tenses do you use with ever? Is it always the present perfect:
Have you ever driven a car? or can it be present perfect
+ -ing:Have you ever been surfing? Are these sentences
from Hungary writes:
tenses should I use in the following example: A lot of supermarkets
were built in the last 10 years and a lot more will be built later.
Are these tenses correct at all?
- at any time up to the present
as an indefinite time adverb, means at any time. When it
is used with the present perfect or present perfect continuous,
it means at any time up to the present. This is a very common
usage and your examples of use are absolutely fine, Margot. Compare
also the following:
you ever seen the Queen in person? ~ No, I never have.
your ever grown vegetables in your garden? ~ I did a few years
ago, but not recently.
- at any time in a period in the past
can also use ever to enquire about a particular period
in the past and this usage, while less common, requires the
you were living in Egypt, did you ever see a Nile crocodile? ~
No, I don't ever remember seeing a crocodile in the Nile!
Did you ever sail up the Nile? ~ Once, but only from Luxor to
- at any time in the future
that ever is also often used with going to and will future
forms when predicting the future:
he ever going to give up gambling and live a normal life? ~ No,
I don't think he ever will. ~ Do you think they'll ever get married?
~ I don't think they'll ever have enough money.
that yet, meaning up till now, and already,
meaning earlier than expected, are also indefinite time
adverbs like ever and are associated particularly with the present
perfect tense and the verb be. Like ever, yet is used mainly in
interrogative and negative sentences:
the mail here yet? ~ No the postman hasn't come yet.
you going to stay? ~ I don't know yet. No decision has yet been
the children returned yet? ~ Susan's already here, but Simon hasn't
come back yet
already earned enough money to retire on and he's only thirty
already nine thirty and I'm already late for my appointment.
the last ten years / six months / three weeks / few days
adverbial expressions indicate a fixed period of time,
and say when something happened. They connect the past with the
present and, like ever, since and for are most commonly
used with the present perfect. Your supermarket example therefore
sounds best with the present perfect passive, Bea, rather
than past simple passive:
the last ten years, since 1993, a lot of supermarkets have been
built on the outskirts of towns and in the next five years many
more will be.
on hunger strike and hasn't eaten anything in the last three weeks.
For three weeks now, he's eaten nothing at all
I haven't spoken to Roger for months / in months. He must be out
of the country.
the last few days I've tidied my study and thoroughly cleaned
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