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  1. #1
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    Default We haven't talked to Alice last week.

    An exercise from an ESL book:

    Correct the underlined mistake in the sentence above:
    We haven't talked to Alice last week.

    The book gives two possible correct answers - however I would like to read your opinions before I write them here.

  2. #2
    The French is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: We haven't talked to Alice last week.

    Quote Originally Posted by ymnisky View Post
    An exercise from an ESL book:

    Correct the underlined mistake in the sentence above:
    We haven't talked to Alice last week.

    The book gives two possible correct answers - however I would like to read your opinions before I write them here.
    Hello I am 'The French' I am not a teacher, but I believe I know the answer.

    You have two choice:

    1. You change the word 'last' by 'since' or 'for', because the word 'last' is like 'ago', it's a mark tense.

    With since and for you show a relation between the past and the present and you can use the present perfect tense.

    2. Second choice, you don't replace the word 'last' and in this case you use the simple past of the verb 'talk'.

    I think I am right.

    Have a nice day.

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    Default Re: We haven't talked to Alice last week.

    In my opinion,
    We haven't talk to Alice since last week.
    We haven't talk to Alice for a week.
    Have a nice day.

  4. #4
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: We haven't talked to Alice last week.

    Quote Originally Posted by ymnisky View Post
    An exercise from an ESL book:

    Correct the underlined mistake in the sentence above:
    We haven't talked to Alice last week.

    The book gives two possible correct answers - however I would like to read your opinions before I write them here.
    If your choices are single words, you'd choose 'this' or 'all'.
    We haven't talked to Alice this week.
    We haven't talked to Alice all week. (This means all this week).

    You cannot use the present perfect with a specific time in the past. "This week", "all week" are not specific times - they are considered to be durations, for the purpose of the present perfect tense.

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    Default Re: We haven't talked to Alice last week.

    Quote Originally Posted by ymnisky View Post
    An exercise from an ESL book:

    Correct the underlined mistake in the sentence above:
    We haven't talked to Alice last week.

    The book gives two possible correct answers - however I would like to read your opinions before I write them here.
    Here are the possibilities:

    We haven't talked to Alice since last week.
    We didn't talk to Alice last week.
    We haven't talked to Alice for a week.
    We haven't talked to Alice this week.

  6. #6
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: We haven't talked to Alice last week.

    Quote Originally Posted by ymnisky View Post
    An exercise from an ESL book:

    Correct the underlined mistake in the sentence above:
    We haven't talked to Alice last week.

    The book gives two possible correct answers - however I would like to read your opinions before I write them here.
    Well I guess I did not make it clear that
    i) you can change only the underlined part in the sentence
    ii) you may use how many words you wish

    The book admits only the answers:
    We haven't talked to Alice this week.
    We haven't talked to Alice since last week.

    I knew you would find more possible answers, that's the reason I asked here.
    I appreciate your help. I reckon besides the book answers there are at least the following three possibilities.
    We haven't talked to Alice all week. (Raymott)
    We haven't talked to Alice all this week. (Raymott)
    We haven't talked to Alice for a week. (ngathuy and PROESL)

    Thank you very much.

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    Default Re: We haven't talked to Alice last week.

    Quote Originally Posted by ymnisky View Post
    Well I guess I did not make it clear that
    i) you can change only the underlined part in the sentence
    ii) you may use how many words you wish

    The book admits only the answers:
    We haven't talked to Alice this week.
    We haven't talked to Alice since last week.

    I knew you would find more possible answers, that's the reason I asked here.
    I appreciate your help. I reckon besides the book answers there are at least the following three possibilities.
    We haven't talked to Alice all week. (Raymott)
    We haven't talked to Alice all this week. (Raymott)
    We haven't talked to Alice for a week. (ngathuy and PROESL)

    Thank you very much.
    If you wanted to, you could take this approach:

    Use these four words, along with other words of your choice to write as many present perfect and simple past sentences as you can think of. Here are the words: we, talk, alice, week.

    That's the content. Now write correct sentences using grammar words.

    I think exercises that involve using or writing short dialogs would be more helpful than isloated sentences.

  8. #8
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: We haven't talked to Alice last week.

    Quote Originally Posted by ymnisky View Post
    Well I guess I did not make it clear that
    i) you can change only the underlined part in the sentence
    ii) you may use how many words you wish
    If they are the rules, there are an infinite number of responses, one of which is:
    We haven't talked to Alice lately, although we did see her buying a hamburger earlier in the week.

  9. #9
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: We haven't talked to Alice last week.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    If they are the rules, there are an infinite number of responses, one of which is:
    We haven't talked to Alice lately, although we did see her buying a hamburger earlier in the week.
    Yes, Raymott, that is exactly my point. The main reason I posted it here was because I thought there could be much more than only the two ones pointed out by the book. And worse than that, when that exercise is give to the student, he is lead to think there is only one possible answer, only later the teacher tells there could be 'two' answers.

    Thanks once more.

  10. #10
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: We haven't talked to Alice last week.

    Quote Originally Posted by ngathuy View Post
    In my opinion,
    We haven't talked to Alice since last week.
    We haven't talked to Alice for a week.
    Have a nice day.
    Careful, ngathuy. Because of the /t/ of "to", the /t/ at the end of "talked" is hard to hear - but it's there (in some form*).

    b

    *PS for nitpickers
    It may be glottalized or swallowed, it may have closure but not plosion ... there are lots of ways of marking the difference between "talk to" and "talked to", but the difference is clear and measurable (acoustically).

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