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  1. Boris Tatarenko's Avatar
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    #1

    Justin Gatlin has been banned in the past

    JMurray said: Justin Gatlin has been banned in the past for offences involving performance enhancing drugs. Because of these bans, there has been some controversy surrounding Gatlin's appearance at the 2016 Olympics.

    I was a little bit surprised that he used the present perfect in the first sentence. I did some research and I found that native speakers normally use this tense with the phrase "in the past". But now I'm pretty confused. An explanation can be the following: the phrase "in the past" is unspecified time in the past so the present perfect is correct here. But what about the phrase "some time ago" then? Can't we say the same about this phrase? I mean "some time ago" doesn't clearly show us when exactly something happened but we always use the past simple with it.

    I hope you understand what i'm trying to say.
    Please, correct all my mistakes. I should know English perfectly and if you show me my mistakes I will achieve my dream a little bit faster. A lot of thanks.

    Not a teacher nor a native speaker.

  2. Piscean's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Justin Gatlin has been banned in the past

    'Some time ago' is a clear past-time marker. 'In the past' is a vaguer expression. We can see this time-period as extending up to the present moment.
    Last edited by Piscean; 11-Aug-2016 at 14:29. Reason: typo

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    #3

    Re: Justin Gatlin has been banned in the past

    Apparently "In the past" is more flexible, being used with the simple past, present perfect and past perfect tenses.

    http://fraze.it/n_search.jsp?q=in+the+past&l=0
    I am not a teacher.

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    #4

    Re: Justin Gatlin has been banned in the past

    He has clocked up two bans so far, and who knows whether he's still doping. The present perfect makes his current doping state less certain for me.

  3. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Justin Gatlin has been banned in the past

    If 'he was banned some time ago' was used, I would think that he was once banned but is no longer banned now.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #6

    Re: Justin Gatlin has been banned in the past

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    If 'he was banned some time ago' was used, I would think that he was once banned but is no longer banned now.
    More likely, it would indicate that the ban persists.

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    #7

    Re: Justin Gatlin has been banned in the past

    There is a controversy now, so the bans have a connection to now. He'd use the past tense, and complain about broadcasters who insisted on using the present perfect, which suggests it is not finished business.

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