What Is the Complete Aspect? (with Examples)

What Is the Complete Aspect? (with Examples)

The complete aspect (or perfect aspect as it's more commonly known) is the aspect of a verb that expresses a completed action.

Complete aspect is the collective term for verbs (past, present, or future) in a complete tense (or perfect tense).

Examples of Verbs in the Complete Aspect

Here are some examples of verbs in the complete aspect:

In the Past Tense
  • I had gone.
  • They had eaten.
  • She had felt.
In the Present Tense
  • I have gone.
  • We have cleaned.
  • It has recovered.
In the Future Tense
  • I will have gone.
  • You will have acted.
  • He will have flown.

Forming the Complete Aspect

The complete aspect is formed using a form of the auxiliary verb have and the past participle. For example:

Forming the Past Complete Tense

"had" + past participle
  • They had eaten.
Forming the Present Complete Tense

"has" or "have" + past participle
  • He has eaten.
  • We have eaten.
Forming the Future Complete Tense

"will have" + past participle
  • He will have eaten.

Verb Tenses Showing the Complete Aspect

Here is a list of the verb tenses. The ones in the complete aspect are shaded.

The 4 Past Tenses Example
simple past tense I went
past progressive tense I was going
past perfect tense I had gone
past perfect progressive tenseI had been going
The 4 Present Tenses Example
simple present tense I go
present progressive tense I am going
present perfect tense I have gone
present perfect progressive tense I have been going
The 4 Future Tenses Example
simple future tense I will go
future progressive tense I will be going
future perfect tense I will have gone
future perfect progressive tense I will have been going
Interactive Exercise
Here are three randomly selected questions from a larger exercise, which can be edited and printed to create exercise worksheets.

See Also

perfect aspect What is aspect? What is the perfect tense? What is the past perfect tense? What is the present complete tense? What is the future present tense? Glossary of grammatical terms