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Perfect Tense?

  1. Feb 28, 2006 #1
    "Perfect" Tense?

    Why are Perfect tenses called "Perfect" tenses? Where did they get the "Perfect" from?

    I require a source, as well.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 28, 2006 #2


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  4. Feb 28, 2006 #3
    I already read through that, but it doesn't explain why they call them "perfect" tenses. It just explains what perfect tenses are.
  5. Feb 28, 2006 #4
    For example,
    I have been trying to interrupt to turn what they got into mine
    that means I was and am trying to do that
  6. Feb 28, 2006 #5
    The word "perfect" comes from the Latin verb, perficere, which means "to complete."


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_verbs_(L_to_Z [Broken])
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  7. Feb 28, 2006 #6

    it has nothing to do with 'perfection'.
  8. Mar 1, 2006 #7


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    Unlike sewing gorilla suits, which has everything to do with perfection.
  9. Mar 1, 2006 #8


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    Perfect analogy.
  10. Mar 1, 2006 #9


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    They might also be called perfect tenses (I haven't checked to see when those terms were introduced) because the belief in a universal grammar has been popular on and off, and at one point, Latin grammar was the favorite model. So English was treated like it was Latin, for better or for worse. Just thought I should pass this along:
    This is from Otto Jespersen's Philosophy of Grammar (1924). The people who he calls grammarians might today better be called theoretical linguists, and the idea of Universal Grammar is popular again. It's even capitalized now! *cues foreboding organ music* Here's to everyone keeping their carts and horses in order. :biggrin:

    P.S. instead of the noun perfect, think of our verb perfect.
  11. Mar 1, 2006 #10


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    I'm pretty sure perfect is an adjective, not a noun. :biggrin:

    - Warren
  12. Mar 1, 2006 #11


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    :rofl: That batch of coffee must have been defective (just like must! Aha! This one is working).

    By the bye, I originally mistyped perfect as prefect, which is a noun, so my brain is excused. Everyone can't be a perfect like you! :tongue2:
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2006
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