Can I use present perfect in this context?



After finishing my homework I will check for the mistakes that I have made

I'm skeptical about if I can use present perfect in this context and besides with conjunction can present perfect be used for future?


Posted 2018-09-24T15:54:28.673


The present perfect is fine in your example, but could you please add more information why you think it's wrong? That way we can provide a detailed explanation to teach you how to use it in this kind of sentence. Otherwise, the question might be closed. – Andrew – 2018-09-24T15:59:34.103

There is nothing ungrammatical there. Semantically, you might want to say I will check for *any* mistakes that I *may* have made. But what is the source of your concern? – Jason Bassford – 2018-09-24T18:09:23.080



Yes, you can use the present perfect in conjunction with the future tense. English often depends on the perspective from which you want the listener to view some event, which can subtly change the information you want to convey.

In this case, the present perfect would be fine, if that's your intended perspective:

After I finish my homework, I will check for any mistakes I've made.

This perspective is from the future condition, looking at mistakes which you may have just finished making.

In addition, you could use the past perfect, the simple present, or the simple past, to establish other, subtly different perspectives:

After I finish my homework, I will check for any mistakes I'd made.

This perspective is from the future situation, looking back on past mistakes you made before finishing.

After I finish my homework, I will check for any mistakes I make.

This perspective is from the current moment, looking forward to any mistakes you might make.

After I finish my homework, I will check for any mistakes I made.

This perspective is from the future, looking back on any past mistakes.

In addition, as Jason Brassford mentions in his comment, it's common to add a qualifier to the sentence to establish that you don't actually intend to make mistakes:

After I finish my homework, I will check for any mistakes I may/might have made.


Posted 2018-09-24T15:54:28.673

Reputation: 85 521

I'd made seems dubious, at least in your description, what is the pluperfect there for? it might work for some mistakes made before the homework was started at all. Otherwise, the case is exhausted with have made, made and make, modals apart, imo. – Michael Login – 2018-09-24T20:02:59.360

@MvLog I wouldn't worry too much about the logic of it. The point is that any of these can be used, and not that you, personally, might choose to use them, especially if you feel they don't make logical sense. The perfect tense can elegantly convey the relationship between two events, and while in this case it's kind of a moot point, in another context it might be more significant. – Andrew – 2018-09-25T04:04:53.747

@andrew what does may have mean ? does it mean the same as will have in this context? – None – 2018-09-25T10:12:59.170

@user82287 "may" and "might" add elements of uncertainty or possibility. "Will" is more definite. I may go to the party (= I'm not sure if I will go), He may have made a mistake (= I'm not sure if he has made a mistake). . – Andrew – 2018-09-25T14:43:21.307

okay btw to me only present perfect sounds idiomatic. How can I look for mistakes before finishing the work? – None – 2018-09-25T14:48:21.313

@user82287 Well, again, this is one of the weird things about English, that we change the verb or verb tense to match the intended perspective. For example, "Come with me to the party?" vs. "Go with me to the party?" In your example, any mistakes you will make (from now), in the future, you will already have made. From this future perspective, the mistakes are all in the past. – Andrew – 2018-09-25T14:55:42.433

@user82287 fortunately these kind of examples are rare in any language, so all this is mostly just playing around with verb tenses to understand what can be said. There are simpler ways to say all of these, e.g. After I finish my homework I'll check it for mistakes. – Andrew – 2018-09-25T14:57:05.647

okay but there is one more sentence in my mind that is confusing me. After the party I'll unbox all the presents that I have gotten. (i guess it would mean after the party I'll unbox all the presents that I will have gotten) – None – 2018-09-25T15:21:52.420

but what if the party is already going on. And I mean to unbox the presents that I have already received now – None – 2018-09-25T15:22:28.937

@user82287 It's the same. You sentence is from the perspective of "after the party", which is in the future. Also FYI (at least in the US) we would say unwrap or open presents that you have received. "Unbox" sounds more industrial, and "gotten" (for some reason) doesn't sound as nice as received. – Andrew – 2018-09-25T16:07:46.373

after the party I'll unwrap the presents that I have received (i would interpret it as will have recieved) – None – 2018-09-25T17:11:27.137

but currently the party is going on and I mean after this party ends I will unwrap the presents that I have recieved (that is already on the gift table) – None – 2018-09-25T17:12:19.860