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  1. #11
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: The Great Pyramid has been built

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    This page says "It does not matter when exactly they happened", so I guess it doesn't matter whether it happened in the recent past or millennia ago. Do I guess wrongly?
    There has to be some sort of connection to now- the connection to now of the Great Pyramid is the fact that it's still standing, not the construction. The construction belongs only to the past.

  2. #12
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    Re: The Great Pyramid has been built

    Here are some VERY general guidelines from a non-teacher who can't quote sources but just observes.

    Use the present perfect if:
    1) It is very recent news: The Mets have won the World Series! (Said as the team is jumping up and down on the field.)
    2) It is connected to the present conversation/situation: Have you fed the dogs? Yes, I've fed them.
    3) It was started in the past and continues to this moment: I've worked here (or I"ve been working here) since June.
    4) It was at a non-defined time in the past and it could still happen again: Oh, I've eaten at that restaurant. It's good.

    In general, if it can no longer happen again, and/or has no connecting to the current situation use the simple past.
    The restaurant is now closed: Oh, I ate there once It was good. Too bad it closed.)
    I now work somewhere else: I worked there.
    The person is dead: I knew him for 25 years
    I no longer travel: I went to France, but I never got to see the Louvre


    EDITED to change "past" to "present" - written in error and hopefully without causing too much confusion.
    Last edited by Barb_D; 03-Apr-2014 at 17:10.
    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.

  3. #13
    Matthew Wai's Avatar
    Matthew Wai is offline Key Member
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    Re: The Great Pyramid has been built

    Quote Originally Posted by Roman55 View Post
    I am not a teacher. What do you mean by this constant use of "guess"?
    I will say "guess" if I am not sure about what I am going to say. For example, I guess you don't have to say "I am not a teacher" when you are asking a question.

  4. #14
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    Roman55 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: The Great Pyramid has been built

    I am not a teacher.

    Maybe it's because I am English that I follow blindly, without thinking, the posting guidelines,

    If you are not a teacher, you will need to state that clearly at the top of your post.
    OR, maybe it's just easier to always have that phrase at the top of my posts so I don't have to worry about forgetting it.
    Did you ask Barb_D about her signature too?

  5. #15
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    Re: The Great Pyramid has been built

    We ask people to state that they are not a teacher when responding to a question in this 'Ask a Teacher' forum. There is no need if you are asking a question, but it does no harm at all. And, as Roman said, if it's always there you don't have to worry about forgetting it.

  6. #16
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    Re: The Great Pyramid has been built

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    Last time 5jj told me to be cautious about Chinese sites, does this caution apply to English sites too?
    Yes, of course it does. Any Tom, Dick or Harry can set up a site and give the impression of being an expert. Those site you linked us to did not seem bad, but they were a little superficial.

    We don't claim to be infallible here, but the regular responders have more than a couple of hundred years' teaching experience between them, quite apart from their academic and teaching qualifications. We also have people with experience outside teaching, doctors, vets, engineers writers, etc. And, the great advantage of this forum is that you don't have to just take the word of the first person to respond. If one of us happens to give a suspect answer, there are plenty of other people to pick it up.

  7. #17
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    Re: The Great Pyramid has been built

    Indeed, we don't let each other get away with giving answers we disagree with. We try to do it politely, but I know I have certainly said things that were wrong and have been corrected. Sometimes, I wrote the wrong thing because I was careless. But there have been times when I was simply mistaken. The best thing you can do is say "I didn't know that. Thanks for correcting my mistake before other learners took away wrong information." (Or your own version of those words.)
    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.

  8. #18
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    Re: The Great Pyramid has been built

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    This page says "Use the Present Perfect to talk about actions that happened at some point in the past. It does not matter when exactly they happened".
    Since the pyramid was built in the past, why can't the present perfect be used in #1?
    Because that site is very basic, and does not list all the necessary information.
    I also wouldn't trust it, because it has no apparent author, no date, there's no indication at all of what authority is behind it. Apparently you can leave a comment there, but you have to subscribe to read comments. Maybe you should post your question on the site?

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