Please pick out the "better suited or more common" expression(s) in each of the following situations.
1. When apologizing for an 'out-of-line' opinion or comment:
I said too much.
I've said too much.
2. When apologizing for an 'out-of-line' action:
I pushed you too far.
I've pushed you too far.
- If my going too far had happened in the past, even the quite recent past, I would use the simple past tense ("I said" or "I pushed").
- But if I were apologizing for remarks I made in the present -- right in the same conversation -- I would say "I've."
3. When saying you have a nervous feeling about doing something:
I got stage fright.
I've got stage fright.
Using "I got" for present-tense "I have" is substandard English.
- "I got a scrape on my knee" used for "I have a scrape on my knee" is not heard among even moderately educated speakers.
- "I got a scrape on my knee" means "I acquired (at some point in the past) a scrape on my knee."
- If you are having the feeling as you speak, the expression is "I've got (or 'I have') stage fright."
- You can say "I got stage fright" if you are recounting an event that happened any time in the past -- even two minutes ago. "I got (or 'I had') stage fright there for a minute, but I'm all right now."
4. When saying you have a nervous feeling before doing something:
I got butterflies in my stomach.
I've got butterflies in my stomach.
This is exactly the same as the third example.
- Use "I've got" if the feeling is occurring as you speak.
- Use "I got" (or "I had") if it happened previously.
5.When saying that you need to leave now:
I gotta go.
I've gotta go.
"I gotta go" (pronounced /I gutta go/) is universally used informally.
- A more formal way to say this is "I have to go" (/I hafta go/).
- "I've gotta go" is an odd blend of highly informal ("gotta") and formal ("I have got to"), and I don't think it is heard in American English.
- However, it is so slight a phoneme addition that I think it would go unnoticed if it were to be used in ordinary conversation. Possibly an editor would delete it from conversations in writing, such as in a novel.
Similarly, when saying you need to do something rather quick:
I'm in a hurry./I'm in a rush.
I'm in hurry./I'm in rush.
"I'm in hurry" and "I'm in rush" are never heard. The nouns "hurry" and "rush" require the article "a."
- In like manner, you must say "I'm in a stew" or "I'm in a sweat."
- On the other hand, the correct expressions are "I'm in suspense" and "I'm in agony."
- I don't know of any ruling principle for predicting when "a" is used; I assume it is merely a matter of usage.
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