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    #1

    present perfect + plural

    Hello everybody!

    Today I brought two doubts, first with present perfect

    1) I can't understand grammatically this sentence: I have returned. (Why should I use present perfect? The action has already finished, isn't it? So, why?)

    2) Sometimes I face some difficulties with plural:

    ''Most countries have strong restrictions on owning handguns.'' - Why should I use restrictions instead of restriction? Only because it has mentioned the noun countrieS? How to know the plural in situations like that? Cause, in sense of understanding, it can be very reasonable using or not 's'.

  1. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: present perfect + plural

    Let's look at the first sentence. I have returned = I was gone, but now I'm back.

    Say:

    The action has finished, hasn't it?

    If you don't want to use present perfect then use different words. Say: "I'm back!" (That does have a different flavor to it.)

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: present perfect + plural

    Second sentence. I suppose you could argue that that there is some country somewhere that has only one such restriction, but restrictions usually come in plural form.

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    #4

    Re: present perfect + plural

    First may I suggest that you bring questions rather than doubts? In international English we don't usually use "doubt" as a noun.

    Regarding your second question: first, I have another suggestion about how to post the question. I noticed that you used two single-quotation marks, '', rather than one double-quotation, ". The two choices look almost identical, but only the double-quote is correct. I believe that BrE often calls these punctuation marks "inverted commas".

    In the quoted sentence, restrictions is plural because the writer understands that more than one restriction applies in most countries. If only one rule is normal, you could write a sentence like All countries have a law ​against murder.

    [Edit] The choice of singular or plural is not related to the number of countries we're talking about. You can, for example, write The UK has strong restrictions on owning firearms or Some cities have a restriction on building height.
    Last edited by GoesStation; 23-Feb-2016 at 18:37. Reason: Add examples
    I am not a teacher.

  3. teechar's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: present perfect + plural

    Quote Originally Posted by Allan Martini Colombo View Post
    Hello everybody!
    Hello, Allan.

    Quote Originally Posted by Allan Martini Colombo View Post
    Today, I brought have two questions. doubts,
    In future, make a separate post for each question. Also, note that you needed a full stop instead of a comma above. Otherwise, that sentence would be a comma splice.
    Quote Originally Posted by Allan Martini Colombo View Post
    The first is with about the present perfect.

    1) I can't understand grammatically why the present perfect was used in this sentence: I have returned. (Why should I use present perfect? The action has already finished, isn't it? So, why?)
    The present perfect is used to indicate that the result or consequence of the action is still relevant or important.
    In what context do you intend to use (or did you find) that sentence?

    Quote Originally Posted by Allan Martini Colombo View Post
    2) Sometimes I face some difficulties with the plural:

    "Most countries have strong restrictions on owning handguns." - Why should I use "restrictions" instead of "restriction?" Is it because of the plural Only because it has mentioned the noun "countries?" How to know the plural in situations like that? Cause, in sense of understanding, it can be very reasonable using or not 's'.
    Did you notice that all the nouns in that sentence are in the plural?
    When you're speaking in a general sense in English, you usually use the plural form. In this case, we're talking in general; not about specific countries, restrictions or guns. Therefore, we use the plural form for those nouns.
    Last edited by teechar; 24-Feb-2016 at 16:34. Reason: added a couple of spaced

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: present perfect + plural

    "In international English we don't usually use "doubt" as a noun."
    I have my doubts about that.
    "Is there any doubt?"


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    #7

    Re: present perfect + plural

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    "In international English we don't usually use "doubt" as a noun."
    I have my doubts about that.
    "Is there any doubt?"

    I realized not long after posting my comment that it was too broad. Can you think of a succinct way to describe the Indian English use of doubt to mean "question"? I see it frequently in the first line of online posts like "I have a doubt about using the word doubt."
    I am not a teacher.

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    #8

    Re: present perfect + plural

    Are you sure they are using 'doubt' for 'question'? I understand that they have a question because they have a doubt.

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    #9

    Re: present perfect + plural

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Are you sure they are using 'doubt' for 'question'? I understand that they have a question because they have a doubt.
    I've often seen I have a doubt used where the only way I could understand it was to read doubt as "question". Is it possible in Australian English to say "I have a doubt about the word doubt​?" It sounds very weird to me. In fact, when I first started seeing this construction in online forums, I had no idea what the poster meant.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #10

    Re: present perfect + plural

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    Is it possible in Australian English to say "I have a doubt about the word doubt​?" It sounds very weird to me.
    It doesn't sound natural to me, a speaker of BrE.

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