Adapted from Andy and Audrey Jackson: Advanced Grammar Worksheets Photocopy Master, Prentice hall International (UK) Ltd 1995.
There are three perfect tenses in English. They all refer to an action started before a certain point in time. In the case of simple tenses, this action is completed.
- She had studied drama before she went to Paris.
- He has gone to Rome. He doesn't live here anymore.
- The snow will have melted by tomorrow morning.
In the case of continuous tenses, the action may extend beyond the point of reference.
- The fire had been burning for had an hour when the firefighters arrived and it took two hours to get it under control.
The difference between the perfect simple and perfect continuous can be seen in these two sentences:
- I've driven fifty miles this morning. (a specific distance that has been completed)
- I've been driving all morning. (a continuous activity that may not be finished)
Complete each of the following sentences with a suitable perfect tense(past, present or future, simple or continuous) of the verbs in brackets.
1. My fingers are aching -- I __________ (write) letter all evening.
2. I'm feeling really proud of myself -- I __________ (write) six letters this evening.
3. She couldn't help thinking she __________ (see) his face somewhere before.
4. I bet Ben __________ (not do) the washing up by the time we get back.
5. Can you give me a hand? I __________ (do) my homework, but I'm stuck on this exercise.
6. I __________ (not feel) very well lately. I think I __________ (overwork).
7. They're trying to break the record. By six o'clock, they __________ (dance) non-stop for 3 days.
8. If you don't hurry, they __________ (leave) before you get there.
9. I __________ (hope) to meet your boss, but I hear he's away on business.
10. They __________ (plan) this holiday for ages. I hope it goes well.