Results 1 to 7 of 7
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Sep 2012
    • Posts: 26
    #1

    HAVENíT versus DID NOT

    Which grammar construction is more preferable?
    I haven't killed a single animal in my life.
    I did not kill a single animal in my life.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Ireland

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 25,549
    #2

    Re: HAVENíT versus DID NOT

    Quote Originally Posted by nordway View Post
    Which grammar construction is more preferable?
    I haven't killed a single animal in my life.
    I did not kill a single animal in my life.
    The first one. Unless you are dead.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 6,318
    #3

    Re: HAVENíT versus DID NOT

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


    Hello,



    I know how confusing this can be. Even native speakers often use the "wrong" form.

    1. Many native speakers go to a movie and then say, "Wow! That's the best movie I ever saw in my life."

    If you think about that sentence, you will realize that the speaker does not expect to see another movie

    for the rest of his life. Let's say that he has gone blind. He could then use the past, for -- sadly -- he is

    not going to see another movie ever again (of course, he can listen to it).

    2. So most people should say, "Wow! That's the best movie that I have seen up to this point in my life.

    But who knows? Chances are that you will see another movie next week and then yell, "Wow! That's the best

    movie that I have ever seen (so far)."

    3. So if you tell some native speakers "I did not kill a single animal in my life," they will smile and ask you

    jokingly "Are you a ghost?" So you should say "I have not killed a single animal (up to this moment in my life)."

    But nobody knows the future. It is possible that sometime in the future you might kill an animal. Let's say

    there is a terrible war. There is no food available. So you might have to kill an animal in order to feed your

    family.


    James

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Sep 2012
    • Posts: 26
    #4

    Re: HAVENíT versus DID NOT

    OK, does the sentence
    I never went to nightclubs.
    means the same ghost talk?

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Ireland

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 25,549
    #5

    Re: HAVENíT versus DID NOT

    Quote Originally Posted by nordway View Post
    OK, does the sentence
    I never went to nightclubs.
    means the same ghost talk?
    As a stand alone sentence it doesn't make much sense.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 23,733
    #6

    Re: HAVENíT versus DID NOT

    I agree. It depends on the context, nordway,and here there isn't any.

    If you stopped me in the street, said 'I never went to nightclubs' and walked on, what am I to make of that, and why should I care?

    As part of a conversation – about your younger days, for example, you might say 'When I lived in London I never went to nightclubs; did you?'

    Or 'I never went to nightclubs until I met you.'

    Rover
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 13-Oct-2012 at 08:00.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 6,318
    #7

    Re: HAVENíT versus DID NOT

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


    I think that "I never went to nightclubs in my life" would qualify as "ghost talk."

    It should be "I have never [so far in my life] gone to nightclubs." (OR maybe "better": "to a nightclub.")


    James

    P.S. Or maybe even better: "I have never been to a nightclub [in my life]."

Similar Threads

  1. [General] I havenīt a clue. - You will certainly have!
    By Hucky in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 31-Mar-2011, 23:20
  2. Havenít
    By learner. in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 23-Oct-2010, 17:08
  3. might versus may
    By angelg in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 22-Jun-2008, 23:30
  4. you versus yourself
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 24-Aug-2007, 08:26

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •