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    #1

    Question present perfect - focus on what?

    hello!
    I understand the use of the present perfect for unfinished actions or the focus on the result that connects it to the present and other details..
    but in a sentence like this:
    "I've painted my walls blue"
    is it possible to decide what you are focusing on?
    if I want the focus on the action (because the job is done, finished, I don't know when it was done, but it is), can I say: "I painted my walls blue"?
    or the fact that the walls are still blue is predominant?

    thanks a lot

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: present perfect - focus on what?

    The focus is on the fact that the walls are now blue - something the hearer doesn't know about. The sentence has to appear in some context. Of course you can say, "I painted my walls blue."

    A: What did you do yesterday? (A specific time has been mentioned - past tense)
    B: I painted my walls blue.

    A: Why is your wife upset?
    B: I've painted the walls blue.
    (The focus is on the walls being blue now, which the wife apparently doesn't like.)

    A: What have you done lately?
    B: Well, I've painted my walls blue...
    (Answer is in the same tense as the question - parallelism)

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    #3

    Re: present perfect - focus on what?

    that's way I love context so much. some books bring exercises with no context and only one correct answer. some students of mine just don't buy that, neither do I.

    thanks

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: present perfect - focus on what?

    Quote Originally Posted by lanaosc View Post
    That's way why I love context so much. Some books bring have/give exercises with no context and only one correct answer. Some students of mine just don't buy that and neither do I.

    Thanks.
    I hope that you can learn to love punctuation and capitalisation as much as you love context. It is very important that you use correct written English at all times because you are an English teacher. Learners on this site will see that you are a teacher and will assume that everything you write is correct.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

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    #5

    Re: present perfect - focus on what?

    Quote Originally Posted by lanaosc View Post
    if I want the focus on the action (because the job is done, finished, I don't know when it was done, but it is), can I say: "I painted my walls blue"?
    If you want to focus on the fact that the job is finished, then isn't it logically more likely to be a recent event? If I walk into a room in a old house and say that the walls were painted blue, I am not likely to be focusing on the fact that the job was completed. With your example in the first person, the simple past becomes less likely to me because you would know when it was done.

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