Look at the two sentences given below.
1. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
2. My God,my God, why did you forsook me?
Even though the two sentences are taken from two different editions of the Bible, the tenses are different. Does it make any difference at all?
Last edited by balakrishnanijk; 27-Jul-2007 at 15:11.
Would that mean that the present perfect and the simple past are sometimes interchangable?
Yes. These days speakers, particularly North Americans, are merging the present perfect with the simple past.
Present perfect: Why have you forsaken me?
Simple past: Why did you forsake me?
Mind you, linguistic scholars, those who deal in translations of the Bible, could argue both ways. The present perfect places emphasis on the act istelf, whereas the simple past places emphasis on when the act happened. Which is not to say that North American speakers who merge the two use the simple past in that way, to refer to time. It's more likely that if a time, an adverb, isn't given, then the simple past functions semantically like the present perfect; it emphasizes the event. The event is what is important: hast thou forsaken and did you forsake express one and the same meaning.