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Thread: Recent past

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    #1

    Recent past

    talking about recent past " some thing happened few seconds ago " is one of the uses of present perfect ? For example : I'm walking with my friend " Ooh, I have dropped my pen, can you help me to find it ? " ... is that right ? If it's right so, present perfect the only tense can be used to talk about very recent actions or past simple aslo ?

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    #2

    Re: Recent past

    Welcome to the forum, Ab.m.

    For me, a speaker of BrE, the present perfect is the most natural form in that utterance - the dropping of the pen has present relevance. However, I do not find the use of the past simple, locating the dropping in past time (however recent) unnatural.

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    #3

    Re: Recent past

    You asked three questions. The short answers are: No. Yes. No.

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    #4

    Re: Recent past

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    Welcome to the forum, Ab.m.

    For me, a speaker of BrE, the present perfect is the most natural form in that utterance - the dropping of the pen has present relevance. However, I do not find the use of the past simple, locating the dropping in past time (however recent) unnatural.
    So, Everything that happened “a moment ago” and has present relevance is usually expressed with the present perfect .. and the word just can also be used in the same way, is that Right ?

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    #5

    Re: Recent past

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    You asked three questions. The short answers are: No. Yes. No.
    Could you explain more please ?
    And Thanks in advance.

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    #6

    Re: Recent past

    1) Talking about what happened a few seconds ago should not be considered one of the uses of present perfect. Sometimes present perfect is used for this but so too is past simple. Present perfect is used when there is present relevance to a past event, no matter how recent or distant the past event.

    2) "Ooh, I have dropped my pen, can you help me to find it ?" is a good example because it clearly has present relevance.

    3) Past simple can be used to talk about what happened a seconds ago when there is no present relevance. What just happened? What was that? Did you see that?

    With both present perfect and past simple, it is the word just which really carries the meaning of 'a few seconds ago' rather than the nature of the verb tense.

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    #7

    Re: Recent past

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    1) Talking about what happened a few seconds ago should not be considered one of the uses of present perfect. Sometimes present perfect is used for this but so too is past simple. Present perfect is used when there is present relevance to a past event, no matter how recent or distant the past event.

    2) "Ooh, I have dropped my pen, can you help me to find it ?" is a good example because it clearly has present relevance.

    3) Past simple can be used to talk about what happened a seconds ago when there is no present relevance. What just happened? What was that? Did you see that?

    With both present perfect and past simple, it is the word just which really carries the meaning of 'a few seconds ago' rather than the nature of the verb tense.
    So, It depends on whether I'm talking about a past event in isolation, even if it happened few seconds ago it's better to use past simple , or whether I'm relating it to the present time so I should use present perfect

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    #8

    Re: Recent past

    Quote Originally Posted by Ab.m View Post
    So, It depends on whether I'm talking about a past event in isolation, even if it happened few seconds ago it's better to use past simple , or whether I'm relating it to the present time so I should use present perfect
    Exactly, yes.

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