Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: present perfect

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    14
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default present perfect

    Hello everyone,

    I have a question about how to use present perfect.
    In my country, we learn that we can't use present perfect with "ago".

    That means, can't we say, "I have lived here since five years ago."??

    We can say, "since 2000, since last week"... but shouldn't we say since and ago together?

    Does it sound strange for you?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    12,971
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: present perfect

    "5 years ago" functions adverbially, which means it modifies the verb "have lived". Now, present perfect verbs are incompatible with specific dates/time, and that's why [1] below is ungrammatical (*). The phrase '5 years' directly modifies a present perfect verb:

    [1] I have lived there *5 years ago.
    [2] I have lived there *5 years.

    The word 'ago' has nothing to do with anything, really. In example [2] 'ago' is missing and the sentence is still ungrammatical.

    If a specific date/time directly modifies a present perfect verb, the result will be ungrammatical, but if we disguise the specific date/time, by putting it inside another phrase, so the verb doesn't "see" it, we get a grammatical result, like this,

    [3] I have lived there for 5 years.
    [4] I have lived there since 2000.

    The phrase '5 years' no longer directly modifying the verb 'have lived'. It's part of (or inside of) 'for. . .'. The entire phrase 'for 5 years' modifies the verb 'have lived'. '5 years' is disguised, or hidden, sort to speak, from the verb's eyes. The same holds true for the phrase 'since 2000'.

    Note, [5] and [6] below are ungrammatical. "ago" can't stand on its own ([5]), and "5 years", a noun phrase, doesn't function adverbially on its own ([6]).

    [5] I lived there *ago.
    [6] I lived there *5 years.

    It's a pair:

    a long time + ago
    3 hours + ago

    "ago" comes from agone, which meant gone by:

    5 days have gone by = 5 days agone => Modern English: 5 days ago

    Hope that helps,

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    14
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: present perfect

    Thank you for your answer.
    I have already understood
    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    [1] I have lived there *5 years ago.
    is incorrest.
    [2] I have lived there *5 years.
    is incorrect.
    [2] I have lived there for 5 years.
    is correct.
    In my opinion, for example, (the year) 2000=five years ago
    Therefore, since 2000=since five years ago


    So, can I say, "I've lived here since five years ago."?

    Sorry for my poor explanation.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    12,971
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: present perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by sardine
    In my opinion, for example, (the year) 2000 = five years ago
    Therefore, since 2000=since five years ago. So, can I say, "I've lived here since five years ago"?
    "the year 2000" and "5 years ago" do not mean the same thing, so you can equate them in that way. Moreover, "since" and "for" have semantic restrictions.

    [1] I have lived here since the year 2000.
    [2] I have lived here for *the year 2000.

    [3] I have lived here since *5 years ago.
    [4] I have lived here for 5 years *ago.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    14
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: present perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    "the year 2000" and "5 years ago" do not mean the same thing
    Oh, really? I've never thought about that. In my language, there're little diffrence. So we can't say, [3] I have lived here since *5 years ago.
    [/u].
    Thank you very much!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    12,971
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: present perfect

    You're welcome, Sardine.

    Quote Originally Posted by sardine
    Oh, really? I've never thought about that. In my language, there're little diffrence. So we can't say, [3] I have lived here since *5 years ago.
    Well, English is a different language. Please note, "I have lived here since 5 years ago" is also ungrammatical in English. The symbol * means ungrammatical.

Similar Threads

  1. Past Perfect / Present Perfect
    By jack in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 25-Feb-2005, 16:36
  2. Present Perfect or Present Perfect Progressive
    By Dany in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 24-Dec-2004, 13:45
  3. Present Perfect X Present Perfect Continuous
    By doltcrow in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 14-Aug-2004, 20:54
  4. present perfect and present prefect continuous
    By deer in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 28-Jul-2004, 17:29
  5. present perfect tense
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 15-Jul-2004, 17:12

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •