Concept

Grammatical aspect

Summary
In linguistics, aspect is a that expresses how an action, event, or state, as denoted by a verb, extends over time. Perfective aspect is used in referring to an event conceived as bounded and unitary, without reference to any flow of time during ("I helped him"). Imperfective aspect is used for situations conceived as existing continuously or repetitively as time flows ("I was helping him"; "I used to help people"). Further distinctions can be made, for example, to distinguish states and ongoing actions (continuous and progressive aspects) from repetitive actions (habitual aspect). Certain aspectual distinctions express a relation between the time of the event and the time of reference. This is the case with the perfect aspect, which indicates that an event occurred prior to (but has continuing relevance at) the time of reference: "I have eaten"; "I had eaten"; "I will have eaten". Different languages make different grammatical aspectual distinctions; some (such as Standard Germa
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