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  1. #1
    uktous is offline Senior Member
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    Default I bought a book on Excel to see what advanced Excel skills I could learn

    Hi,

    Background:
    I understood some basic Excel skills, but I did not know any advanced functions Excel had.
    I wanted to know how to use Excel.
    Therefore, I bought a book to look at what Excel could do.

    Question:
    Is the correct?

    Sentence:
    I bought a book on Excel to see what advanced Excel skills I could learn.


    Thanks

  2. #2
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: I bought a book on Excel to see what advanced Excel skills I could learn

    Quote Originally Posted by uktous View Post
    Hi,

    Background:
    I understood some basic Excel skills, but I did not know any advanced functions Excel had.
    I wanted to know how to use Excel.
    Therefore, I bought a book to look at what Excel could do.

    Question:
    Is the correct?

    Sentence:
    I bought a book on Excel to see what advanced Excel skills I could learn.


    Thanks
    Yes, the sentence is correct.

  3. #3
    TP09 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: I bought a book on Excel to see what advanced Excel skills I could learn

    Quote Originally Posted by uktous View Post
    Sentence:
    I bought a book on Excel to see what advanced Excel skills I could learn.
    **Not a teacher**

    I'd use "I have bought a book..."
    Last edited by TP09; 09-May-2010 at 20:47.

  4. #4
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: I bought a book on Excel to see what advanced Excel skills I could learn

    Quote Originally Posted by TP09 View Post
    **Not a teacher**

    I'd use "I have bought a book..."
    Why?
    uktous wants a sentence that conforms to the situation:
    Therefore, I bought a book to look at what Excel could do.
    There's no reason to change the tense.

  5. #5
    TP09 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: I bought a book on Excel to see what advanced Excel skills I could learn

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Why?
    uktous wants a sentence that conforms to the situation:
    Therefore, I bought a book to look at what Excel could do.
    There's no reason to change the tense.
    **Not a teacher**

    Strange, I was taught you normally use present perfect in sentences without computation of time.
    But I guess that's just me then

  6. #6
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: I bought a book on Excel to see what advanced Excel skills I could learn

    Quote Originally Posted by TP09 View Post
    **Not a teacher**

    Strange, I was taught you normally use present perfect in sentences without computation of time.
    But I guess that's just me then
    Yes, if I understand what you're saying, that's true.
    As a stand alone comment, that sentence would sound better in the present perfect tense to me as well.
    But this was an exercise to fit various facts into one sentence, and given that all the facts were in the simple past, there's no reason to make the resulting sentence anything but simple past.

  7. #7
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: I bought a book on Excel to see what advanced Excel skills I could learn

    I've seen at least one other learner say that.

    They know that they can't use present perfect when there IS a specific time reference, but somehow think they MUST use it when there is NO time reference.

    That latter part, of course, is not true.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  8. #8
    TP09 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: I bought a book on Excel to see what advanced Excel skills I could learn

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I've seen at least one other learner say that.

    They know that they can't use present perfect when there IS a specific time reference, but somehow think they MUST use it when there is NO time reference.

    That latter part, of course, is not true.
    **Not a teacher**

    I said you normally use it when there's no computation of time.
    Look at my previous sentence: no time reference and yet I used 'said'.

    However I'd definitely use present perfect in the previously mentioned sentence.

  9. #9
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: I bought a book on Excel to see what advanced Excel skills I could learn

    The first post sets the context with three sentences in the past- I wouldn't use the present perfect there because of the context supplied by these. It's not a sentence in isolation for me.

  10. #10
    TP09 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: I bought a book on Excel to see what advanced Excel skills I could learn

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    The first post sets the context with three sentences in the past- I wouldn't use the present perfect there because of the context supplied by these. It's not a sentence in isolation for me.
    **Not a teacher**

    Yes. Well, if you take that into account then I guess you're right.

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