Thank you for having helped me.

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Thank you for having helped me.

 

I usually say "Thank you for helping me" but all of a sudden, I am curious to know why we do not say, "Thank you for having helped me." although the act of "helping me" happened in the past. So have you ever used something like "thank you for having helped..." structure before and is there any difference in meaning and usage?

 

Thank you for your help as usual in advance. 

asked Oct 13 '12 at 04:53 Hans Contributor

Mr. HsKyH7, You have asked the same question on several forums. Please go through the corresponding website.

sanjayOct 13 '12 at 12:50

Mr. HsKyH7, You have asked the same question on several forums. Please go through the corresponding website.

sanjayOct 13 '12 at 12:48

It is not allowed? I just wanted to hear from more native English speakers, but if it causes any trouble and makes people here annoyed or something, I will not ask the same questions from now on.

HansOct 13 '12 at 12:55

I am sorry I didn't mean to hurt you. I saw your question on the other website. Getting opinions from more native speakers leads to confusion. Don't get confused.

sanjayOct 13 '12 at 18:10

Thank you and I got your point. Have a good day.

HansOct 13 '12 at 23:56

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1 answer


1

Yes, the meanings are different.

 

Have helped (has/have + past participle) is the present perfect tense. We use the Present Perfect to say that an action happened at an unspecified time before now. The exact time is not important. Because this uses the gerund form of have -- having -- this functions as a noun phrase -- having helped me -- that serves as the direct object of the preposition "for". This sentence carries the sense that the help occurred in the indeterminate past and that the help is complete.

 

helping is the present participle form of help. The name is misleading. It's true that the present participle (in this example, helping) sometimes appears to indicate present time. The truth is, the present participle really doesn't mark time at all. That job is reserved for the main verb and its auxiliaries. In the case, helping does not even function as a verb. It is, like having helped, a noun phrase that serves as the direct object of the preposition "for". In this case, the sentence carries the sense that the help occurred in the immediate present.

 

Okay, but we use this phrase -- for helping me -- for help that occurred in the immediate past. Why is that?

 

The answer is somewhat philosophical. When does the present end and the past begin? Physics tells us that the present is cannot be measured. It is an instant, and everything else is either future or past. But our experience of time is different. So we often use the present tense when speaking of events ten minutes ago, an hour ago, and sometimes much earlier the same day. As a result, for helping me can also refer to help that occured in the immediate past and may be continuing into the present.

link comment answered Oct 14 '12 at 21:47 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

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