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    #1

    Post using present simple or present perfect?

    Dear teachers,
    Please tell me which tense (present simple or present perfect) is correct or better in the following sentence. Thank you.
    ---Credit cards make it very easy to buy now and pay much later. You can own something before you actually pay for it/ before you've actually paid for it.

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    #2

    Re: using present simple or present perfect?

    Quote Originally Posted by Heidi View Post
    Dear teachers,
    Please tell me which tense (present simple or present perfect) is correct or better in the following sentence. Thank you.
    ---Credit cards make it very easy to buy now and pay much later. You can own something before you actually pay for it/ before you've actually paid for it.
    And another one of this kind. I watched a skit by Fry and Laurie recently, where Fry would perpetually say to Laurie:
    "Wait until I have asked you a question!"
    It seems very correct, but before, I would never have said so. I would say just "Wait until I ask you a question!"
    And still the latter feels more natural to me. But is it correct in formal language and English language at all then?

  1. Mehrgan's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: using present simple or present perfect?

    Quote Originally Posted by mmasny View Post
    And another one of this kind. I watched a skit by Fry and Laurie recently, where Fry would perpetually say to Laurie:
    "Wait until I have asked you a question!"
    It seems very correct, but before, I would never have said so. I would say just "Wait until I ask you a question!"
    And still the latter feels more natural to me. But is it correct in formal language and English language at all then?

    I think both forms are correct. However, the second emphasises that "not till the first action is COMPLETE!" So, "you can't watch telly till you HAVE FINISHED your homework!"

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: using present simple or present perfect?

    I think I've now said these out loud about six times each, and I'm not getting any difference in meaning, nor can I figure out which one I would be more likely to say. So my conclusion is: either one is fine
    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.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: using present simple or present perfect?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mehrgan View Post
    I think both forms are correct. However, the second emphasises that "not till the first action is COMPLETE!" So, "you can't watch telly till you HAVE FINISHED your homework!"
    That's right. And that's what Fry means - "Wait until I have finished asking you the question", not "Wait until I start asking the question" (which the present simple allows).
    Although it's not necessary in the context, Fry says what he means.

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