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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Use of present perfect with a set time and unfinished action?

    Hello, I have been thinking for a couple of days of a simple but tricky sentence containing the present perfect of the verb to go, and I can't sort out whether its form is correct or not. Can I say "my friend has gone to London yesterday"?I know that with a set and finished time reference (as yesterday, last year and so on) you must use the past simple rather than the present perfect. But in this case I intend to indicate that my friend left for going to london yesterday and he is still there at the moment of speaking...so the action of "going", in a way, is still in progress and this would lead me to use the present perfect....am I wrong??A bit confusing to me!!!Thanks in advance for any help

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    #2

    Re: Use of present perfect with a set time and unfinished action?

    I would not use the present perfect there.

  2. Bennevis's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Use of present perfect with a set time and unfinished action?

    My friend has been gone to London since yesterday.

  3. Newbie
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    #4

    Re: Use of present perfect with a set time and unfinished action?

    Thank you Bennevis, I agree that the use of "since" makes the sentence definitely correct. But your suggestion makes a new doubt arise in my mind: what tense is "has been gone"?or is it just used as adjective in that case?Could I also say "my friend has gone to London since yesterday"?

  4. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Use of present perfect with a set time and unfinished action?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bennevis View Post
    My friend has been gone to London since yesterday.
    That's not a natural sentence, Bennevis.

  5. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Use of present perfect with a set time and unfinished action?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bennevis View Post
    My friend has been gone to London since yesterday.
    That sentence is incorrect.

    My friend went to London yesterday.
    My friend has been in London since yesterday.

  6. Newbie
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    #7

    Re: Use of present perfect with a set time and unfinished action?

    I can understand the two last sentences posted by emsr2d2 are probably the right to use. But is the first sentence I posted "My friend has gone to London yesterday" definitely incorrect?Thank you

  7. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Use of present perfect with a set time and unfinished action?

    Quote Originally Posted by nick32 View Post
    I can understand the two last sentences posted by emsr2d2 are probably the right to use. But is the first sentence I posted "My friend has gone to London yesterday" definitely incorrect?Thank you
    It's not natural, no.

    My friend has gone to London.
    When did he go?
    He went yesterday.

  8. 5jj's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Use of present perfect with a set time and unfinished action?

    Quote Originally Posted by nick32 View Post
    '''' But is the first sentence I posted "My friend has gone to London yesterday" definitely incorrect?
    Very little is 'definitely incorrect' in English when we are talking about tense usage.. Given enough time, we can usually come up with some sort of context for the strangest of sentences. It also sometimes happens in conversation that we run together two ideas into a sentence that we would not write - (My friend has gone to London + He went to London yesterday - My friend has gone to London yesterday).

    However, as three (four, now) native speakers have told you, your sentence is not natural English. As the present perfect normally relates a situation begun in the past to present time, it is safest to say that you cannot use a present perfect form with a past-time word.

  9. Newbie
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    #10

    Re: Use of present perfect with a set time and unfinished action?

    Thank you all guys. Now it's clear to me. The problem for us (non native speakers) is that sometimes we stick to the bad habit of translating from our native language to english, which often leads to a wring structure or an "unnatural" use of the language. I strongly suspected that the sentence was incorrect, but it was the closest to the Italian correspondent translation.
    Last edited by nick32; 13-Dec-2011 at 13:07.

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