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    #1

    Present Perfect

    Please look at two exercises below.

    "Why on earth didn't you tell you told me about that loose floorboard. I tripped/have tripped over it just now and hurt myself". The correct answer is "tripped". Can I use "have tripped"? Will it be correct.


    "I'm having problems with David. He has called/has been calling me up in the middle of the night and told/telling me his troubles."

    The correct answer is "has been calling and telling". Such exercise appears tricky to me. Can I use present perfect here rather than present progressive and will it be correct as well. Thanks a lot

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Present Perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by olegv View Post
    Please look at two exercises below.

    "Why on earth didn't you tell me about that loose floorboard. I tripped/have tripped over it just now and hurt myself". The correct answer is "tripped". Can I use "have tripped"? Will it be correct. No.


    "I'm having problems with David. He has called/has been calling me up in the middle of the night and told/telling me his troubles."

    The correct answer is "has been calling and telling". Such exercise appears tricky to me. Can I use present perfect here rather than present progressive and will it be correct as well. Thanks a lot
    Consider these three alternatives:
    I have problems with David, he calls me up in the middle of the night and tells me his troubles.
    I had problems with David, he called me up in the middle of the night and told me his troubles.
    I'm having problems with David, he has been calling me up in the middle of the night and telling me his troubles.

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    #3

    Re: Present Perfect

    thank you. To be honest, I am still confused with the first sentence. I though that it might have been presenet perfect as "just now" was used, meaning that it is the result that I hurt. Could you please explain to me a little bit more. Thank you.

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    #4

    Re: Present Perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by olegv View Post
    Please look at two exercises below.

    "Why on earth didn't you tell you told me about that loose floorboard. I tripped/have tripped over it just now and hurt myself". The correct answer is "tripped". Can I use "have tripped"? Will it be correct.
    Generally, you'd use 'tripped' here. But it's not as absolute as some examples might be.
    You could say, "I [just] tripped over it and I've hurt myself."
    You're still hurt, so the present perfect is appropriate. The tripping is not ongoing. It happened at a discrete time in the past and it's over.

    You could say, "I've just tripped over it and hurt my arm", because the tripping and the hurting of your arm are expressed as one event, which is still ongoing.

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    #5

    Exclamation Re: Present Perfect

    Thank you. From what do judge that "trip" in "my" sentence take place in the past? What are the markers? I don't understand. Thank you again for your help.

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    #6

    Re: Present Perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by olegv View Post
    Thank you. From what do judge that "trip" in "my" sentence take place in the past? What are the markers? I don't understand. Thank you again for your help.
    The marker is 'just now'. It frequently means 'a short time ago'. As you are not tripping at the moment of speaking, this is the only thing it can mean.

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    #7

    Re: Present Perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by olegv View Post
    Thank you. From what do judge that "trip" in "my" sentence take place in the past? What are the markers? I don't understand. Thank you again for your help.
    Well, it isn't going to happen in the future; it's not happening now in the present. That leaves one possibility. Also, you are telling someone that you tripped. It has to have occurred in the past.

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    #8

    Re: Present Perfect

    Thank you. I understand that it is past. What I am trying to catch is whethe it is the perfect aspect or no. I have notice that it is not absolute. But in terms of my example, Am I right saying that it tends to be the explicit marker of past simple like "last month", "a year ago" rather than one of present perfect like"just", "this year", etc.

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    #9

    Re: Present Perfect

    It is true that 'last month', and 'a year ago' are pretty clear past-time (hence past-tense) markers.
    Expressions such as 'this year' and 'today' are normally associated with present time, but not necessarily:

    I have marked twenty essays today. - The speaker places her/himself within the 'today' time period. It is possible that s/he may mark some more papers before the day is over.

    I marked twenty essays today. The speaker places her/himself outside the 'today' time period. Probably 'today' refers to the working day, which is over at the time of speaking.

    'Just' tends, in BrE, to refer to a past time that is so recent that the present perfect is normally used. 'Just now' tends to be seen as a past-time marker, though it can be present:

    I am working in Manchester just now.

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