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      • Native Language:
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    simple past for experience?

    A."How old are you Mr. Davis?"

    B. "I'm thirty two."

    A. "And were you ever in the military?"

    A. "Don't patronize me. I'm well aware of the extent of my responsibility."

    I've always thought that we use the Present Perfect to ask about one's past experience "Have you ever been in the military?". Did the speaker chose to use the past simple because he was rfering to it as a point in the past? Is like sometimes peaople say "Did you hear the news?" instead of "have you heard the news?"?

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    Re: simple past for experience?

    The questioner is simply placing the time-period of Mr Davis's possible military service in the past. He could choose to extend the time-period up to the present by using the present perfect. This is a case of 'grammar as choice', rather than 'grammar as fact'.

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