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  1. Banned
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    #1

    Arrow present perfect

    (It seems that my recent struggles with mixed tense sentences have to do with my lack of understanding of the present perfect tense.)

    My understanding is that the present perfect tense is used for events/states that started in the past and still exist in the present time. I could be wrong though...

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    #2

    Re: present perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by CaseyA View Post
    (It seems that my recent struggles with mixed tense sentences have to do with my lack of understanding of the present perfect tense.)

    My understanding is that the present perfect tense is used for events/states that started in the past and still exist in the present time. I could be wrong though...

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    (1) One of the great teachers will soon answer you.

    (2) Even native speakers do not always use the present perfect when they

    "should."

    (a) You will often hear Americans say (after leaving a movie theater):

    "Wow! That's the best movie I ever saw in my life." (Of course, you would

    use the past only if you were sure that you were never going to see another

    movie again in your life -- for whatever reason.)

    (b) Of course, the "correct" exclamation would be:

    "Wow! That's the best movie that I have ever seen in my life (up to this

    day)."

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: present perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by CaseyA View Post
    My understanding is that the present perfect tense is used for events/states that started in the past and still exist in the present time. I could be wrong though...
    I have lived in China, Estonia, Turkey, ..... . Now I live in the Czech Republic.
    I have heard Chomsky speak. It was three years ago, in ...
    I have been married three times
    .

    All of these are perfectly natural English. I am talking about events occurring in my whole life, which extends up to the present.
    Last edited by 5jj; 13-Aug-2011 at 08:09. Reason: typo

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: present perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by CaseyA View Post
    My understanding is that the present perfect tense is used for events/states that started in the past and still exist in the present time. I could be wrong though...
    No, this isn't exactly right. Taking 5jj's examples:
    "I have lived in China, Estonia, Yurkey, ..." You are obvously not still living in these three places.
    "I have heard Chomsky speak. It was three years ago, in ..." You are not still hearing Chomsky speak.
    I have been married three times. You might be married now and you might not. And you're not married to three people.

    So, your understanding needs amending. What you say applies to the present perfect progressive:
    "I have been living in China for three years."
    "I've been listening to Chomsky speak for 2 hours."

    "I've been married for 10 years."
    These all extend into the present.

    The present perfect also refers to events that occurred in the past and which are not still happening, but which still have relevance to the present that you wish to emphasize (hence you don't use the simple past tense.

    Note that both, "I lived in China" and "I have lived in China" both refer to a period of time which occurred in the past and which is (possibly, without further qualification) now over.

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