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    #1

    Choice between preterit and present perfect

    Hi,

    One of my main sticky point right now is to correctly choose between the preterit and the present perfect.

    I had a situation where I wanted to say to a colleague that the secretary is no longer, there therefore we couldn't use the photocopier.

    I said "The secretary left, so we cannot do that" but I have some doubts wheter it's right or not. The fact that the secretary is no longer here has the consequences in present so maybe "The secretary has left so we cannot do that" is more appropriate. What do you think?

  1. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Choice between preterit and present perfect

    Right. In AmE, it's considered an ordinary fact and the preterite is used: The secretary left.
    In BrE and most of the Commonwealth (but not Canada, see AmE) the change of state is seen as the important point, and the present perfect is used: She has gone home.

    Please note, if you say "the secretary is no longer" this means she has died. Not appropriate in most situations, outside a Monty Python video.

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Choice between preterit and present perfect

    I think you meant to say:

    "The secretary is no longer here."

    • Member Info
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    #4

    Re: Choice between preterit and present perfect

    You can have a metaphorical sticking point but, unless you work in the British railways, you can't have sticky points.
    I am not a teacher.

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