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  1. #1
    englishhobby's Avatar
    englishhobby is offline Senior Member
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    Default When with Present Perfect

    Hello, everyone,
    Here's a question to a fictional character from a website Character Questionnaires - Get to Know Your Characters

    When has your character been in love? Had a broken heart?

    Is it OK that Present Perfect is used here with reference to some particular time in the past (when) as in Past Simple?

    Thanks in advance.)

  2. #2
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    Default Re: When with Present Perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    When has your character been in love? Had a broken heart?

    Is it OK that Present Perfect is used here with reference to some particular time in the past (when) as in Past Simple?
    It's OK. While 'when?' usually suggests 'at what time in the past?', it can be used with the idea of 'in the whole period extending up to now, has this happened? (and if so, when?)' The emphasis is more on whether the situation existed than on the specific time-point. Compare:

    A: I was in love with with all three brothers an one point or another?
    B: Oh? When were you in love with Peter?

    A: Being in love can be a painful experience.
    B: Huh. When have you ever been in love?

  3. #3
    englishhobby's Avatar
    englishhobby is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: When with Present Perfect

    Thank you... I didn't know that... )))

  4. #4
    philo2009 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: When with Present Perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    Hello, everyone,
    Here's a question to a fictional character from a website Character Questionnaires - Get to Know Your Characters

    When has your character been in love? Had a broken heart?

    Is it OK that Present Perfect is used here with reference to some particular time in the past (when) as in Past Simple?

    Thanks in advance.)
    'When' with the present perfect tends to mean 'at what kind of time?', i.e. a cyclically recurrent time rather than a historical one that will never be repeated.

    Thus, the question

    When have you been in love?

    might well be answered by a phrase such as 'in the spring, when the daffodils are out' - a period that could recur any number of times in the future.

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