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  1. #1
    ripley is offline Senior Member
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    Default present perfect and simple past

    Hello,
    sometimes both present perfect and past simple are possible, depending on what you mean, on what you want to underline and on the context of a sentence.
    I'd like to know if it is possible to use these two different verb forms in the following sentences:

    1 A)He had a bad cold and he hasn't recovered yet
    1 B)He has had a bad cold and he hasn't recovered yet

    2 A)He gave Melanie a present for her birthday
    2 B) He has given Melanie a present for her birthday

    3 A) They have got married in London
    3 B) The got married in London
    Thanks a lot

    Ripley

  2. #2
    Mister Micawber's Avatar
    Mister Micawber is offline Key Member
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    Default

    Hi Ripley,

    (1a) This doesn't work in this case, because the cold is finished so he must have recovered. The logic does not permit the mixture of tenses. You could easily say, 'He had a traffic accident, and hasn't recovered yet'.

    (1b) For good form, drop the second 'he' as unnecessary.

    (2) Both OK.

    (3) Both OK, but (3a) would be less common (I have a little trouble with this one because I am not British, but Canadian American, and this form is more common in BrE; so it sounds a little awkward to me. I would say, 'have gotten'.)

  3. #3
    ripley is offline Senior Member
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    [Hello Mister Micawber,
    Thanks for you reply
    as far as number 1 a, could it be possible if I mean that the the cold is actually finished but its medical consequences are still there? ( I feel tired, for example, my nose is still red.....)
    Thanks a lot
    Ripley

    (1a) This doesn't work in this case, because the cold is finished so he must have recovered. The logic does not permit the mixture of tenses. You could easily say, 'He had a traffic accident, and hasn't recovered yet'.

  4. #4
    Mister Micawber's Avatar
    Mister Micawber is offline Key Member
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    Default

    Yes, if you explain that to the reader.

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Micawber
    Hi Ripley,

    (3) Both OK, but (3a) would be less common (I have a little trouble with this one because I am not British, but Canadian American, and this form is more common in BrE; so it sounds a little awkward to me. I would say, 'have gotten'.)
    As a BE speaker, I have trouble with 3a. Unless they're standing in front of the church having photos, I would use the simple past there.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: present perfect and simple past

    Quote Originally Posted by ripley
    3 A) They have got married in London
    3 B) The got married in London
    Thanks a lot

    Ripley
    As a North American speaker of English, I'd have to say that 3A) is ungrammatical, but 3B) is fine. Note that, 'married' a past participle functions as a predicate adjective:

    They are married.
    They were married ~ They got married.

    Here 'got' functions as a linking verb. :wink:

  7. #7
    Mister Micawber's Avatar
    Mister Micawber is offline Key Member
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    Default

    'Are John and Mary still shacking up?'
    'No, they've gotten married now.'

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Micawber
    'Are John and Mary still shacking up?'
    'No, they've gotten married now.'
    Congratulations to John and Mary.

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