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  1. #1
    nelson13 is offline Member
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    Default I didn't see you for a long time!

    context: I wait for a friend. A friend not seen a long time. He appears.

    For I didn't see you for a long time!, we should not say I haven't seen you for a long time!; is it because at the time of speaking, I have seen him already? If not, what is the reason?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Odessa Dawn's Avatar
    Odessa Dawn is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: I didn't see you for a long time!



    ***NOT A TEACHER***

    I haven't seen you for ages. It is simple present perfect because there is a connection between past and present, IMO

  3. #3
    nelson13 is offline Member
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    Default Re: I didn't see you for a long time!

    Does it mean I didn't see you for a long time! is incorrect?

  4. #4
    Odessa Dawn's Avatar
    Odessa Dawn is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: I didn't see you for a long time!



    ***NOT A TEACHER***


    Quote Originally Posted by nelson13 View Post
    I haven't seen you for a long time!
    It is fine.


    I haven't seen you for ages. It is simple present perfect because there is a connection between past and present, IMO

  5. #5
    Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
    Chicken Sandwich is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: I didn't see you for a long time!

    Quote Originally Posted by nelson13 View Post
    Does it mean I didn't see you for a long time! is incorrect?
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    It doesn't work in your situation. You can use it in a different context though:

    I saw him at your wedding in 1994, and then I didn't see him for a long time.
    (The Teacher's Grammar of English - Ron Cowan)

  6. #6
    Odessa Dawn's Avatar
    Odessa Dawn is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: I didn't see you for a long time!

    Quote Originally Posted by nelson13 View Post
    Does it mean I didn't see you for a long time! is incorrect?
    ***NOT A TEACHER***
    From my point of view, we use past tense when the action is over. You talk about present that has a relation with past in which we have to use simple present perfect since the action still exists, IMO. In a nutshell, past simple doesn't work in this case.
    Last edited by Odessa Dawn; 29-Oct-2012 at 21:42. Reason: add s to exist

  7. #7
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: I didn't see you for a long time!

    Quote Originally Posted by nelson13 View Post
    context: I wait for a friend. A friend not seen a long time. He appears.

    For I didn't see you for a long time!, we should not say I haven't seen you for a long time!; is it because at the time of speaking, I have seen him already? If not, what is the reason?

    Thank you.
    You're using the simple past. Therefore you are referring to a certain time in the past. So, when was it that you hadn't seen this person for a long time? It's possible if the context is correct.
    "When you were in prison [statement of a definite past time], I didn't see you for a long time."
    But you are referring to now, not some time in the past, so you must use a present tense, and the present perfect is the right one.

  8. #8
    nelson13 is offline Member
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    Default Re: I didn't see you for a long time!

    Thank you very much!

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