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    #1

    That was the first time I played the piano or That was the first time I have played

    Hello all :)

    Iīve got the following advice on a different forum a few weeks ago. It seemed to be clear to me,. However once I came back to it and saw there is one thing which I donīt understand well. The speaker who I asked again didnīt know how he meant it. Therefore I consider this to be a great place to ask somebody and get to know what the prefered version is.

    Here is the advice I was given:

    If the speaker has just finished playing, s/he can choose between these:

    This is the first time I've played the piano. (He's still mentally living the experience if it being "the first time" and he's probably still sitting at the piano as he speaks.)

    This has been the first time I've played the piano. (He's not distancing himself from the action at all.)

    That was the first time I played the piano. (He's already thinking about it as a finished action. He is mentally distancing himself from the action.)



    Iīd like to know what I should use if I wanted to speak a correct English. That was the first time I played the piano or That was the first time I have played the piano - if I were speaking shortly after I finished playing the instrument.

    Thank you.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: That was the first time I played the piano or That was the first time I have play

    I agree with the advice you received. Soon after the playing, the present perfect would be likely. Later, the simple past would be normal. The problem is this depends on the speaker's view of the action and the timing, so the usage will vary.

  2. Eckaslike's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: That was the first time I played the piano or That was the first time I have play

    I find the second sentence slightly unnatural.

    This is probably because there are only two modes; you are either playing or you are not.

    While playing, I would find it natural to say:
    "This is the first time I've played the piano." (I would still have to be doing it while I spoke because of using the word "is").

    Having played the piano and then stopped, I would naturally use:
    "That was the first time I played the piano."

    The second sentence sounds like a strange combination. It's almost like something you'd expect the host of a television programme to say:
    "Well thank you everybody, this has been the first time I've played the piano."

    I'm expect others may disagree, but that is how I feel and think about the sentences.

    (I was working on this while Mike posted his response).

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: That was the first time I played the piano or That was the first time I have play

    In BrE, "That was the first time I had played the piano" is natural.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #5

    Re: That was the first time I played the piano or That was the first time I have play

    Thank you for you help. Could you give me an opinion on the "problem" below please:


    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    In BrE, "That was the first time I had played the piano" is natural.

    On that forum I was told that if I have just finished playing the instrument I should not use : It was the first time I had played - quote from the forum
    That would be fine if the speaker were talking about an event in the past (not the very recent past).
    Therefore I expected that the only possible way (including This is the first time I've played the piano and This has been the first time I've played the piano. ) to say this is: It was the first time I have played.


    However on the forum where I discussed this problem before I posted it here the following problem occured. Originally I was told that "That was the first time I played the piano." is an acceptable way to express this idea when I have just finished playing the instrument.Later I asked whether "It was the first time I have played. " is also acceptable.

    After asking this question another speaker told me that " It was the first time I have played. " is probably the version I should use and the speaker who recommended that I use " It was the first time I played " did a typping error.

    If you would like to see that mentioned discussion - here is the link to the forum where this problem was originally discussed:

    http://forum.wordreference.com/threa...#post-15578361


    Thank you,

    Dominik
    Last edited by Dominik92; 11-Oct-2015 at 15:00. Reason: just did it more clear

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