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  1. #1
    Kudla is offline Junior Member
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    Default present perfect tense

    Hi,
    could anybody help me out, please?
    In the following passage:
    For three years he has pursued in London his useful and, I think I may add, his artistic calling; and not so much as a whisper of suspicion has been once aroused.
    - I suppose the action of "pursuing" started 3 yrs ago and still continues at the present moment but could it possibly mean that the 3-yr-long action happened somewhere in the past and forms a part of the present experience like in the sentence: I have been to Australia (once, several times)? Or is this interpretation cancelled by HAS AROUSED (period extends up to now) and WAS AROUSED would have to be used instead?

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    Default Re: present perfect tense

    Quote Originally Posted by Kudla View Post
    For three years he has pursued in London his useful and, I think I may add, his artistic calling; and not so much as a whisper of suspicion has been once aroused.
    - I suppose the action of "pursuing" started 3 years ago and still continues at the present moment YES but could it possibly mean that the 3-yr-long action happened somewhere in the past and forms a part of the present experience like in the sentence: I have been to Australia (once, several times)? NO. 'For three years' is the decider. When used with a present perfect construction, it can mean only 'up till the present moment'

    Or is this interpretation cancelled by HAS AROUSED (period extends up to now) and WAS AROUSED would have to be used instead? Not exactly. If you used 'was aroused', you would be setting the arousal in the past. As the arousal presumably happened during the three-year period, you would need to have the past tense form of 'pursue'.
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  3. #3
    Kudla is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: present perfect tense

    Thanks a lot for your reply. It makes sense to me but Ive read that, under special circumstances, it can also refer to a finished past action e.g. "I have helped him with his papers for 2 yrs" as long as this is the reply to sth like: "Have you helped him with his papers for 2 yrs?"
    What do you think about it?
    Thanks!

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    Default Re: present perfect tense

    Quote Originally Posted by Kudla View Post
    Thanks a lot for your reply. It makes sense to me but Ive read that, under special circumstances, it can also refer to a finished past action e.g. "I have helped him with his papers for 2 yrs" as long as this is the reply to sth like: "Have you helped him with his papers for 2 yrs?"
    What do you think about it?
    Thanks!
    It's just about possible if the original question was: "I know that you have, over the last few years, helped him with his papers for varying periods of time. You helped him for six months once; you helped him for a year once. Have you (ever) helped him for longer periods?"

    That, however, is a pretty unrealistic context.

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    Kudla is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: present perfect tense

    I agree with that. Thank you!

  6. #6
    Kudla is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: present perfect tense

    I have another question, this time a little odd. But I would really appreciate your response.
    Can I say "I knew a man who has been dead for 5 days" with the meaning that: I no longer know him (=I knew), although I assume he is still alive now and, has once experienced the state of being dead for 5 days (=has been dead) - say, he has risen from the dead.
    Is it then possible to say it this way?
    And what about the meaning of: I knew a man who had been dead for 5 days - does it mean the same except he is no longer alive?
    Thanks!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: present perfect tense

    Quote Originally Posted by Kudla View Post
    I have another question, this time a little odd. But I would really appreciate your response.
    Can I say "I knew a man who has been dead for 5 days" with the meaning that: I no longer know him (=I knew), although I assume he is still alive now and, has once experienced the state of being dead for 5 days (=has been dead) - say, he has risen from the dead.
    Is it then possible to say it this way?
    And what about the meaning of: I knew a man who had been dead for 5 days - does it mean the same except he is no longer alive?
    Thanks!
    If you think up weird enough situations, Kudla, you can say almost anything. Frankly, I see little point in doing this.

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    Kudla is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: present perfect tense

    Well, I agree with you but I need to know whether this particular sentense is correct. My point is: If I want to say it to sb (I believe its true, Im lying or whatever else) and I need him to get the message right, are my sentences correct, then? Thats what I need to know - true or false?
    Thanks a lot!

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    Kudla is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: present perfect tense

    Could anyone respond to my last post, please?
    Thank you!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: present perfect tense

    Quote Originally Posted by Kudla View Post
    Could anyone respond to my last post, please?
    Kudla, the lack of response suggests that I am not alone in thinking that trying to decide whether you can use a present perfect in, "I knew a man who was once dead for five days and then came to life again but I no longer know him", is a pointless exercise.

    If you really want to describe that situation, use the words I have.

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