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  1. #1
    IreneRead is offline Newbie
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    Default Past Simple or Present Perfect?

    Please explain the difference in meaning (if #2 is correct):

    1. Have you ever thought about your mother?
    2. Did you ever think about your mother?

    Is it true that in American English The Past Simple is more often used than in British English?

    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: Past Simple or Present Perfect?

    Quote Originally Posted by IreneRead View Post
    Please explain the difference in meaning (if #2 is correct):

    1. Have you ever thought about your mother?
    2. Did you ever think about your mother?

    Is it true that in American English The Past Simple is more often used than in British English?

    Thank you in advance.
    2 is unnatural on its own. If you added something like "Did you ever think about your mother while you were in India?", for example, it would be a bit better.
    Last edited by 5jj; 26-Feb-2013 at 19:26.

  3. #3
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Past Simple or Present Perfect?

    The only difference I've found is with "just" - as an American, I would be more likely to say "Ew! I just stepped in some gum" or "Yes, I just fed the dogs." Understand my BrE-speaking friends would be more likely to say "I've just" instead of "I just."
    Last edited by 5jj; 26-Feb-2013 at 20:03.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  4. #4
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Past Simple or Present Perfect?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Understand my BrE-speaking friends would be more likely to say "I've just" instead of "I just."
    Indeed we would.

  5. #5
    IreneRead is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Past Simple or Present Perfect?

    Thank you very much. That's clear. Would it be correct to say:
    Do you ever think about your mother?

    (The context could be important: that's the dialogue between orphans. The phrase, in fact, is "You ever think about your mother?")

  6. #6
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Past Simple or Present Perfect?

    Quote Originally Posted by IreneRead View Post
    Thank you very much. That's clear. Would it be correct to say:
    Do you ever think about your mother?

    (The context could be important: that's the dialogue between orphans. The phrase, in fact, is "You ever think about your mother?")
    "Do you ever think about your mother?" is a question concerning the present state of affairs and also a habitual action.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  7. #7
    IreneRead is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Past Simple or Present Perfect?

    Thank you. I was confused by the form of the question, by the word order, to be exact.

  8. #8
    IreneRead is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Past Simple or Present Perfect?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    The only difference I've found is with "just" - as an American, I would be more likely to say "Ew! I just stepped in some gum" or "Yes, I just fed the dogs." Understand my BrE-speaking friends would be more likely to say "I've just" instead of "I just."
    Excuse my stupidity, but... Do you mean, in the examples given, you use Past Simple or you just omit "have"?
    Would you say "I just did it" or "I just done it"?

  9. #9
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Past Simple or Present Perfect?

    Quote Originally Posted by IreneRead View Post
    Excuse my stupidity, but... Do you mean, in the examples given, you use Past Simple or you just omit "have"?
    Would you say "I just did it" or "I just done it"?
    "I just done it" is incorrect in any form of English.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  10. #10
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Past Simple or Present Perfect?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    "I just done it" is incorrect in any form of English.
    ...but you will hear native speakers say it anyway in informal, casual conversation.

    Rover

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