Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. nyota's Avatar
    Senior Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2009
    • Posts: 615
    #1

    She sounds like she 'had' a hard time recently.

    I spoke to Jane last night. She sounds like she has had/ had a hard time recently.

    Is the difference between 'has had' and 'had' in BrE and AmE?

    Or is it that 'has had' implies that indeed she's been having a hard time recently, while 'had' suggests she only makes it sound that way but it's not really so?

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Feb 2011
    • Posts: 434
    #2

    Re: She sounds like she 'had' a hard time recently.

    I am not a teacher.

    Neither. "Has had" means that her hard time has lasted awhile, and "had" refers to a single event or spate that is now over.

  2. nyota's Avatar
    Senior Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2009
    • Posts: 615
    #3

    Re: She sounds like she 'had' a hard time recently.

    Ugh, it can be such a pain to have been taught that 'recently' is a present perfect marker. Once the tense is not there, you start coming up with all kinds of theories.

    Thanks Coolfootlook

    On edit: Coolfootluke! Decided to leave the original mistake because it made me smile. :)

  3. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #4

    Re: She sounds like she 'had' a hard time recently.

    I don't feel the exactly the same difference as Coolfootluke does.

    My first reaction was that the present perfect is Br E, because 'recently' is very often a present perfect indicator in BrE; I assumed that the past simple would be AmE usage.

    My second thought, the one I am now presenting, was that we use the past simple more often in BrE now.

    She has had a hard time recently
    . - The time period covered by 'recently' extends from a time in the not-too-distant past up to the present.

    She had a hard time recently - The time period covered by 'recently' is wholly in the not-too-distant past.

    I do not feel that the hard time talked about in the past simple is any longer than that talked about in the present perfect, though the former hard time is definitely over, and the latter may not be.

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,221
    #5

    Re: She sounds like she 'had' a hard time recently.

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    I don't feel the exactly the same difference as Coolfootluke does.

    My first reaction was that the present perfect is Br E, because 'recently' is very often a present perfect indicator in BrE; I assumed that the past simple would be AmE usage.

    My second thought, the one I am now presenting, was that we use the past simple more often in BrE now.

    She has had a hard time recently. - The time period covered by 'recently' extends from a time in the not-too-distant past up to the present.

    She had a hard time recently - The time period covered by 'recently' is wholly in the not-too-distant past.

    I do not feel that the hard time talked about in the past simple is any longer than that talked about in the present perfect, though the former hard time is definitely over, and the latter may not be.
    This is exactly how I would use it.

    She had a hard time recently, but last night she found out her father had received a clean bill of health, her husband got a job offer, and then she won $10,000 on a lottery ticket. Her hard time is definitely over... even if it had extended for quite a while back.
    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. Khosro's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Persian
      • Home Country:
      • Iran
      • Current Location:
      • Iran

    • Join Date: Jan 2011
    • Posts: 530
    #6

    Re: She sounds like she 'had' a hard time recently.

    Quote Originally Posted by nyota View Post
    Ugh, it can be such a pain to have been taught that 'recently' is a present perfect marker.
    Indeed it is. So, when somebody tell us that some word is an indicator of something is it not wise to look up that word in a dictionary? Have you looked up "recently" in two or three dictionaries lately?

    nyota, teachers are not gods. They just provide us with an opportunity to learn.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 57,903
    #7

    Re: She sounds like she 'had' a hard time recently.

    Quote Originally Posted by nyota View Post
    Ugh, it can be such a pain to have been taught that 'recently' is a present perfect marker.
    That's a weird one that has become fossilized in a number of books. In BrE, the present perfect is quite a bit more common with the negative, but it's just innacurate to tell people it's a present perfect marker IMO. You don't see so many books saying it nowadays.

  6. nyota's Avatar
    Senior Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2009
    • Posts: 615
    #8

    Re: She sounds like she 'had' a hard time recently.

    Quote Originally Posted by Khosro View Post
    Indeed it is. So, when somebody tell us that some word is an indicator of something is it not wise to look up that word in a dictionary? Have you looked up "recently" in two or three dictionaries lately?

    nyota, teachers are not gods. They just provide us with an opportunity to learn.
    I feel your comment was rather reproachful in tone and there was no need for that.

    By saying that I have been taught that 'recently' is a present perfect marker, I was merely stating a fact rather than passing judgements about teachers. I have never suggested I expect them to be infallible or as you put it to be gods. In fact, I believe they've done a rather good job.

    Asking questions about the matter might also hint that lately I *have* been looking up other sources, including dictionaries. And if I still have doubts because of the habits I've formed (the way I associate "recently" with present perfect has become somewhat of a habit), I make use of the opportunity to verify and learn that this forum provides.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    That's a weird one that has become fossilized in a number of books. In BrE, the present perfect is quite a bit more common with the negative, but it's just innacurate to tell people it's a present perfect marker IMO. You don't see so many books saying it nowadays.
    True, and the more I dig, the more variability I see.

  7. Khosro's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Persian
      • Home Country:
      • Iran
      • Current Location:
      • Iran

    • Join Date: Jan 2011
    • Posts: 530
    #9

    Re: She sounds like she 'had' a hard time recently.

    Quote Originally Posted by nyota View Post
    I feel your comment was rather reproachful in tone and there was no need for that.
    Yes. My voice was full of reproach if you could hear it, mainly toward those sources which try to simplify English language with harmfull rules, rules which are not supported by many reliable dictionaries.

    Sorry.

Similar Threads

  1. [General] plug away = spend the time working hard and persistently
    By vil in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 24-May-2010, 16:24
  2. have a hard time using idioms
    By milad in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-Nov-2009, 20:06
  3. [Grammar] Hard Time reading this Sentence
    By Englishn00b in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-Nov-2009, 02:21
  4. such a hard time
    By Teia in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 12-Jan-2008, 22:31

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •