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821. Uses of the Perfect

Perfects are quotable as made from more than half the roots of the language, and they abound in use at every period and in almost all branches of the literature, though not always with the same value.

a. According to the Hindu grammarians, the perfect is used in the narration of facts not witnessed by the narrator; but there is no evidence of its being either exclusively or distinctively so employed at any period.

b. In the later language, it is simply a preterit or past tense, equivalent with the imperfect, and freely interchangeable or coördinated with it. It is on the whole less common than the imperfect, although the preferences of different authors are diverse, and it sometimes exceeds the imperfect in frequency (compare (927).

c. The perfects veda and āha are everywhere used with present value. In the Brāhmaṇas, also others, especially dādhāra, also dīdāyabibhāya, etc.