When we start to break down the English language, we see that all is not so simple. There are many, many grammar rules and on top of all of that, the many, many exceptions to all the rules. Due to the fact that English was born out of, pretty much, every other language, the grammar rules have been taken from here, adapted from there and then made to fit in just about any way possible… And that isn’t always the easiest thing to understand, even if you’re a native speaker.
On the other hand, after many years of dissection, it has been broken down into lots and lots of bite size chunks that make the whole learning process just a little bit easier.
If we look at the Present tense for example, it can be broken down into the simple, continuous and the perfect simple and perfect continuous.
These then have subsections within them and specific constructs that make them recognizable and possible to differentiate one from the other.
Let’s focus on the Present perfect. To make it clear we use this “Present” tense to talk about actions that have actually already occurred; e.g.; He has spoken. The reason it falls into the present category is because the action still has some effect on the present. The event may not be over just yet but we are able to refer to an event or sequence of events and how they add up over time until now; e.g.; He has already spoken three times this year.
Because your life is not yet over, you are able to use this tense with the comparative adjective to talk about things that have occurred over your entire life;
e.g.; – This is the best meal I have ever eaten in my entire life.
– That is the most beautiful building I have ever seen.
– Cape Town is the most interesting city I have ever been to.
So while this article might not have given you all the information for English proficiency and an understanding of all of its silly little grammar rules, you can at least walk away with the tools to say “That was the best article I’ve ever read.”