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  1. Offroad's Avatar
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    #1

    This is the first time...

    Dear friends...

    Could you please comment on the correctness of the sentences below:


    1) This is the first time in history that an official presidential portrait was taken with a digital camera.

    2) This is the first time she shared it publicly.

    3) This is the first time you are working a game for her/his team.

    4) ...that in 20 years of going to this church, this is the first time he realized
    that these kind of things were going on...


    5) This is the first time that I have heard her sing.


    Thank you.
    Last edited by Offroad; 10-Sep-2009 at 01:06. Reason: fixed typo


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    #2

    Re: This is the first time...

    Quote Originally Posted by marciobarbalho View Post
    Dear friends...

    Could you please comment on the correctness of the sentences below:

    1) This is the first time in history that an official presidential portrait was taken with a digital camera.

    2) This is the first time she shared it publicly.

    3) This is the first time you're working a game for her/his team.

    4) ...that in 20 years of going to this church, this is the first time he realized that these kind of things were going on...

    5) This is the first time that I've heard her sing.

    Thank you.

    1) This is the first time in history that an official presidential portrait was taken with a digital camera. - This should be "has been taken with a digital camera". However, an NES could say "was taken with a digital camera".

    2) This is the first time she shared it publicly. - This should also be the present perfect, "she has shared it publicly". Or it could be "That was the first time she shared it publicly". The speaker probably really meant "This is the first time ...". And, once again, an NES could say something like this. It's possible.

    3) This is the first time you're working a game for her/his team. - This should be "you've worked a game for her/his team". If the action is in progress at the time of speaking, I can imagine an NES saying this. It wouldn't be so bad, but, of course, it would not conform to how your ESL grammar books told you to say it.

    4) ...that in 20 years of going to this church, this is the first time he realized that these kind of things were going on... This could really just as well be present perfect. I would say it should be, but, again, NESs say things like this from time to time. It should be "the first time he has realized" for this sentence. You could say "that was the first time he realized ...", but then we move to the past. I think this speaker meant this to be in the present.

    5) This is the first time that I've heard her sing. - There's no problem with this one.

    So, here's what I would advise. Even though you'll hear native speakers use these types of sentences (structures? whatever), I would advise you to simply write and speak as you've studied. There's less confusion in this way. I wouldn't be concerned at all about adapting these sorts of deviations in verb form usage to the way you use English. You could hear NESs talk this way from time to time, but that's about it. I wouldn't try to mimic native speaker speech right down to the frequency with which some people might use some of the types of sentences you posted here. It's not worth the hassle. Take note, observe, and listen. That's what I would do.
    Last edited by PROESL; 10-Sep-2009 at 05:58. Reason: typos

  2. anupumh's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: This is the first time...

    What does NES stand for??


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    #4

    Re: This is the first time...

    Quote Originally Posted by anupumh View Post
    What does NES stand for??
    Native English Speaker

    I forgot to add that at the end. It's an initialism I've seen before.

  3. anupumh's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: This is the first time...

    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post
    Native English Speaker

    I forgot to add that at the end. It's an initialism I've seen before.
    I ve come across it for the first time...

  4. Offroad's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: This is the first time...

    a few more sentences;

    a) This is the first time I am posting to the list.

    b) This is the first time that the paintings will be shown as a group outside the Hermitage.

    c) This is the first time you really see everything.


    Are they grammatically right?

    Thank you.


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    #7

    Re: This is the first time...

    Quote Originally Posted by marciobarbalho View Post
    a few more sentences;

    a) This is the first time I am posting to the list.

    b) This is the first time that the paintings will be shown as a group outside the Hermitage.

    c) This is the first time you really see everything.

    Are they grammatically right?

    Thank you.
    a) This is the first time I am posting to the list. << Yes, this is fine. Still, I think with "the first time", "the second time" etcetera, we would more typically hear the present perfect - that's typically.

    b) This is the first time that the paintings will be shown as a group outside the Hermitage. < Yes, this is correct.

    c) This is the first time you really see everything. << Yes, this is correct.

    I think that sentence c is slightly odd only because "can" for ability is tacitly understood. So a more typical sentence would be "This is the first time you can really see everything". Of course, other modals are possible, but "can" seems to be the first and most logical choice without context.

    In my experience, I've noticed that ability is sometimes understood in Spanish and maybe Portuguese without using "poder = can". This is not very typical of English, but it can happen.

    Interesting questions.


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    #8

    Re: This is the first time...

    c) This is the first time you really see everything. << Yes, this is correct.

    I think that sentence c is slightly odd only because "can" for ability is tacitly understood. So a more typical sentence would be "This is the first time you can really see everything". Of course, other modals are possible, but "can" seems to be the first and most logical choice without context.

    In my experience, I've noticed that ability is sometimes understood in Spanish and maybe Portuguese without using "poder = can". This is not very typical of English, but it can happen.

    Interesting questions.


    Keep in mind that "see" could be taken to mean "understand". There's no context here, so we really can't say. See could apply to physical vision or it could apply to what one understands, can understand, or is able to understand.

    This is the first time you really see everything, and it's about time.
    This is the first time you really understand everything, and it's about time.


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    #9

    Re: This is the first time...

    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post

    Keep in mind that "see" could be taken to mean "understand". There's no context here, so we really can't say. See could apply to physical vision or it could apply to what one understands, can understand, or is able to understand.

    This is the first time you really see everything, and it's about time.
    This is the first time you really understand everything, and it's about time.
    Yes, and "see everthing" could also mean "have seen everything". With the present perfect, I think "see" is more likely to mean "understand".

    This is the first time you've really understood everything, and I'm glad.

    There's no context. Two or three different readings are possible here.

    I see. I understand.
    I see. I can see.
    I see it all. I've seen it all.

  5. Offroad's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: This is the first time...

    Yes, the sentence is right.

    I am kinda disappointed here. I will explain why very soon.

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