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    #1

    Cool have you received/did you receive

    Hello!

    I never know if we are supposed to use the present perfect or the past simple in the following cases. Can you help me please?

    -Did you receive//Have you received my email?

    -Did you receive/Have you received my letter?

    Thank you
    Will

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    #2

    Re: have you received/did you receive

    They're both correct- context would determine which works better.

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: have you received/did you receive

    Quote Originally Posted by Will17 View Post
    Hello!

    I never know if we are supposed to use the present perfect or the past simple in the following cases. Can you help me please?

    -Did you receive//Have you received my email?

    -Did you receive/Have you received my letter?

    Thank you
    Will
    You use "Have you received ...?" if there is still a chance that they will receive it in the future.

    Here's an example:
    If you sent a snail mail yesterday, you might ask, today, "Have you received my letter [yet]?"
    But if you sent the letter three months ago, it should have been delivered by now. If it hasn't been delivered it's probably lost, and won't be delivered. You'd ask, "Did you recieve my letter?"
    This is only an example. You need to think about the concept behind it (unfortunately), not just the words I've used to explain it.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: have you received/did you receive

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    You use "Have you received ...?" if there is still a chance that they will receive it in the future.

    Here's an example:
    If you sent a snail mail yesterday, you might ask, today, "Have you received my letter [yet]?"
    But if you sent the letter three months ago, it should have been delivered by now. If it hasn't been delivered it's probably lost, and won't be delivered. You'd ask, "Did you recieve my letter?"
    This is only an example. You need to think about the concept behind it (unfortunately), not just the words I've used to explain it.
    I think if I was querying receipt three months after posting it, I'd be inclined to ask "Haven't you received my letter yet?!"

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: have you received/did you receive

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I think if I was querying receipt three months after posting it, I'd be inclined to ask "Haven't you received my letter yet?!"
    Maybe, but I was trying to make this as simple as possible. Let us assume that if a letter is not received within three months, then it is lost. That's necessary for my example, as I've given it. By all means, think of a better example that will differentiate these two tenses if you like.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: have you received/did you receive

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Maybe, but I was trying to make this as simple as possible. Let us assume that if a letter is not received within three months, then it is lost. That's necessary for my example, as I've given it. By all means, think of a better example that will differentiate these two tenses if you like.
    No, I thought yours were great! Just thought I'd add my bit!
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 09-Jul-2011 at 22:27. Reason: Typo

  5. Raymott's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: have you received/did you receive

    1. A certain magician died last week, and he had a big funeral.
    A: He must have been popular to have such a big funeral.
    B: Yes he was. Didn't you ever see his act? (It's too late to see it.)

    2. A certain singer is still alive, and is putting on a concert.
    A: Is she very famous?
    B: Of course. Haven't you ever heard her sing? (It's still possible to hear her sing.)

  6. 5jj's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: have you received/did you receive

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    1. A certain magician died last week, and he had a big funeral.
    A: He must have been popular to have such a big funeral.
    B: Yes he was. Didn't you ever see his act? (It's too late to see it.)

    2. A certain singer is still alive, and is putting on a concert.
    A: Is she very famous?
    B: Of course. Haven't you ever heard her sing? (It's still possible to hear her sing.)
    Perfect examples of situations in which the difference is clear; almost certainly, all native speakers (of BrE, at least) would use the same tenses as Raymott. In the case of asking about the letter, the tense depends entirely on how the speaker views the situation at the moment of speaking.

  7. Raymott's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: have you received/did you receive

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    In the case of asking about the letter, the tense depends entirely on how the speaker views the situation at the moment of speaking.
    Exactly. It depends on the context, as Tdol has said. I think that what Will17 was asking was, "What is this contextual difference, then?"
    How must the speaker view the situation at the moment of speaking to say "Have you received the letter?", compared to how the person must see the situation to say, "Did you receive the letter?"
    Perhaps the correct answer is to tell him to learn the differences between the usage of the past tense and the present perfect, and to apply it correctly to the situation of receiving letters.

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