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Thread: simple past

  1. #1
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
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    Default simple past

    Are these sentences both correct:
    1-I have had five different cars and they all broke down.
    2-I had five different cars and they all broke down.

    Is there any difference in their meanings?
    Does 2 necessarily imply that I had the cars at the same time?
    Does 1 necessarily imply that I didn't have them at the same time?

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    I would suggest that the second speaker has either strated using the bus or found a reliable marque.

  3. #3
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
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    Thanks Tdol,
    I think I see what you mean. It has got nothing to do with whether I had the cars at the same time or not, but it is about the relation between the present situation and the past experience. But is the relationship you see (so astutely, if I may!) a necessary implication?
    How about:
    3-I have had five cats and they all died, but I am buying another one.
    4-I had five cats and they all died, but I am buying another one.


    Is there any difference between these two ?

    (My apologies to cat-lovers. Actually I like cats a lot myself. This is just an example and I was looking for something that ended definitively. Now one may argue that cats have 7 lives, but...)

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    Cats actually got 9 lives.

    FRC

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    I don't think there's much difference between the cat examples.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Francois
    Cats actually got 9 lives.

    FRC
    Cats don't actually procure (i.e. got) their nine lives. (Or do they? :( ) They have (i.e. own) nine lives. :wink:

    All the best, :D

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    Yeah, let's crack down on that degrading informal vernacular ;)

    FRC

  8. #8
    navi tasan is offline Key Member
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    Thank you Tdol, François and Cas,
    Another question for Tdol,
    If you had had all the cats at the same time, would you use:

    3-I have had five cats and they all died, but I am buying another one.

    Cats do indeed have nine lives! In English, that is. But I think in some cultures and languages they have seven. That might be the reaon why I wrote seven. I think in Spanish, they say cats have seven lives.
    I know this is an English forum, so nine it shall be, but I am going to try to see where seven ends and nine begins!

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