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  1. #21
    justinwschang is offline Member
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    Default Re: Simple Past vs Present Perfect

    [quote=riverkid;210487]Riverkid wrote:
    I don't believe this distinction can be drawn for BrE, Albertino.

    Quote Originally Posted by Justin
    [Agree, I think both simple past and present perfect are okay for that sentence, but I don't see the distinction about the number of occasions tried].

    I don't understand what you mean here, Justin. [I mean that "when you were living in London, did you ever try..." and "when you were living....had you ever tried" are both okay. The latter use could also be an indirect way of asking if jellied eels were ever available in London, depending on the context.] I was responding to Albertino's saying there's a difference between the two in the number of occasions "tried eating eels".

    ====================


    Riverkid wrote:
    I'm going to say, without great conviction and subject to much rethought, that the past perfect tends to be used from some past point in time back to a further past, not over a period of time that a phrase like, “When you were living in London” entails. [I'm not discounting it outright; as I said more thought is needed]



    We agree here, Justin. That is one of the reasons for the past perfect. And all your examples point to a single point in time, “When I asked”; “By last May”; “Up to last year” ["by last May" covers a period in the past, from some time before last May until last May (the key word is "by"); "up to last year" similarly means from a time before last year until last year (the key word being "up to"; thus, "Up to last year, what did you sell" is not correct and should be "Up to last year, what had you sold"], not a continuing passage of time as in “When you were living in London”
    Last edited by justinwschang; 18-Sep-2007 at 19:32. Reason: add omission

  2. #22
    albertino is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Simple Past vs Present Perfect

    "I was responding to Albertino's saying there's a difference between the two in the number of occasions 'tried eating eels'".

    I have learnt from grammar books that the present perfect tense can be used for repeated actions in the past, as well as somebody's experience and continuity(i.e. the action occurred in the past and is going on up to the moment that the speaker speaks).

  3. #23
    sleepycloud is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Simple Past vs Present Perfect

    In my opinion, this page makes it very clear. 3 main rules and many examples.

    A Tense Discussion: The Present Perfect

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