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    #1

    present perfect or past perfect ?

    Hi,

    Question:
    Which sentence is correct?

    Sentence1:
    When I left my home, the letter has not arrived.
    Sentence2:
    When I left my home, the letter had not arrived.
    My opinion:

    Both correct.

    Sentence1 focus on the fact that the letter has not arrived when I say the sentence.
    Sentence2 focus on the fact that the letter had not arrived when she said the sentence.

    Agree?

    Thanks

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: present perfect or past perfect ?

    Quote Originally Posted by uktous View Post
    Hi,

    Question:
    Which sentence is correct?

    Sentence1:
    When I left my home, the letter has not arrived.
    Sentence2:
    When I left my home, the letter had not arrived.
    My opinion:

    Both correct.

    Sentence1 focus on the fact that the letter has not arrived when I say the sentence.
    Sentence2 focus on the fact that the letter had not arrived when she said the sentence.

    Agree?

    Thanks
    Sentence 2 is correct. The act of leaving your home has already passed, therefore anything that was true at that time, must also be in the past. You can't possibly know that since you left home, the postman hasn't delivered the letter so you can't say "the letter has not arrived".

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: present perfect or past perfect ?

    Quote Originally Posted by uktous View Post
    Hi,

    Question:
    Which sentence is correct?

    Sentence1:
    When I left my home, the letter has not arrived.
    Sentence2:
    When I left my home, the letter had not arrived.
    My opinion:

    Both correct.

    Sentence1 focus on the fact that the letter has not arrived when I say the sentence.
    Sentence2 focus on the fact that the letter had not arrived when she said the sentence.

    Agree?

    Thanks
    No, I don't agree at all. Sentence 1 is incorrect.

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    #4

    Re: present perfect or past perfect ?

    hi,

    could you please give me an example which has the following structure?

    simple past, present perfect
    eg, I phoned my girlfriend and she told me she has not arrived.
    Last edited by uktous; 01-Apr-2010 at 19:59.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: present perfect or past perfect ?

    Quote Originally Posted by uktous View Post
    hi,

    could you please give me an example which has the following structure?

    simple past, present perfect
    eg, I phoned my girlfriend and she told me she has not arrived.
    I've been trying to think of some way to structure a sentence using your criteria, but haven't been able to. In the example you give, the correct sentence would be:

    I phoned my girlfriend and she told me she HADN'T arrived yet.

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    #6

    Re: present perfect or past perfect ?

    Quote Originally Posted by uktous View Post
    hi,

    could you please give me an example which has the following structure?

    simple past, present perfect
    eg,
    This is the old argument about backshifting the tense in reported speech. Some people think it must be done, or at least they do it. But some of us think it shouldn't be done, or at least need not always be done.
    Of course it depends on the circumstances at the time. You can't apply the same 'rule' in all situations.

    Depending on the exact sentence/situation, backshifting can change the meaning or at least make the meaning unclear.

    So I think "I phoned my girlfriend and she told me she has not arrived." is a correct sentence in the right situation.
    This would be true if you have just talked to her and then say that sentence.

    On the other hand, if you talked to her yesterday and she said "I have not arrived (yet).", you could now say 'I phoned my girlfriend yesterday and she told me that she hadn't arrived (yet)(as of that time).'
    Last edited by 2006; 02-Apr-2010 at 19:19.

  4. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: present perfect or past perfect ?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    This is the old argument about backshifting the tense in reported speech. Some people think it must be done, or at least they do it. But some of us think it shouldn't be done, or at least need not always be done.
    Of course it depends on the circumstances at the time. You can't apply the same 'rule' in all situations.

    Depending on the exact sentence/situation, backshifting can change the meaning or at least make the meaning unclear.

    So I think "I phoned my girlfriend and she told me she has not arrived." is a correct sentence in the right situation.
    This would be true if you have just talked to her and then say that sentence.

    On the other hand, if you talked to her yesterday and she said "I have not arrived (yet).", you could now say 'I phoned my girlfriend yesterday and she told me that she had not arrived (yet)(as of that time).
    It would have to be really just now that the conversation "takes" place.

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