Perfect Tense

We know about past, present, and future tenses, and we use them regularly in English. But some languages additionally use perfect tense. English uses this at times too, but I came to know about perfect tense when studying ancient Greek in seminary.

A perfect tense verb is an action that took place in the past that has continuing relevance for the present and future. I think this is a lovely thing to think about…

We who find ourselves in this present moment with its own gifts and challenges alike might imagine being in relationship with the perfect tense. After all, aren’t there some beautiful moments, loves, people, and whole communities who are a part of our past but continue to have relevance for the present and future?

And if this is the case, we can call these moments, loves, people, and whole communities to ourselves purposefully. We bring them to our memories, our emotions, and the physical sensations in our bodies. Though they are in the past, in a very real way, they can be experienced in the present too.

Renee Roederer

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