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  1. #1
    cubezero3's Avatar
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    Default Choices of tenses and the other

    Hello, everyone.

    Three questions sprang to my mind as I was reading the New Concept English Book Three. Could you please help me explain where I went wrong?

    Recently the New York Animal Medical Centre made a study of 132 cats over a period of five months. All these cats had one experience in common: they had fallen off high buildings, yet only eight of them died from shock of injuries.
    Lesson 9 Flying cats - hui.jingling的日志 - 网易博客

    I think the author should use "have made" here.

    The study was made bofore the article was written. And the writer used it to support his point. A past event is connected to present in some way.

    Besides, I think it does not matter that the writer used the simple past tense to explain what these cats had in common in the following sentence. It's like "Marry has just lost her job. She was late and therefore had a quarrel with her boss... ."
    Last edited by cubezero3; 28-Sep-2009 at 06:41.

  2. #2
    cubezero3's Avatar
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    Default Re: Choices of tenses and the other

    I've don't some research but still cannot work out these three questions. Please help me on this.

  3. #3
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Choices of tenses and the other

    Quote Originally Posted by cubezero3 View Post
    I've don't some research but still cannot work out these three questions. Please help me on this.
    Some grammar books do recommend using the present perfect with recently, but this is not a rule and we use the past often, though less in the negative. To be honest, it sounds better to me in the past tense.

  4. #4
    cubezero3's Avatar
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    Default Re: Choices of tenses and the other

    Thank you for your reply, Tdol.

    May I further ask if the present perfect tense could be used here?

    Had I been the writer, I'd have chosen the present perfect tense, even without the existance of recently. Because I think the writer was supporting his argument, a present issue, by introducing a study done in the past. It's sort of like:"The belief that cats have nine lives is based opon facts. A study has been done on this. The detail of the study was blah blah blah. And it supports my argument well."

    So I take the guess that there was a choice of two alternatives on the writer's side. I further feel that I failed to notice some details in the artcle, which may be so obvious in a native speaker's eyes and so impossible to ignore.

    Am I going down the right route? If so, what would the writer's thinking be, in deciding to use the simple past tense here?

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