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    #1

    Question Present Perfect, Past Simple or Past Perfect

    Greeting everybody !

    I am new and this is the first time I have posted a thread. I hope that I do not make any mistakes since there are so many rules that I can not remember all of them . Anyway, have a good day and I hope that we can help each other to improve our skills.

    Here is my question: I have a sentence, which is:

    "Yesterday I was so busy. I had to search for companies and write my curriculum vitae so I didn't have time to do the homework. I also spoiled my mother drug for I did not turn the stove off after my mother had told me to. But the worst part (not come) yet. My father dumped the whole thing away when it could still be reused."

    ---

    I don't know which tenses, which I have mentioned in the Title, that I should use here. I want to say that it still... "not happen" yet, so it must be in the Perfect tenses because "yet" usually goes with Perfect ones, not Simple ones (here is Past Simple). Why I think of Simple Perfect ? It is because it was after some activities in the past. But it was in the past, so it might be in the Past tenses, too. But, again, Past Perfect indicates action that happened before something in the past, not after. My head goes crazy !!!

    So, which is correct:
    a) Has not come yet.
    b) Did not come yet.
    c) Had not come yet.

    Please tell me and explain fully why. Thank you so much !

    P/s: This is not my exercise or homework, this is what I am going to say to my English teacher

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    #2

    Re: Present Perfect, Past Simple or Past Perfect

    The answer can only be c). Your teacher will explain why. If you don't understand your teacher's response, post again.
    By the way, if this is a preparation for your teacher, it smells a lot like homework.

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    #3

    Re: Present Perfect, Past Simple or Past Perfect

    Thank you for replying my question. But I have to say that again, that this is NOT homework. I am studying English at the moment and my teacher is a foreigner, I can not use my mother tongue language. And, honestly, I really do not want to do so. To improve speaking English, there is no other way than to speak it, right ?

    This is what really happened to me and I wanted to tell it to my teacher BEFORE the class even started. It was just a normal conversation and I wanted to talk with her as much as possible. But there was an issue in the part of the speech that I did not know how to deal with, so I posted this to get help from others.

    You said that the answer is c), can you explain that more specifically ? Thanks

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    #4

    Re: Present Perfect, Past Simple or Past Perfect

    a) is wrong because the worse part has come.
    b) is wrong because "Did not come yet" is ungrammatical in standard English.

    The context of the paragraph is unclear. If you are telling this as a story, speaking, you could say "The worst hasn't come yet", meaning you haven't narrated it yet. But It has come in the context of the story.

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    #5

    Re: Present Perfect, Past Simple or Past Perfect

    Ok, thank you.

    Yes, it's true. I am going to tell it as a story and I haven't narrated "the worst" the moment I speak to her about that worst part. I just want to show that there was something worst which was about to happen afterward. Then I would continue to tell her what was it and the story continue in Past Simple tense.

    But, still, I am confussed. I mean, this is a story, so the whole things must be in the Past Simple or maybe Past Continuous. But Past Perfect seems a little... awkward to me. Doesn't it indicate something happened before something in the past while "the worst" here is not that ?

    Please enlighten me. I have been in the book so much, and the book does not write everything. I am starting to use it in real life and also starting to hit a snag

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    #6

    Re: Present Perfect, Past Simple or Past Perfect

    If you are tellling it as a story, then "I haven't told you the worst part yet", that is, a) would be correct. But you must realise that you taking a step out of the story to speak about the story. That sentence is not part of the plot. If it were, it would have to be "hadn't come".
    If you're telling a story in the past tense, and you decide to make a comment outside of the story, it can be in any relevant tense.
    Eg. "Peter was a butcher, but he didn't like the sight of blood - I'll tell you why later. So, one day, Peter went ..." The bold part isn't part of the actual story.
    Last edited by Raymott; 23-May-2014 at 13:50.

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    #7

    Re: Present Perfect, Past Simple or Past Perfect

    Yes, I understand that if I step out of the story and make a comment, it can be in any tenses. In this case, it should be Simple Perfect, like you said.

    But I want it to be a part of the plot, and by your suggestion it should be Past Perfect, right ?

    I have just asked her about it and you know what, she said I should use Past Simple with "yet". I asked her how could "yet" go with Past Simple, she said it was OK !? And I brought the same idea that you told me about the Past Perfect, but she confirmed that it should just be Past Simple.

    So in here, we can eliminate the Present. But the two Pasts are still confusing.

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    #8

    Re: Present Perfect, Past Simple or Past Perfect

    Standard English doesn't use the simple past with 'yet'. Certain places in America do. The past perfect is universally correct here though.
    For example, some Americans say "Did you have breakfast yet?" That is wrong in British/Australian English and all other English I know. We say, "Have you had breakfast yet?" Is your teacher a native English speaker? Is she American?
    "The worse thing had not happened yet" is correct if it's part of the story, as I've said all along (and as a moderator agreed in my post #2).

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    #9

    Re: Present Perfect, Past Simple or Past Perfect

    Ok, I see it now. I will have a talk with my teacher again about this (She actually uses AE instead of BE, so that may explain why she prefers Simple Past).

    Thank you so much for helping me improving my English, and thank you for your patience

    With kind regards.

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    #10

    Re: Present Perfect, Past Simple or Past Perfect

    I'm entering this discussion rather late, and only to say that there is no need at all to capitalise the names of the tenses.

    You may have observed that Raymott did not do so in his excellent explanations.

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