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  1. #1
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    Default Do we eat anymore?

    Of course everyone eats. But why do we sometimes say we ate or we have eaten? Do we not eat anymore?

    You opinion is welcome.

    Shun Tang

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    I ate yesterday- unchangeable historical fact.
    I haven't eaten dinner yet- changeable.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    I ate yesterday- unchangeable historical fact.
    I haven't eaten dinner yet- changeable.
    I agree. It is a good explanation.

    But for the time being I don't want to use "yesterday" to interfere Simple Past and I didn't want to use negative sentence for discussion.

    Why can I say the three tenses at the present? Or I cannot? Are they different?
    Ex: I eat dinner.
    Ex: I ate dinner.
    Ex: I have eaten dinner.

    Shun

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by shun
    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    I ate yesterday- unchangeable historical fact.
    I haven't eaten dinner yet- changeable.
    I agree. It is a good explanation.

    But for the time being I don't want to use "yesterday" to interfere Simple Past and I didn't want to use negative sentence for discussion.

    Why can I say the three tenses at the present? Or I cannot? Are they different?
    Ex: I eat dinner.
    Ex: I ate dinner.
    Ex: I have eaten dinner.

    Shun
    The first sentence states a habitual action. The second sentence states a simple fact. The third sentence relates the past to the present. (Presumably, because the person has eaten he does not wish to eat again.)

    Does that help?

    :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee
    Quote Originally Posted by shun
    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    I ate yesterday- unchangeable historical fact.
    I haven't eaten dinner yet- changeable.
    I agree. It is a good explanation.

    But for the time being I don't want to use "yesterday" to interfere Simple Past and I didn't want to use negative sentence for discussion.

    Why can I say the three tenses at the present? Or I cannot? Are they different?
    Ex: I eat dinner.
    Ex: I ate dinner.
    Ex: I have eaten dinner.

    Shun
    The first sentence states a habitual action. The second sentence states a simple fact. The third sentence relates the past to the present. (Presumably, because the person has eaten he does not wish to eat again.)

    Does that help?

    :)
    I guess not, because the fact is tomorrow I still eat. Therefore, I have no reason to use Simple Past or Present Perfect, according to your explanation.


    Shun

  6. #6
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    You can't say you eat tomorrow. You have to say you will eat tomorrow. However, you can say, for example, "We eat at eight" with "eight" being a time in the future.

    :)

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Maybe the problem is that these sentences are too decontextualised. Alone the past and the present poerfect make little sense. However, the past simple would be plugged intopast events and the present perfect plugged into now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee
    You can't say you eat tomorrow. You have to say you will eat tomorrow. However, you can say, for example, "We eat at eight" with "eight" being a time in the future.

    :)
    Yes, we usually do. If something we are sure to do, we can skip auxiliary like will.

    Besides, I have eaten dinner and I ate dinner is part of the I eat dinner. It is illogical that we treat some dinner in the past as not belonging the routine I eat dinner. Therefore, at the present, I can use any tense to refer to the dinner, though I don't know why.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Maybe the problem is that these sentences are too decontextualised. Alone the past and the present poerfect make little sense. However, the past simple would be plugged intopast events and the present perfect plugged into now.
    Thank you for your supposition. I will be more grateful if you may give a little more explanations for decontextualised, plugged into past, plugged into now. For example, how can I have eaten dinner be plugged into the present? I don't know anythng about these jargons.

  10. #10
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    The present perfect always has a relation to the present time, so a single sentence without further information is 'decontextualised'. 'Plugged in' is not a technical term, but makes sense to me. If I say 'I have eaten dinner' in answer to 'Are you hungry', the past action of eating is relevant now because it tells the other person that I am not hungry. In building a connection with now, it is,in the terms I used, plugged into now.

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