1. ## Re: Revisiting Present Perfect

Although "yesterday" and "before" both are adverbs of Time modifying "have seen", the meanings are very different.
On the contrary, 'before' is not an adverb of Tense. :D That's why it's compatible with the Present Perfect.

"I have seen Simon before/previously" (OK)

'yesterday' is an adverb of Tense, and the reason why it's not compatible with the Present Perfect.

"I saw Simon before." (not OK)

Adverbs denoting time are divided into two groups:

1) adverbs denoting specific time, called Tense/Time (i.e. yesterday)
2) adverbs denoting non-specific time, called aspectual (i.e. before)

Adverbs belonging to group 2) are compatible with the Present Perfect Aspect.

In general,
Tense modifies Tense (Simple Past)
Aspect modifies Aspect (Present Perfect)

:D :D :D

2. Originally Posted by Casiopea
(d)I have eaten lunch in the afternoon. (not OK)
(e)I have eaten lunch at three. (not OK)
(f) I have visited Dalian in July. (not OK)

All of the above are OK iff we add "before":

(d)I have eaten lunch in the afternoon before. (OK)
(e)I have eaten lunch at three before. (OK)
(f) I have visited Dalian in July before. (OK)

The reason being, 'before' turns 'in the afternoon', 'at three', and 'in July'
into non-specific times: any afternoon, any three o'clock, and any July.
:D
1. I was thinking of not using the distinction between "specific" and "non-specific time" as the reasoning to validate the rule, because while this distinction is correct, it is difficult to demonstrate. Which makes it less than convincing to anyone who thinks there's a conspiracy behind it!!!

2. I agree with you re the examples after adding "before": the "past time expression" becomes "parenthetic" in a sense.
(d) "I have eaten lunch (in the afternoon) before" is equivalent (grammar-wise) to "I have eaten lunch (in the presidential suite) before". With or without "before", the adverb phrase "in the afternoon" remains as such BUT in the latter case the adverb phrase is further modified by the adverb "before", and the meaning changes. :wink:

3. ## Re: Revisiting Present Perfect

Originally Posted by Casiopea
Although "yesterday" and "before" both are adverbs of Time modifying "have seen", the meanings are very different.
On the contrary, 'before' is not an adverb of Tense. :D That's why it's compatible with the Present Perfect.

"I have seen Simon before/previously" (OK)

'yesterday' is an adverb of Tense, and the reason why it's not compatible with the Present Perfect.

"I saw Simon before." (not OK)

Adverbs denoting time are divided into two groups:
1) adverbs denoting specific time, called Tense/Time (i.e. yesterday)
2) adverbs denoting non-specific time, called aspectual (i.e. before)

Adverbs belonging to group 2) are compatible with the Present Perfect Aspect.
In general,
Tense modifies Tense (Simple Past)
Aspect modifies Aspect (Present Perfect)
:D :D :D
Agreed. As a layman, I use "Adverb of Time" in the broad sense to cover both types. There is a difference between the "time" as denoted by "yesterday" and that denoted by "before", which is the difference in their meaning.

I have done this in the past = I have done this before, but not = I have done this yesterday/in July/etc.
Thanks for the clarification. :wink:

4. Originally Posted by Casiopea
I really liked what I read. It was well thought out not to mention showed you'd done your research. 8)

1) What if, the Present Prefect has nothing whatsoever to do with Time (Tense)? What if, the Present Perfect's function is to focus on the event/action and not the time? If that's the case, then it stands to reason why adverbials which express Time/Tense aren't compatible with the Present Perfect.
Yesterday = When? The day before today. Ah! A specific day.
In the past = When? Uhm? Some time? Ah! A non-specific day.
Agree. One is speciic, the other not (= SOME time in the past).

2) What if,
Sam: "Have you visited Dalian in July?". (OK)
Pat: "I've visited Dalian in July. (OK) meaning, any one July, this year's, last year's, two years ago July, and so on.
Agree. This one is clear-cut, if the speakers means any "month of July". I think Ronbee used this example also.

Compare:
Pat: I have visited Dalian in July (July two months ago). (not OK)

When 'in July' modfies a Present Perfect verb, the resulting meaning is that 'July' is any one of many Julys, not a specific July. The Present Perfect isn't compatible with adverbs that express TIME (specific time), but if such TIME adverbs can be expressed as non-specific, then they're compatible:
I've been there in July. (any July) (OK)
I've been there in July of this year. (a specific July) (not OK)
Agree.

In short, the Present Perfect is not a Tense, so why attempt to modify its verbs with adverbs denoting Tense? (Psst, that's a Q for Shun). We wouldn't, of course. If we did, we'd get an ungrammatical result:

I have been there yesterday. (a specific day) (not OK)
Or put it as: Yesterday, I have been there. (very clearly not OK)

Adverbs denoting Tense are compatible only with verbs denoting Tense.
I was there yesterday. (a specific day) (OK)

Adverbs not denoting Tense are compatible with verbs not denoting Tense.
I have been there in the past. (When? Some time.) (OK)

Present Perfect verbs have nothing to do with Tense.(This here is difficult to explain, esp to students, I think) When deciding which adverb is compatible, ask the question "When is (adverb)?". If the answer is too complicated to compute, then you know the adverb is compatible.

I have seen him in the past few weeks.
Q: When is 'the past few weeks'?
A: Well, let's see. Today is 3-Nov, and 'few weeks' is three weeks, about, and if we substract three weeks from today, we'll get..., let' me look at my calendar to check. It's complicated. Computing non-specific time is complicated.

Compare:
I saw him yesterday.
Q: When is yesterday?
A: It's the day before today. Computing specific time is easy :D
You and me (don't anyone ask me to use "I" here! or should I?) are agreed on the correct usage of the present perfect, from the start, I think. But all the discussion did make things clearer still. :wink:

5. You and I agree. You and me don't.

:wink:

6. ## Re: Revisiting Present Perfect

[
I shouldn't have opened this can of worms!! [/QUOTE]

Maybe you shouldn't. It did become (or should I say 'has become'?) more confusing.

After all this discussion the idea of the following passage seems quite appealing. Would it be possible to suggest some addition regarding the issue of the Past Simple - Present Perfect?

Euro-English

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union.

As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English
spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5- year phase-in
plan that would become known as "Euro-English".
In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c". Sertainly, this will
make the sivil servants jump with joy.

The hard "c" will be dropped in favour of "k". This should klear up
konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the
troublesome "ph" will be replaced with "f". This will make words like
fotograf 20% shorter. *

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to
reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have
always ben a deterent to akurate speling.

Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent "e" in the languag is
disgrasful and it should go away.

By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th"
with "z" and "w" with "v".

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining
"ou" and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensibl riten styl.

Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu
understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.

In light of the discussion at hand, don't you think that one of this confusing tenses should be dropped entirely (preferably Present Perfect)?

7. ## Re: Revisiting Present Perfect

Why not. Getting rid of the -s in the third erson present would make life easier too.

8. ## Re: Revisiting Present Perfect

Originally Posted by tdol
There is definitely a grey area- in the example I gave, it sounds a bit uncomfortable to my ears, but I wouldn't call it wrong. The two uses are acceptable. I think the general tendency is to use the PP less.

In my opinion,I do not think that using less of the PP would solve the problem(if at all it is one).I think there is a simple way out of this usage impasse.The simple past or past simple expresses a finished or completed "job" which has no current relevance or import.However,the present perfect expresses,also,a complete or finished "job" but with a current relevance.In other words,the present perfect seeks to connect the past to the present.For example,"I ate" and "I have eaten"...
The first sentence suggests a complete action in the past which could be immediate or remote."I HAVE EATEN" probably suggests that I can no longer eat anything as the one I ate has not yet digested...(connecting the past to the present)...the time I ate and now(that I speak)are connected.
"I saw him"...complete and past
"I have seen him"...I not only saw him but also is he at sight.
"I have seen him before'...the memory still lingers thereby giving the past action a current import.
"She came"...who knows,she may have probably left...
'She has come"...could mean she is here...(link)
"She has been here before"...though the action is past,I can still remember it vividly(link)

9. ## Re: Revisiting Present Perfect

It's not a problem for native speakers, but it is for many learners as many languages don't have this distinction. However, as a native speaker, I like it.

10. ## Re: Revisiting Present Perfect

thank u so much

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