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    #1

    past simple and present perfect

    It's from a book.

    She went to school in the South of England and studied English at Oxford University, but she has lived in the country for most all her life.

    Present perfect wasn't used in the first part of the sentence, because the exact place is known "South of England" , "Oxford University" or maybe for any other reasons?

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    #2

    Re: past simple and present perfect

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

    "She went to school" uses the past tense because it is something that happened in the past.

    One uses the present perfect if it STILL touches the present time: "She has lived in the country for most all her life." (She started to live in the country at a certain time and she is still living in the country at this moment.)

    I, for example, lived in the central part of California when I was a child, but I have lived in Southern California since the 1940s.

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    #3

    Re: past simple and present perfect

    I see.

    As far as I know present perfect is used: 1) when we don't say exactly when the action happened and 2) when the action still touches the present time.

    It's from the same book: "She has won many awards. She has traveled to South Africa".

    She won the awards in the past, she went to South Africa in the past - Why present perfect was used?

    What is the golden rule for present perfect vs past simple ?

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    #4

    Re: past simple and present perfect

    I am not a teacher.

    If you say, 'She won many awards. She travelled to South Africa' as bare statements, you imply that that all happened in the past and is unlikely or impossible to ever happen again. (She may be dead, for example).

    If you say, 'She has won many awards. She has travelled to South Africa' you leave the door open for these things to be repeated. (And she is definitely still alive).

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    #5

    Re: past simple and present perfect

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


    Arctica became a member in October of this year. (That is a fact that no one can change. It happened.)

    Arctica has posted at least 50 posts since October. (We know that it [her posting] started in October and we expect it to continue.)

    *****

    Actually, you have asked a very difficult question. I hope that someone gives us the "golden rule" that you are looking for.

    I have some examples that will show you how difficult it can be:

    1. "He has overslept this morning."
    2. "He overslept this morning."

    One scholar claims that #1 = He is still asleep; #2 = He got up at 6 a.m. this morning instead of his usual 5:30 a.m. It is now mid-morning [My note: 9 a.m.?].

    Rodney Huddleston, Introduction to the Grammar of English (1984).

    3. "Have you seen the Monet exhibition?"
    4. "Did you see the Monet exhibition?"

    Another scholar claims that #3 = the exhibition is still going on; #4 means that the exhibition is over.

    Roderick A. Jacobs, English Syntax (1995)
    Last edited by TheParser; 08-Dec-2014 at 23:03. Reason: deleted comma and added a period. Various mistakes.

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    #6

    Re: past simple and present perfect

    My example: I studied English at school. We use past simple because i will never be at school again?

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    #7

    Re: past simple and present perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by Arctica1982 View Post
    My example: I studied English at school. Do we use past simple because I will never be at school again?
    You will never be at that school again. It is impossible for you to carry out the same studies, at the same age, at the same school again. It's over. It's finished. It's done. You can carry on studying English but that English-studying period of your life is over.

    I studied French at primary school. (Finished.)
    I studied French at secondary school. (Finished.)
    I studied French at sixth form college. (Finished.)
    I have studied French at an adult education college for three years. (I am still studying there.)
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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