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  1. #1
    philipwei is offline Newbie
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    heard or have heard?

    This is a sentence from a conversation: I heard that your family has got a new car. Is that true?

    The question is: Is that grammatically true? Should we say "I've heard that your family has got a new car." or "I heard that your family got a new car."? Or maybe "I hear that your family has got a new car."?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by philipwei; 31-Jul-2008 at 10:20.

  2. #2
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    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Re: heard or have heard?

    Quote Originally Posted by philipwei View Post
    This is a sentence from a conversation: I heard that your family has got a new car. Is that true?

    The question is: Is that grammatically true? Should we say "I've heard that your family has got a new car." or "I heard that your family got a new car."? Or maybe "I hear that your family has got a new car."?

    Thanks.
    All of those are correct possibilities, which mean basically the same.
    I'd say "I hear your family's got a new car".

  3. #3
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    Re: heard or have heard?

    They mean the same in that, 'secondhand knowledge' + 'you have a new car'; but how would you choose which of the three versions to say, when?

  4. #4
    philipwei is offline Newbie
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    Re: heard or have heard?

    Thanks Raymott. I would choose to say the same as you would.

  5. #5
    philipwei is offline Newbie
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    Re: heard or have heard?

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    They mean the same in that, 'secondhand knowledge' + 'you have a new car'; but how would you choose which of the three versions to say, when?
    Thanks David. I guess everyone understands the meanings of the three versions are the same. But the problem is that some of the Chinese teachers are too pernickety and they think it a rule that the object clause after a past tense verb cannot be in the present perfect tense. So they think "I heard that your family has got a new car." is a wrong sentence. It is a matter about the grammar instead of personal preference.

    Of course, the other two are all right to them because they do not contract the rule as mentioned above. But is that a concrete rule in English grammar?

  6. #6
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    Re: heard or have heard?

    If I was suggesting some 'change' out of personal preference, I would make that clear, and at least spell out why it was a preference, in terms of the way our language is used, rather than a personal whim or predilection. (I am aware, and have stifled my outrage, when past posters have responded to threads with the egocentric comment. "I would prefer it if you said.."

    The audacity!

    You raise a real issue, from your point of view, of what you understand your examiners require. It's just fine for a native speaker like me to realize that all three are correct - in their context - and offer to explain the difference. But if you consider your need has been met, I bow out.

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