Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 1 2 3
Results 21 to 25 of 25
  1. #21
    Kotfor is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Ukrainian
      • Home Country:
      • Belarus
      • Current Location:
      • Ukraine
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    413
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: This is the first time/Past Simpel/Past Perfect/Present Simple

    I don't see a significant difference. The problem lies in the combination of Past Simple and Present Perfect. So I don\t see how it is justified in the first sentence and is not correct in the second.

  2. #22
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,167
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: This is the first time/Past Simpel/Past Perfect/Present Simple

    Quote Originally Posted by Kotfor View Post
    I don't see a significant difference
    Then you'll just have to accept that you don't see it.

    There is a continuum in questions of correctness between what is clearly not English and what is clearly good English. In the middle there is sometimes a grey area, in which even teachers and writers cannot always agree.

    At the un-English end we have: years since snow then snow first. No native speaker, even one who had never been to school, would utter those words. Further along the continuum we have: That were the first snow what we had in years. You will hear utterances like that, but they are not acceptable in any but the most informal writing.

    At the clearly correct end, uttered while it us snowing, we have: This is the first time we have had snow for years.

    In the middle we have:

    1. That was the first time we had had snow for years.

    2. Last week was the first time we had had snow for years.
    3. That was the first time we had snow for years.

    4. Last week was the first time we had snow for years.
    5. That was the first time we have had snow for years.
    6. Last week was the first time we have had snow for years.

    I have no doubt at all that you will hear all these from native speakers. That does not necessarily mean that they are acceptable in the sense that educated speakers would write them. You frequently hear aint for isn’t/aren’t/hasn’t and even haven’t and, as Barb pointed out, I seen it. That you hear them does not make them correct.

    #1 and #2, above, are fine. #3 and #4 can be heard commonly, but would disturb British readers who thought about their choice of words. (Actually, only a trained phonetician could say for sure whether someone had said we had or we’d had in casual conversation.)

    #5 and #6 are, in my opinion, even more marginal. In both cases, if the speaker is thinking about a recent onset of snow, the utterances could be considered acceptable, especially if there are still signs of snow on the ground. However, without further context, that could be any past time, even many years ago, while ‘last week’, as Barb pointed out, is clearly recent.

  3. #23
    Kotfor is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Ukrainian
      • Home Country:
      • Belarus
      • Current Location:
      • Ukraine
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    413
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: This is the first time/Past Simpel/Past Perfect/Present Simple

    It is easy to avoid mistakes when you know why they are considered to be so, however, if the background of a mistake is not spotted then you can't avoid making it. I think this is the case here. It's not that I refuse to rely on your opinion it's just that I don't see and haven't seen anyone fully disclose the reasons why this is wrong or not an example of good English.

    I don't understand how this combination of tenses is considered correct in a certain sentence while it is wrong in another one.

    Past Simple + Present Perfect

    Last week was the first time we have had snow in years. (OK)
    That was the first time we have had snow in years. (Wrong)

    I really tried to connect this issue with Last week/that was but I failed.
    --------------------------------------------

    As for this combination of tenses I have something to add for everyone to ponder over.

    This is the first time I have watched this film. (I am still watching it)

    Now, if I want to say it after I have finished watching it, would I use the same construction? I doubt.

    That was the first time I have watched/had watched it.
    --------------------------------------------
    Another thing which I presuppose is that there might be a difference in meanings between

    That was the first time I have watched it. (I have watched this film only once in my life)
    That was the first time I had watched it. (There were more occurences om my watching this film after that first time when I saw it)

  4. #24
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,167
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: This is the first time/Past Simpel/Past Perfect/Present Simple

    Kotfor, I said in my last post, "There is a continuum in questions of correctness between what is clearly not English and what is clearly good English. In the middle there is sometimes a grey area, in which even teachers and writers cannot always agree."

    That being the case with your problem, you are simply not going to get a clear answer. You can keep bringing up examples for the rest of your life. All you will find is that some are accepted by all native speakers, some are rejected by all native speakers, and some fall into the grey area.

  5. #25
    Kotfor is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Ukrainian
      • Home Country:
      • Belarus
      • Current Location:
      • Ukraine
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    413
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: This is the first time/Past Simpel/Past Perfect/Present Simple

    Let's leave out irrelevant sayings like "You can keep bringing up examples for the rest of your life." It doesn't contribute anything helpful.

    I wanted to know what exactly was the core of the problem. I thought you considered this "Past Simple + Present Perfect" wrong. But I think that it's not the case. So I just don't understand what you find wrong in this sentence. I thought you would have been more specific on that but you weren't. Anyway thank you.

Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 1 2 3

Similar Threads

  1. why the past simple, not the present perfect?
    By joham in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 16-Dec-2007, 07:31
  2. Present Perfect or Past Simple?
    By Dawood Usmani in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 14-Dec-2007, 19:15
  3. present perfect or simple past
    By Anna-Lena in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 29-Aug-2006, 08:44
  4. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 18-Apr-2006, 17:18
  5. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-Apr-2005, 03:34

Posting Permissions

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