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    #1

    A helping hand is needed

    Hey, people!

    So I have a problem distinguishing what is right in the following case:

    1.Something happened at that warehouse. (for a past thing that is done)

    2.Something has happened at that warehouse(for something in the past that has consequences into the present)
    -- Should I use the second one like that or does it have to be something like 'Something has happened in that warehouse because he is not the same anymore.'

    So I guess my question is, if I don`t specify what are the consequences of theactions in the past or if there aren`t any consequences, I then should use the first example?
    ---------------------------------
    And another question.
    Is it right to say- Something has happened in that warehouse 20 years ago. or Something had happened in that warehouse 20 years ago. If I use had, do I have to specify that the event took place before another event or can I leave it in this form? Something had happened in that warehouse 20 years ago

  1. swankydoo's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: A helping hand is needed

    1,2 - In my opinion you can use both actually. As far as Present Perfect is concerned, you don't always need to specify the consequences.

    You can't say:
    'Something has happened in that warehouse 20 years ago'.

    ...Present Perfect refers to events that happened at an unspecified time.

    If you want to use Past Perfect you need to specify an event that happened after the event from the warehouse.

    Cheers :)

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    #3

    Re: A helping hand is needed

    Thank you very much!
    So I can interchange both 1 and 2 not only in the example but in general, and a sentence will not be wrong?

  2. swankydoo's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: A helping hand is needed

    Generally, I'd say it all depends on the context.

    ...also, I believe there's a tendency among American English speakers to use Past Simple where British speakers would use Present Perfect.
    However, I'd wait for a native speaker to provide you with their answer and insight.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: A helping hand is needed

    No, they are not interchangeable.
    The present perfect needs *some* connection to the present.

    You hear or have very recently heard sirens now: What were all those sirens?
    I don't know exactly - but something has happened at the warehouse.

    The news is very recent:
    Have you heard the news? Something has happened at the warehouse!
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  4. swankydoo's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: A helping hand is needed

    However, the connection to the present doesn't need to be overtly specified, right?
    And would you say that the tendency I mentioned exists?

  5. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: A helping hand is needed

    It does not need to be overtly specified. I was giving examples.

    I've been told over and over that Americans use the simple past where other English speakers use the present perfect, but the only time I've seen this specifically demonstrated is with "just" -
    "Ew, I just stepped in some gum" vs. "Ew, I've just stepped in some gum"
    Don't forget to feed the dogs. // "I just fed them" vs. "I've just fed them."
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #8

    Re: A helping hand is needed

    Iago, please note that a better title would have been Something happened/has happened/had happened.

    Extract from the Posting Guidelines:

    'Thread titles should include all or part of the word/phrase being discussed.'

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    #9

    Re: A helping hand is needed

    If I want to say:
    We have been told that they are going to frisk us before entering.
    We had been told that they are going to frisk us before entering.

    I use have for an event in the recent past and in unspecified time?
    And I use had for an event that happened long time ago?
    I`m a bit confused because both of the examples are in the past.

  6. swankydoo's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: A helping hand is needed

    We have been told that they are going to frisk us before entering.
    It means that you've JUST been told about the fact they're going to frisk you.

    We had been told that they are going to frisk us before entering.
    This sentence is incorrect.
    ...1. You use Past Perfect which, in this case, is incorrect.
    ...2. "...that they are going to frisk us." is also incorrect. Indirect speech should be used here.

    So I'd say:
    ...1. We've been told that they are going to frisk us.
    ...2. We were told that they were going to frisk us.

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