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    #1

    simple past vs present perfect!

    Hello!
    One of my biggest problems concerning proper English usage is the selection between the simple past and the present perfect tense.

    For example:
    -Wanna go out for lunch?
    -No thanks, I have managed to cook something. (present perfect)
    or
    -No thanks, I managed to cook something. (simple past)


    According to my grammar
    Simple Past is used for an action that ended in the past in definite time
    and Present Perfect is used for an action that finished in the past but there is no indication of time.

    For me both of the two aforementioned sentences might be correct but with a slight difference in the meaning. Could you please help me clarify what is the difference in meaning between the simple past and present perfect sentence?

    Best Regards
    A.

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    #2

    Re: simple past vs present perfect!

    The present perfect is also used when there is a connection with the past event and the present.

    In this casethere is an invitation to lunch in the present but it is declined because of something in the past. I've cooked lunch, but not eaten it (yet).

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: simple past vs present perfect!

    Quote Originally Posted by dervast View Post
    Hello!
    One of my biggest problems concerning proper English usage is the selection between the simple past and the present perfect tense.

    For example:
    -Wanna go out for lunch?
    -No thanks, I have managed to cook something. (present perfect)
    or
    -No thanks, I managed to cook something. (simple past)


    According to my grammar
    Simple Past is used for an action that ended in the past in definite time
    and Present Perfect is used for an action that finished in the past but there is no indication of time.

    For me both of the two aforementioned sentences might be correct but with a slight difference in the meaning. Could you please help me clarify what is the difference in meaning between the simple past and present perfect sentence?

    Best Regards
    A.
    Firstly, "Wanna go out for lunch?" is very poor English, say "Do you want/would you like to go..."
    Secondly, why are you using "managed"? we use it when something has been done with some difficulty: "I managed to lift the box on my own, but it was very heavy", for example.

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    #4

    Re: simple past vs present perfect!

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Firstly, "Wanna go out for lunch?" is very poor English, say "Do you want/would you like to go..."
    Secondly, why are you using "managed"? we use it when something has been done with some difficulty: "I managed to lift the box on my own, but it was very heavy", for example.
    Thanks for the reply. It is really helpful for me to read such posts of how others might misunderstand what I am trying to express.

    Could you please provide me some synonyms of managed that could be used in the cook food sentence?
    I tried to think why I use manage in to the sentence. I think there are two reasons for this:
    a) Managed is used in my mother tongue for things done with or without difficulty (which of course could not be used in English) and
    b) Because If i reply "I cooked lunch" for me is a really short sentence that's why I try to make it more nice by adding one to two more words.

    Thanks again

    Added after Editing post
    P.S One more example how I use the word manage is the following sentence
    "I am not sure that I have managed to make my point clear". Perhaps now it is easier to provide me the right synonyms.
    Thanks a lot!
    Last edited by dervast; 07-Apr-2010 at 12:12.

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    #5

    Re: simple past vs present perfect!

    not a teacher


    have managed
    to cook something
    It is about a 'change' - I have not managed to cook previously but now I have.

    managed to cook something

    It is a plain statement of an event which happened.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: simple past vs present perfect!

    Quote Originally Posted by dervast View Post
    Thanks for the reply. It is really helpful for me to read such posts of how others might misunderstand what I am trying to express.

    Could you please provide me some synonyms of managed that could be used in the cook food sentence?
    I tried to think why I use manage in to the sentence. I think there are two reasons for this:
    a) Managed is used in my mother tongue for things done with or without difficulty (which of course could not be used in English) and
    b) Because If i reply "I cooked lunch" for me is a really short sentence that's why I try to make it more nice by adding one to two more words. Why not "No thanks, I've just cooked something"?

    Thanks again

    Added after Editing post
    P.S One more example how I use the word manage is the following sentence
    "I am not sure that I have managed to make my point clear". Perhaps now it is easier to provide me the right synonyms. Here "managed" is used correctly, it implies some sort of difficulty or effort on your part to make your point clear.
    Thanks a lot!
    .

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    #7

    Re: simple past vs present perfect!

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    .
    Thanks again!
    For some reason English language can be quite tricky to me.

    "No thanks, I've already cooked something"?
    "No thanks, I've already something cooked (by me)"?

    The first sentence must be in active voice and the second one in passive voice? Are both correct?

    Thanks again!

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: simple past vs present perfect!

    Quote Originally Posted by dervast View Post
    Thanks again!
    For some reason English language can be quite tricky to me.

    "No thanks, I've already cooked something"?
    "No thanks, I've already something cooked (by me)"?

    The first sentence must be in active voice and the second one in passive voice? Are both correct?

    Thanks again!
    Yes, they are both correct, but "I've already something cooked" is not passive.

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    #9

    Re: simple past vs present perfect!

    bhai, would "I've already something" be common in BrE?

    We wouldn't say that in the US. "I already have something" or "I have something already," but not this contracted form.
    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.

  5. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: simple past vs present perfect!

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    bhai, would "I've already something" be common in BrE?

    We wouldn't say that in the US. "I already have something" or "I have something already," but not this contracted form.
    I don't know how common it is, but it is certainly used. I would think that "I already have something" is common, it's probably what I would say.

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