Tense Usage


I frequently write in what I think is called "past perfect," such as "I have written several books about online dating," or "My friend has gone off to England for the summer." Are these correct, or should they say: "I wrote several books about online dating," and "My friend went off to England for the summer."

I would so much appreciate a reponse, since I'm a professional writer and concerned I'm making mistakes!

tense pasttense asked Jul 28 '12 at 02:02 Marcy Sheiner New member

"I have written" is present perfect tense. "I had written" is past perfect tense. "I wrote" is simple past tense.

Donna GambillJul 28 '12 at 12:04

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1 answer


First, it is not called 'past perfect' but 'present perfect'.


In my opinion, you wish to know about the difference between past simple and resent perfect.


  We use the Past Simple tense to talk about a definite finished time in the past. For example: when, yesterday, last week, when I was at school, then, after etc.

   I finished university three years ago.
   Where did we first meet?
   I didn't study French at school.


We use the Present Perfect tense with time references that refer to the time up to now. For example: today, this week, this month, ever, never, already, recently, yet etc.

   I haven't seen her today.
   Have you ever smoked a cigarette?
   I have never been abroad before.


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link answered Jul 28 '12 at 05:42 Rahul Gupta Expert

I would say your answer is SOMEWHAT helpful. In my opinion, what you said is useful but doesn't go far enough. Although everything you say here is technically correct, in some cases either tense works. My reason for asking this question to begin with is that I use the present perfect the majority of the time in my writing, when past simple would work just as well. I want to know if there is an absolute rule, or, if not, whether one or the other tense works best depending on the genre or style of writing. If there's a chance for a follow-up response, I'd appreciate one, but if not, thank you anyway.

Marcy SheinerJul 28 '12 at 15:53

Try the below link:

Rahul GuptaJul 29 '12 at 13:21

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