Also found in: Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
perfective aspect and imperfective aspect
Aspect is a grammatical term that has to do with how an action, state of being, or event unfolds in relation to time. The greatest distinction is made between the perfective aspect, which focuses on actions and events as whole elements, and the imperfective aspect, which deconstructs how an event is structured and located in time.
While other languages may mark the difference with an inflected verb form, English instead relies on a combination of particles, verbs, verb phrases, and lexical clues to determine whether the overall meaning of the action is perfective or imperfective.
The perfective aspect highlights actions, states, or events as a whole, presenting the actions from an outside perspective as complete, bounded events.
The imperfective aspect, on the other hand, is used when we focus on the internal structures of an action, state, or event as it relates to time, such as being continuous or habitual (repeating).
An aspect of verbs that expresses action without reference to its completion or beginning.