Results 1 to 5 of 5

    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 27
    #1

    Simple past instead of present perfect in AmE

    Hi

    I was wondering whether the following two sentences would be acceptable in American English:

    1. This year the sales figures decreased by over 20%.

    2. Since May our turnover dropped significantly.

    Any comments are appreciated.

    Cheers

    Nico

  1. konungursvia's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Mar 2009
    • Posts: 5,158
    #2

    Re: Simple past instead of present perfect in AmE

    Number 1 sounds natural, because the year can be considered as a whole. Since may, however, sounds like a definite duration, so we'd still prefer the present perfect: have decreased.


    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 27
    #3

    Re: Simple past instead of present perfect in AmE

    Thanks, this is basically what I've expected. Would most speakers of AmE also use 1. in a formal context (e.g. a sales report) or would they still prefer present perfect?

    Nico

  2. konungursvia's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Mar 2009
    • Posts: 5,158
    #4

    Re: Simple past instead of present perfect in AmE

    Either would be fine, both sound about the same in AmE, given a discreet time frame taken as a whole.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,218
    #5

    Re: Simple past instead of present perfect in AmE

    I want to make sure I understand what you mean by "this year."

    Since it's November, "this year" isn't over yet. If you are referring to 2009, then I would use the present perfect.

    [So far] this year, figures have been down.

    However, if we're talking at the end of December and we know with a pretty high degree of certainty what the remaining days of the year will be, then I'd use the past: This year, sales were down.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 24
    Last Post: 28-Sep-2009, 06:33
  2. [Grammar] Present Perfect or Past Simple
    By Learner19861986 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 13-Sep-2009, 05:03
  3. [Grammar] Past Simple or Present Perfect
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 21-Jul-2009, 21:55
  4. Simple Past vs Present Perfect
    By powerlerner in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 31-Oct-2007, 03:25
  5. Present perfect vs Past simple
    By pidr1nhu in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 28-Apr-2006, 05:17

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •