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    #1

    Question We started vs We have started

    Good day.

    I need someone who can help me distinguish the difference between the two statements below.

    (Statment A) We started the exam.
    (Statement B) We have started the exam.

    I believe they have a difference but I am really confuse. Please, help me. And thank you in advance! :)

  1. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: We started vs We have started

    I would use B if it is a recent act.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: We started vs We have started

    NOT A TEACHER

    Teacher: Time's up. Please give me your test paper.

    Mona: I still have one more question to answer.

    Teacher: I am very sorry, but it's now 10 a.m. We started the exam exactly at 9 a.m. and announced that everyone would have one hour. I cannot make an exception for you.

    Mona: I understand.

    *****

    Teacher: Excuse me, no dictionaries are allowed.

    Mona: But I don't understand this word.

    Teacher: I'm very sorry, but we have (already) started the exam.

    Mona: Yes, I know. The test started five minutes ago.

    Teacher: Don't you remember my telling the class that all dictionaries should be put away once the test started?

    Mona: Yes, I do. I apologize.

    Teacher: No problem. Good luck on the test.

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    #4

    Re: We started vs We have started

    The present perfect cannot be used with a specific time expression even if it is a recent act, as shown in the example below.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    I am very sorry, but it's now 10 a.m. We started the exam exactly at 9 a.m.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #5

    Re: We started vs We have started

    Thank you everyone for sharing your smart opinion about my problem.

    My analyzation is that time matters in statement A. Unlike in statement B, it does not care about the time when the exam started. It is concern about the idea that the exam is already on-going since it has started. Am I correct?

    Statement B can also be used in other situations. Like for example, someone is trying to interfere the examination however the teacher would say to this interferer that, "I am sorry but you can not disturb the students now. We have started the exam."

    Thank you so much! I think I get the difference now. By the way, I really appreciate the conversation between Mona and her anonymous teacher.

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    #6

    Re: We started vs We have started

    Quote Originally Posted by candidgel View Post
    My analyzation is that time matters in statement A. Unlike in statement B, it does not care about the time when the exam started. It is concern about the idea that the exam is already on-going since it has started. Am I correct?
    Yes, I believe you've basically got the right idea. Sentence B focuses more on the present, not the past.

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    #7

    Re: We started vs We have started

    Quote Originally Posted by candidgel View Post

    My analyzation
    My analysis
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  4. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: We started vs We have started

    Quote Originally Posted by candidgel View Post
    the exam is already on-going since it has started. Am I correct?
    I think the exam has been ongoing since it started.
    I am not a teacher.

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