before I've even used the bathroom


Woman: It was a mistake.

Man: Since when do you make mistakes?

Woman: What's that supposed to mean?

Man: It means I'm sick of you being so damn perfect all the time. I-I'm sick of the bizarre way your hair doesn't move. I'm sick of you making our bed in the morning before I've even used the bathroom. Where's the woman I fell in love with who used to burn the toast and drink milk out of the carton and laugh? I need her.

Why did the man use the present perfect? Why not the present simple?It is difficult to understand.
  • pachanga7

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Hello, and welcome to the Forum! :)

    You make the bed before I use the bathroom.
    You make the bed before I’ve used the bathroom.

    Both of these are acceptable grammar, but the second one lends itself better to the accusatory tone of the original.

    Why? Because the past perfect links the two actions being described. It indicates that there is some significance or even causality between his not using the bathroom, and her making the bed. His not going to the bathroom, in some weird illogical twist, becomes the reason for her making the bed, as if she does it in purpose to antagonize or inconvenience him.

    And all that with a little bit of grammar! Thanks for the question.


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I could be wrong but the way I read it is that he would get out of bed, walk into the bathroom to do his business, finish (which wouldn't take very long) and walk out, and she would already have the bed made.

    He was criticizing her "over-punctuality". He liked her better when she was more relaxed about things.
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