in the future. In the example above, the concert will take place in the future. After this, the completed action (having seen the band) will then take place.

[have] + [past participle (seen)]



Perfect Tenses Quiz

Time to test your skills with this quiz!

What is a perfect tense?
I will have found a new job by the end of the week.
I had learned to drive before I bought my car.
I have been to France 3 times.
I had already returned from the shops before it started to rain.
You will have finished the race before I even get half way!
I have eaten this before, it's tasty!
I ( ) you to do something [present perfect]
Will you ( ) cooking by the time I get there? [future perfect]
I ( ) college before I started university [past perfect]
Complete the form below to see results
Perfect Tenses
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Practice Exercise

Create your own sentences for these situations. You must use a perfect tense, remember to use the past participle of the verb.

  1. You visited a friend in Germany and learned the language before you went.
  2. You will soon watch the last episode of the season (TV series). After this you can watch the latest season with your friend.
  3. You couldn’t speak English very well before. You are talking to a friend you haven’t seen in a while and they are surprised that your speaking has improved.



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Introduction In English, subjects and verbs have to match with regards to the number they represent; this is known as subject verb agreement. For example, if we have a singular subject then we also need a singular verb. He sometimes drinks coffee in the morning. On the other hand, if we have a plural subject…

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Modal Verbs

What Is A Modal Verb? We could go to the cinema. I can speak English. You must read this. A modal verb is used to support another verb and express things such as possibility, ability, permission, request or obligation. In a similar way to other auxiliary verbs, we cannot use modal verbs by themselves, they…

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Vocabulary Placement Test

Introduction Find out your estimated vocabulary range with this vocabulary placement test. For each word, simply select which words you “know” or “don’t know” the definition of. At the end, you will be told your estimated passive vocabulary range as well as estimated CEFR level. Enter your email at the end to see your results…

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Compound Nouns

What Is A Compound Noun? A compound noun is a noun that is made up of two or more separate words (although usually made of just two). house + plant = houseplant Although we can often form these using nouns, there are many methods of construction. You will also notice that compound nouns can be…

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