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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    What is the difference in meaning between these two sentences?

    "I have written a book."

    "I wrote a book."

    I'm having issues with past participles right now. I don't see how these two sentences have different meanings. What is the point in past participles in English if the same thing can easily be said with simple past? I'm obviously missing something.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: What is the difference in meaning between these two sentences?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisR View Post
    "I have written a book."

    "I wrote a book."

    I'm having issues with past participles right now. I don't see how these two sentences have different meanings. What is the point in past participles in English if the same thing can easily be said with simple past? I'm obviously missing something.

    Thanks in advance.
    Out of context it might appear that the two sentences say the same thing. Ho scritto un libro; Scrivevo un libro; Scrissi un libro - not to mention the subjunctive forms.
    But usually sentences occur within a larger linguistic framework. What you are missing is that when combined with a real life situation and a need to make subtle distinctions, different tenses are needed. At least, most of the peoples of the world have thought so.

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    #3

    Re: What is the difference in meaning between these two sentences?

    Hello Chris,

    The tenses are different

    1. Present Perfect. "I have written a book" means that you started writing some time ago and you have just finished it.

    2. Past Tense. "I wrote a book" means that you both started and finished writing it some time ago.

    HTH

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    #4

    Re: What is the difference in meaning between these two sentences?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisR View Post
    "I have written a book."

    "I wrote a book."

    I'm having issues with past participles right now. I don't see how these two sentences have different meanings. What is the point in past participles in English if the same thing can easily be said with simple past? I'm obviously missing something.

    Thanks in advance.

    That's a very good question, and in comparing only the 2 sentences as is, there is essentially no difference in meaning. However, when in a paragraph or other source of context, it's important to choose the correct sentence that suits the context.

    For example:
    "I have written a book, though I don't intend to write any more."
    "I wrote a book in 2008."

    In the first case you would be discussing your writing experience, whereas in the second case you would be discussing the events of 2008.

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