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Thread: present perfect

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Francois
    What's difference between present perfect and past perfect here?
    --I have bought that dress yesterday.
    --I had bought that dress last year.
    I would say: "I bought that dress yesterday".
    As for the difference between the 2 tenses, I'll give you two examples:
    "I've bought that dress at the flea market, you want to wash it before wearing it"
    "If I had bought that dress at the flea market, I would have washed it before wearing it"
    The second example is sunjuctive mood. How can I make it as 'past prefect'?
    --I had bought that dress when you bought it. (When two events are compared, I'd use 'had bought' to emphasize the achievement of the main clause was accomplished earlier.) Am I right?




    Quote Originally Posted by Francois
    --I have lived here for many years.
    --I have been living here for many years.
    If you're still living here now, you would say "I've been living...".
    FRC
    Both sentences can mean you are still living here now. The second one has stronger link to the fact at present. Is that what you meant? :wink:

  2. #12
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    The second example is sunjuctive mood. How can I make it as 'past prefect'?
    Yeah, that one was not good.
    You could say "I had just finished doing the washing up when he came home".
    When two events are compared, I'd use 'had bought' to emphasize the achievement of the main clause was accomplished earlier.) Am I right?
    I think so.

    Both sentences can mean you are still living here now. The second one has stronger link to the fact at present. Is that what you meant?
    Yes.

    FRC

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Francois
    The second example is sunjuctive mood. How can I make it as 'past prefect'?
    Yeah, that one was not good.
    You could say "I had just finished doing the washing up when he came home".
    When two events are compared, I'd use 'had bought' to emphasize the achievement of the main clause was accomplished earlier.) Am I right?
    I think so.

    Both sentences can mean you are still living here now. The second one has stronger link to the fact at present. Is that what you meant?
    Yes.

    FRC
    Thank you very much, FRC.

  4. #14
    Lenka is offline Senior Member
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    I still have one big question. Thank you for your answers, most of them really helped, but I don‘t still understand this:

    Iza:
    …and studied at Oxfor University,…. – why they used past simple? It is an experience, isn’t it? I think it is

    She finished studying, she is not studying anymore, the action of studying is done....you have to use past simple.

    It is not considered an experience, since the action of studying is very specific in time (she studied for 4 years or so).



    Your answers are a little different here:

    Francois:
    It is the same as in sentence: She is a teacher. –why don’t we use „She has been a teacher.“ ?

    Again, if you say "she's been a teacher", it must have a strong link with the present. For instance, "she's been a teacher for two years" or "she's been a teacher, she must know the answer to this question!".
    Iza:
    It is the same as in sentence: She is a teacher. –why don’t we use „She has been a teacher.“ ?
    Could we say: „She has always been a teacher.“ ?

    Yes, you can say that.
    Francois:
    Is this correct? : I have bought new clothes today.
    Looks fine.
    Iza:
    Is this correct? : I have heard that you had bought new clothes.
    Is this correct? : I have bouhgt new clothes.
    Is this correct? : I have bought new clothes today.
    Is this correct? : I have once bought new clothes.
    Is this correct? : I have several times bought new clothes.

    1) correct
    2) I bought new clothes today.
    3) I once bought new cloths.
    4) correct, I have bought new cloths several times (since last week). Put 'several times' at the end.

    And, at last, one last question:
    You, Iza and Francois, both say that this questions is incorrect:

    I have heard that you had bought new clothes

    You say I should write: I have heard that you bought new cloths.
    As I remember, I learnt at school, that when I speak and use indirect (reported) speech I have to write Past Perfect instead of Present Perfect. Like here:
    Present perfect: We’ve met before. Past Perfect: She said they’d met before.
    - Just this example I have just written up of my English textbook, so it has to be right.
    (By the way, can I normally use the sentence I used (have used ?) just before the moment? : … I have just written up of my English…)

    So, if you say that sentence I have bouhgt new clothes. is all right, why I can’t write I have heard that you had bought new clothes. ?
    I have bought is present perfect that changes to past perfect because of indirect speech, doesn’t it?

  5. #15
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    Present perfect: We’ve met before. Past Perfect: She said they’d met before
    Yes it's fine.

    Just this example I have just written up of my English textbook, so it has to be right
    You've just copied this example from your English textbook, so it must be right.

    So, if you say that sentence I have bouhgt new clothes. is all right, why I can’t write I have heard that you had bought new clothes. ?
    You could say "she said that she had bought new clothes". However, after "I have heard", you must refer to something that happened in the past and is over, hence the past simple.

    FRC

  6. #16
    Lenka is offline Senior Member
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    Thank you for your answer, Francois.
    Is the sentence „I have heard that you bought new clothes“ based on indirect speech at all? I mean, if I wanted to to find how to gramatically write this sentence all right, where should I search it? Do you know what I mean? I mean – when I want to know how to write a sentence with indirect speech, I have to find chapter „indirect speech“ in my textbook. But what should I search if I want to find something about this sentence?

    And what about the sentence „I have bought new clothes today“ ? You said it looked fine, but Iza said it was correct to say: „I bought new clothes today“. So what is right?

  7. #17
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    Is the sentence „I have heard that you bought new clothes“ based on indirect speech at all?
    I don't think so.

    But what should I search if I want to find something about this sentence?
    Hmmm, I don't think there's a special chapter dealing with "I've heard that". After all, there's nothing special with this sentence. Maybe the "past perfect" chapter will help you.

    And what about the sentence „I have bought new clothes today“ ? You said it looked fine, but Iza said it was correct to say: „I bought new clothes today“. So what is right?
    Well, "today" is an unfinished period of time (like "this week"), so it is gramatically correct to use the present perfect.

    FRC

  8. #18
    Lenka is offline Senior Member
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    I still don’t understand why I can’t say the sentence: I have heard that you have bought new clothes. Perhaps only somewhere deep in my mind i understand it, but I don’t want to admit it.
    Could this following sentence be correct?:
    I have heard that you had never been to Australia.
    (I mean the direct speech is: You have never been to Australia.)


    My last question for today. I read book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll) yesterday (btw: I read it in English, but the book is bilingual – it means on the other side (page) of the book it is always translated. I think this book gives me a lot (I mean of English), but I have a very big problem: I don’t know enough English words to understand almost every sentence of it… And just at the beginnig (about 12th page) I found this two sentences which I don‘t understand why Carroll used just past simple at. Here are the sentences:
    1)Now, Dinah, tell me the truth: Did you ever eat a bat?
    2)…she knelt down and looked along the passage into the lovelist garden you ever saw.

    In my opinion, it should be like this, shouldn’t it? :
    1) ….Have you ever eaten a bat?
    2)…into the lovelist garden you have ever seen.

    Why did Lewis Carroll use just past simple instead of present perfect?
    I heard that for example in USA, they don’t use present perfect at all, but as I know, Lewis Carroll comes from England, so, what’s the reason?

  9. #19
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    I would use the present perfect in both cases. Don't forget that Carroll was writing a long time ago and the language has changed a lot since then. In American English, they do use the present perfect, but might well use the past there.

    These examples suggest that British English has changedon this issue, while American hasn't.

    You'll find a number of differences in Victorian English. English changes repidly- a few decdes ago 'I must go to the doctor yesterday' was perfectly normal. Now it would be seen as an error.

  10. #20
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    I have heard that you had never been to Australia.
    One could say that if, for instance, he meets someone who's never been to Australia before, but both of them are currently in Australia -- that is, it's the first time he's come to Australia. I would add 'before' at the end of your sentence, though.
    I still don't think it is indirect speech.

    1)Now, Dinah, tell me the truth: Did you ever eat a bat?
    2)…she knelt down and looked along the passage into the lovelist garden you ever saw.
    I agree with you. Maybe that's a peculiar or archaic construct, I dunno.

    FRC

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