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  1. #1
    sondra is offline Member
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    Default Past simple or present perfect

    Hello,

    In all of these sentences I chose past simple. Do you think present perfect is possible too?

    1.When did you meet him?
    When have you met him?

    2.Where did you put the newspaper?/Where have you put the newspaper? I want to read it, but I can't find it anywhere.

    3.Why did you put all the things in the wrong place?
    Why have you put all the things in the wrong place?

    4.Why did you leave the door open? You will catch cold sitting in the draught.
    Why have you left the door open? You will catch cold sitting in the draught.

    5.What books did you read/have you read when you lived in the country? (I think only 'past simple' should be used here.
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Past simple or present perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by sondra View Post
    Hello,

    In all of these sentences I chose past simple. Do you think present perfect is possible too?

    1.When did you meet him?
    When have you met him?

    2.Where did you put the newspaper?/Where have you put the newspaper? I want to read it, but I can't find it anywhere.

    3.Why did you put all the things in the wrong place?
    Why have you put all the things in the wrong place?

    4.Why did you leave the door open? You will catch cold sitting in the draught.
    Why have you left the door open? You will catch cold sitting in the draught.

    5.What books did you read/have you read when you lived in the country? (I think only 'past simple' should be used here.
    Thanks
    Yes.

  3. #3
    sondra is offline Member
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    Default Re: Past simple or present perfect

    Could you tell me in which of these examples it is also possible to use present perfect? Is it wrong to use present perfect after 'when'?

  4. #4
    bhaisahab's Avatar
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    Default Re: Past simple or present perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by sondra View Post
    Could you tell me in which of these examples it is also possible to use present perfect? Is it wrong to use present perfect after 'when'?
    #1 is possible with present perfect in the right context. 2 to 4 are all possible with present perfect or past simple. #5 is not possible with present perfect, as you suggested.

  5. #5
    hetzer is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Past simple or present perfect

    I strongly believe we can't say "When have you met him?"
    We teach not to use present perfect with 'when' as a question word.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Past simple or present perfect

    In the right context, we can.

    A. I've met Tom Cruise.
    B. Really?
    A. Yes, really. He was very nice.
    B. I don't believe you.
    A. Well, it's true. I have met him!
    B. Oh, come on! When have you met Tom Cruise?! (The word "you" would probably be very heavily stressed and the tone of voice would be incredulous.)
    A. Last year, in the lobby of a hotel in L.A.

    I agree that "When did you meet him?" would sound better as a standard question but there is something in the intonation of disbelief or surprise that leans me towards "... have you ...?"
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Past simple or present perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by hetzer View Post
    We teach not to use present perfect with 'when' as a question word.
    Many of the things some people teach are useful guidelines, but not absolute rules. I long ago learnt to avoid the words ''never' and 'always' when talking about English usage.

    I agree with bhai and ems that the present perfect is possible in that sentence in the right context.

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