Results 1 to 9 of 9
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Serbo-Croatian
      • Home Country:
      • Croatia
      • Current Location:
      • Belgium

    • Join Date: Jul 2015
    • Posts: 3
    #1

    A question about present perfect tense

    Hello to all,

    I'm a student preparing to take TOEFL test. English is not my native language but I spent a few years learning it in the schools as well as in some courses that I took in the past.

    One thing that have always confused me is correct usage of past perfect and present perfect tense. I need your help in determining the correct structure of the following sentences:

    1. We will be able to discuss the situation thoroughly after you have submitted your report.

    This sentence is indicated in the TOEFL workbook as correct, but I cannot figure out why.In my opinion it has more sense to be:
    We will be able to discuss the situation thoroughly after you submit your report.

    The present perfect tense is used to describe some action in the past which consequences are still present, therefore I don't know why future tense is used in the same sentence with present perfect. Present perfect in this sentence means that report is already submitted.

    Can anyone, please elaborate this?

    2. Since I last saw you, I got a job at the UN.

    According to the workbook, this sentence is incorrect and the correct form is:

    Since I last saw you, I have gotten a job at the UN.

    Can anyone explain what is wrong with the original construction. I usually tend to use present perfect in similar sentences only when there are time expressions like for and since. When there is word "last" like last year, last month etc, I always use past tense.


    Thank you for your help.

  1. Skrej's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: May 2015
    • Posts: 2,395
    #2

    Re: A question about present perfect tense

    Quote Originally Posted by Mickaleto View Post

    1. We will be able to discuss the situation thoroughly after you have submitted your report.

    This sentence is indicated in the TOEFL workbook as correct, but I cannot figure out why.In my opinion it has more sense to be:
    We will be able to discuss the situation thoroughly after you submit your report.

    The present perfect tense is used to describe some action in the past which consequences are still present, therefore I don't know why future tense is used in the same sentence with present perfect. Present perfect in this sentence means that report is already submitted.

    Can anyone, please elaborate this?.
    One of the many uses of the Present Perfect is for an uncompleted action you're expecting. I think that's the situation that applies here. Although it's a future event, once it has been submitted it will still be a past event in relation to their discussion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mickaleto View Post

    2. Since I last saw you, I got a job at the UN.

    According to the workbook, this sentence is incorrect and the correct form is:

    Since I last saw you, I have gotten a job at the UN.

    Can anyone explain what is wrong with the original construction. I usually tend to use present perfect in similar sentences only when there are time expressions like for and since. When there is word "last" like last year, last month etc, I always use past tense.

    Thank you for your help.
    We use the Present Perfect to discuss change over time. It's true you're not supposed to use a specific time with the Present Perfect, but you can still reference time periods.

    I often refer my students to this page - perhaps it will help you. I find the timeline diagrams particularly useful. You might want to reference the particular section about using time expressions with the Present Perfect.

    Hope that helps.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Serbo-Croatian
      • Home Country:
      • Croatia
      • Current Location:
      • Belgium

    • Join Date: Jul 2015
    • Posts: 3
    #3

    Re: A question about present perfect tense

    Thank you very much. Your link is very helpful.

    Can you also tell me, for the question nr. 1 if my the following construction is also correct: We will be able to discuss the situation thoroughly after you submit your report.

    Thank you once again.

  2. Skrej's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: May 2015
    • Posts: 2,395
    #4

    Re: A question about present perfect tense

    Yes, that would also work just as well.

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

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 6,332
    #5

    Re: A question about present perfect tense

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

    Hello, Mickaleto:

    I have found some information that may interest you. (It certainly interested me.)

    Four famous scholars say that "the present perfective is common ... for a future event that precedes the future event referred to in the [main] clause."

    They give these four sentences:

    1. When they have scored their next goal, we will go home.
    2. As soon as I have retired, I'll buy a cottage in the country.
    3. After they have left, we can smoke.
    4. If I have written the paper before Monday, I will call you.

    The scholars say that a "common alternative" is the simple present for those four sentences.

    5. When I have read the chapter, I'll put the kettle on.

    a. The scholars say that the present tense cannot be used in #5.

    i. Why? Because, they say, the "when-clause is durative." (my emphasis)

    (a) My dictionries tell me that, grammatically speaking, "durative" means: a verb that denotes continuing action. E.g., "walk" is durative: "step" is not.

    Sources: Quirk, Greenbaum, Leech, Svartvik, A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language (1985), pages 1019 -1020; The New Oxford American Dictionary (2001); Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary (2001).

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

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 6,332
    #6

    Re: A question about present perfect tense

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

    I have found some very helpful information that I am delighted to share with anyone who is interested in this topic.

    Those four experts (Quirk et al.) give these two sentences (emphases are mine).

    1. "I have lost ten pounds since I started swimming."
    2. "Since leaving home, Larry has written to his parents just once."

    They then say this: "In informal [my emphasis] Am.E, and increasingly in informal Br.E., nonperfective forums are commonly used."

    Thus:

    3. "I lost ...."

    4. "Since leaving home, Larry wrote ...."



    Source: Quirk et al., pages 1015 - 1016.

  3. Matthew Wai's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong

    • Join Date: Nov 2013
    • Posts: 7,816
    #7

    Re: A question about present perfect tense

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    5. When I have read the chapter, I'll put the kettle on.
    a. The scholars say that the present tense cannot be used in #5.
    I would think that the speaker will put the kettle on while reading instead of after reading if the present tense was used, but I am not a teacher.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    4. "Since leaving home, Larry wrote ...."
    Why not use 'After' instead of 'Since'?

  4. Matthew Wai's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong

    • Join Date: Nov 2013
    • Posts: 7,816
    #8

    Re: A question about present perfect tense

    Quote Originally Posted by Mickaleto View Post
    I don't know why future tense is used in the same sentence with present perfect.
    Put simply, I think both the present simple and the present perfect can refer to the future when used after such conjunctions as until, when, before, after, once, and as soon as, but I am not a teacher.

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

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 6,332
    #9

    Re: A question about present perfect tense

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    I would think that the speaker will put the kettle on while reading instead of after reading if the present tense was used, but I am not a teacher





    Very interesting point.

Similar Threads

  1. [Grammar] Present perfect tense question
    By Steven26 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 21-Sep-2014, 16:14
  2. [Grammar] a question about present perfect tense
    By Heidi in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 21-Jun-2010, 04:11
  3. present perfect tense & present perfect continuous tense
    By *zaizai~love* in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 30-Oct-2008, 23:06
  4. [Grammar] A question about present perfect tense
    By simplebeing in forum Frequently Asked Questions
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 15-Jul-2008, 15:56
  5. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 14-Mar-2007, 16:13

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
  •