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Present perfect vs. past tense vs. past perfect


qq_babySuper Member!


Verb tenses are very confusing for me! I have a question here. Please help! Thanks!

1. His grandpa _ for ten years. (A)   has died (B) was dead (C) has been died (D) has been dead

I would choose A, B, and D. Do they have different meanings?

12:17 AM Dec 11 2008 |

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Teacher AmySuper Member!

United States

Hi! Thanks for your question.

The correct answer is "D," has been dead. You need to use the present perfect here (has/had + past participle) because you're talking about a situation that was true in the past and continues to be true in the present. The phrase "for ten years" is a signal that you need to the use present perfect.

Also, there is a difference between "to die" and "to be dead." We only "die" once; it can't be an on-going process. But we can "be dead" for any length of time. So it's possible to say that someone "has been dead for ten years," but you can't say that someone "has died for ten years." 

Good question. Smile

09:07 PM Dec 12 2008 |




Thanks for the detail explanation! 

12:45 AM Dec 17 2008 |