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  1. #1
    forinfo is offline Newbie
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    present perfect vs. past tense--confused...

    Hello,

    I have had trouble understanding the sentence below which
    uses the present perfect tense.

    Ex. I have visited the USA three times.

    I've learned that the present perfect tense is always associated with the present.
    Then I wonder why the above sentence, which seems to have no
    connection with the present, makes sense with the use of present perfect tense

    Would it be wrong to use a past tense in the above case?

    Ex. I visited the USA three times.

  2. #2
    Afit is offline Member
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    Re: present perfect vs. past tense--confused...

    1. I have visited the USA three times. -- You may make more visits there.
    2. I visited the USA three times. -- You may not make more visits there.

    In #1, the implicit time period that frames the "visits" leads up to the present time. You may visit there again sometime.

  3. #3
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    Mehrgan is offline Key Member
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    Re: present perfect vs. past tense--confused...

    Quote Originally Posted by forinfo View Post
    Hello,

    I have had trouble understanding the sentence below which
    uses the present perfect tense.

    Ex. I have visited the USA three times.

    I've learned that the present perfect tense is always associated with the present.
    Then I wonder why the above sentence, which seems to have no
    connection with the present, makes sense with the use of present perfect tense

    Would it be wrong to use a past tense in the above case?

    Ex. I visited the USA three times.

    ***not a teacher***
    Hi. The problem seems to be with the title 'present'. Indeed, for repe
    ated actions from past till now you can safely use the presnet perfect, and you should! The important points about 'present perfect' are: It may refer to a single action that has recently happened the effect of which can still be seen or felt. And, when more than one action have happened since a time in the past till now.
    Exs:
    1. I've watched this film several times! (Since I bought it till now)
    2. I've been to china three times! (Since a time in the past till now)

    However, if you use 'simple past', as in your example, then it means something else. In that case all your visited happened in a period in the past, without any connection to the present.

    Exs:
    1. I visited the USA three times. (Now I'm 45, I visited the USA when I was in my early 20s)
    2. I visited the USA three times. (When I was a student, in the past, and so nothing related to the present.)

    Let's wait for better posts.
    Last edited by Mehrgan; 09-Sep-2011 at 09:04.

  4. #4
    forinfo is offline Newbie
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    Re: present perfect vs. past tense--confused...

    Thank you for your replies.
    They helped me clear up my confusion about the use of different tenses.

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