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Thread: What's wrong?

  1. #1
    Zoely is offline Newbie
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    Default What's wrong?

    Hi there,
    in a test the following sentence in marked as wrong, but the reason is not clear for me.
    Does anyone know what's wrong?

    "I have seen the film "Titanic" ten years ago."

    Is it about the sentence structure??
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    CarloSsS's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's wrong?

    NOT A TEACHER

    No, the structure (word order) as such is fine. The problem is the usage of present perfect. You cannot use present perfect with time adverbials referring to the past (yesterday, two years ago, one century ago and so on) because present perfect always refers to the present. Your sentence says that your seeing "Titanic" took place 10 years ago, so it is a matter of the past. We use, among others, past simple tense for expressing things that took place in the past. Note though, that if you omit the time adverbial "ten years ago", the sentence is completely fine, because it expresses the state of things in the present.

    "I saw the film "Titanic" ten years ago." -- Talking about what happened in the past, so past simple should be used.

    "I have seen the film "Titanic". -- Talking about the present state of matters, so present simple should be used.
    Please note that I'm not a teacher.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: What's wrong?

    Yes, basically, Carlos.

    The way I word it is that you can't use specific past time markers with the present perfect, but the Present Perfect does talk about something that happened at some unspecified time in the past. You can only use time markers with the Present Perfect if the time you are talking about is not finished. Example:

    I have had breakfast this morning. <You can only say "this morning" if it is still "this morning".

    I have seen the film "Titantic" this morning. <You can say this if the morning is not over.

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    Default Re: What's wrong?

    Consider the following dialogue between two friends:

    John: I have seen the film "Titanic".
    Sarah: When did you see it?
    John: I saw it ten years ago.

    It is one short conversation about one single film but look at the three different forms of the verb "to see" which are used in it.

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    Zoely is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: What's wrong?

    Now I understand and it's clear to me.
    Thank you so much.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: What's wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zoely View Post
    Now I understand and it's clear to me.
    Thank you so much.
    While your thanks are welcome and appreciated, in the future, feel free to press the button "like" (in the lower left corner in each post) to express your gratefulness to the members who helped you.
    Please note that I'm not a teacher.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: What's wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by CarloSsS View Post
    NOT A TEACHER


    "I have seen the film "Titanic". -- Talking about the present state of matters, so present simple perfect should be used.
    We all make silly misstakes. I'm no exception

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    Default Re: What's wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by CarloSsS View Post
    While your thanks are welcome and appreciated, in the future, feel free to press the button "like" (in the lower left corner in each post) to express your gratefulness to the members who helped you.
    I don't know about anyone else but the Like button is in the lower right-hand corner of all the comments on my screen!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: What's wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I don't know about anyone else but the Like button is in the lower right-hand corner of all the comments on my screen!
    Yes, you are of course right. I somehow managed to make two very silly mistakes in one thread even though I know what present perfect is and where the right side is. Thank you for the correction.
    Please note that I'm not a teacher.

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