I've started to wonder recently if we could put together a canonical post that thoroughly explains perfect constructions; how they work, when to use them, etc. There are of course exceptions to everything, so the post would not answer all questions related to perfect constructions, but I think it could be useful. I've noticed a trend that questions about perfect constructions seem to come repeatedly from the same users. This isn't a bad thing in and of itself—the questions are fair and the users free to ask them—but it makes me think that we aren't getting the point across to them, and since this is such a commonly asked about topic, perhaps we should cover it in-depth in one easily-accessible resource.
So, thoughts? Is this doable? Is there too much to say to fit into a single post, or do we think we could do this? If we can, do we have any volunteers to write the answer? We would also need to agree upon the best way to phrase the question (I would then post it as a CW question on the main site, so that when questions that are entirely answered by the post are asked, they can be closed as duplicates). A starting point for the question text, if we decide to proceed with this:
[This is a canonical post on the usage of Perfect Constructions. It is Community Wiki and can be updated with further information and clarification at any time.]
What are Perfect Constructions?
When can I use them?
When should I not use them?
Important notes about this proposal:
This does not mean we would immediately begin closing all questions about perfect constructions as a duplicate of this question. But this could be a good resource to point learners to; if they read this the first time they ask a question about perfect constructions, maybe it will answer all their questions and they won't need to ask more. If the question is extremely basic and clearly answered by this canonical answer, the community could decide to close it. Or if the OP, once shown a link to this question, decides their question has been answered, we could also close it then.
The above question proposal is just a very rough outline. Please suggest improvements.
If we agree to go forward with this, we really need a qualified writer to help us write the canonical answer; agreement with this proposal is useless if we don't have someone to do that! So please, if you're interested, volunteer to write something up for us. The post will be CW so others can of course edit and contribute later, but we really would need someone to write the bulk of the original post.
Okay, so, thoughts? Everyone please let me know what you think! :)
I've created a chat room specifically to discuss this Canonical Post moving forward. Anyone is welcome to come chat about ideas they have for this post. You can find the chat room here!