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  1. #1
    engpoem is offline Newbie
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    Default Totally lost - Past simple

    Hiya

    1) Are there cases where past simple can also be used for describing completed actions in the past, even if the time of an event is not known ( BTW - I know we use past simple when telling a story, or for past facts/habits )?




    2) “I lost my keys yesterday.”

    a) What if the consequences of that event ( losing your keys ) are also felt in the present? Is in that case the above tense still correct? But isn’t past simple used only when an event has no effect on present?



    b) But then again, anything that happened to me in the past has some effect on my present. So that means that if going by the definition of past simple ( which claims that past simple is used for events that have no effect on the present ), anytime I talk about my past actions(besides habits), I shouldn’t use past simple ( even when talking about specific events at a specific time ).



    c) If we want to tell that someone lost its keys, but we don’t know if that event still affects that person even today, should we use past simple or present perfect or either would do?



    d) If we want to tell that someone lost her keys, and we know that event has no effect on her present situation, but we don’t know when that event happened, can we still use past simple?


    3) We use the Simple Past to express the idea that an action started and finished at a specific time in the past. But there are lots of cases where time is not specified and yet we still use simple past

    “Did you read Crime and punishment?”
    “I lost my car keys”

    Why did we in the above statements use past simple and not present perfect?


    thank you

  2. #2
    magdalena is offline Member
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    Default Re: Totally lost - Past simple

    Hiya

    1) Are there cases where past simple can also be used for describing completed actions in the past, even if the time of an event is not known ( BTW - I know we use past simple when telling a story, or for past facts/habits )?


    2) “I lost my keys yesterday.”notice: yesterday, in 1999, last night all refer to a definite moment in the past - you can't use present perfect here. You can say: I lost my keys yesterday and I still feel terrible about it, I am growing old and I think I will get soon Alzenheimers.

    a) What if the consequences of that event ( losing your keys ) are also felt in the present? Is in that case the above tense still correct?

    Yes.



    b) But then again, anything that happened to me in the past has some effect on my present. So that means that if going by the definition of past simple ( which claims that past simple is used for events that have no effect on the present ), anytime I talk about my past actions(besides habits), I shouldn’t use past simple ( even when talking about specific events at a specific time ).



    c) If we want to tell that someone lost its keys, but we don’t know if that event still affects that person even today, should we use past simple or present perfect or either would do?



    d) If we want to tell that someone lost her keys, and we know that event has no effect on her present situation, but we don’t know when that event happened, can we still use past simple?


    3) We use the Simple Past to express the idea that an action started and finished at a specific time in the past. But there are lots of cases where time is not specified and yet we still use simple past

    “Did you read Crime and punishment?”
    “I lost my car keys”

    Why did we in the above statements use past simple and not present perfect?


    thank you
    or
    I have lost my keys, has anybody seen them?



    b) But then again, anything that happened to me in the past has some effect on my present. So that means that if going by the definition of past simple ( which claims that past simple is used for events that have no effect on the present ), anytime I talk about my past actions(besides habits), I shouldn’t use past simple ( even when talking about specific events at a specific time ).

    You are right, psychologically or philosophically speaking but the way it works in the language is: past is past, present is present like in: I read it once but it doesn't matter. I read it in 2000. I don't remember. or I have read it = I know it, it has influenced me. I read it in 2000.


    c) If we want to tell that someone lost its keys, but we don’t know if that event still affects that person even today, should we use past simple or present perfect or either would do?

    Tom lost his keys, but I don't know if he found them or not. If you used present perfect it would hint that this person doesn't have them.

    d) If we want to tell that someone lost her keys, and we know that event has no effect on her present situation, but we don’t know when that event happened, can we still use past simple?
    You can use simple past without giving definite time.

    3) We use the Simple Past to express the idea that an action started and finished at a specific time in the past. But there are lots of cases where time is not specified and yet we still use simple past

    “Did you read Crime and punishment?”
    “I lost my car keys”

    Why did we in the above statements use past simple and not present perfect?


    The British would use present perfect here, Americans use it less often.
    Secondly, we often talk about situations from the past, like "what happened when I was on holiday" - then we place everything that happened there in the past like " I was in Venice in 1999. I drank, danced and met a great guy."

  3. #3
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    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Totally lost - Past simple

    Hi magdalena,
    Would you consider using a different font or colour when replying to a post? I'm trying to read your response, but I can't make out which is the OP, and which is yours.
    Thanks.

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