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  1. #1
    Gunner1999 is offline Junior Member
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    Were you at school today? or Have you been to school today?

    Hey
    I'd like to show you a conversation, which consists of 2 tenses. I know, that American speakers can use the past simple instead of the present perfect in many cases, whilst British people prefer the perfect tense.

    John: Have you been to/at school today? Or Were you at school today?
    Bart: Yes, I have. Or Yes, I was.
    John: Have you learnt anything interesting? Or Did you learn anything interesting?
    Bart: I've learnt 2 mathematical formulas. Or I learnt 2 mathematical formulas.
    John: Have your teachers given you homework? or Did your teachers give you homework?
    Bart: Yes, they have. Or Yes, they did. We have to write a composition about Shakespeare's works. We're supposed to hand it in until Friday.
    I think that the present perfect is a better tense here.
    And here I'd like to show you a monologue:

    The meeting has just finished. We have decided to sign a new player. Unfortunately we haven't managed to extend the contract with the most effective striker, therefore we have to sell him. However we've bought a talented player from Manchester United. On the whole Arsenal has been strengthened. We're likely to win the FA Cup again.

    Can the present perfect be used here?

  2. #2
    Skrej's Avatar
    Skrej is offline Key Member
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    Re: Were you at school today? or Have you been to school today?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunner1999 View Post
    Hey
    I'd like to show you a conversation, which consists of 2 tenses. I know, that American speakers can use the past simple instead of the present perfect in many cases, whilst British people prefer the perfect tense.

    John: Have you been to/at school today? Or Were you at school today?
    Bart: Yes, I have. Or Yes, I was.
    John: Have you learnt anything interesting? Or Did you learn anything interesting?
    Bart: I've learnt 2 mathematical formulas. Or I learnt 2 mathematical formulas.
    John: Have your teachers given you homework? or Did your teachers give you homework?
    Bart: Yes, they have. Or Yes, they did. We have to write a composition about Shakespeare's works. We're supposed to hand it in until Friday.
    I think that the present perfect is a better tense here.
    Well, as a speaker of AmE I'd prefer the simple past. The present perfect sounds a bit stiff or pretentious to my ear. I doubt many AmE speakers would find the perfect tense very natural. That's just my opinion of course.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gunner1999 View Post
    And here I'd like to show you a monologue:

    The meeting has just finished. We have decided to sign a new player. Unfortunately we haven't managed to extend the contract with the most effective striker, therefore we have to sell him. However we've bought a talented player from Manchester United. On the whole Arsenal has been strengthened. We're likely to win the FA Cup again.

    Can the present perfect be used here?
    Sure. You're still dealing with the same question of preference, however. Since this sounds like some kind of press conference or manager's report, I don't find the perfect tense nearly as jarring as in the two-way dialogue above.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  3. #3
    Gunner1999 is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Were you at school today? or Have you been to school today?

    Thanks for your help. But I would be really content, if a British person glanced at these examples.
    Last edited by Gunner1999; 12-Jul-2017 at 08:15.

  4. #4
    Gunner1999 is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Were you at school today? or Have you been to school today?

    Alright. Why do you think that the past simple is more suitable? What if I used the present perfect? I'm talking about the dialogue.

  5. #5
    Gunner1999 is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Were you at school today? or Have you been to school today?

    Ok. I'll give the last example.

    John: I've been to the supermarket.
    Bob: Did you buy something tasty?
    John: Yes, I did. I bought a box of chicken wings.
    Bob: Did you get the video game, that my friend has?
    John: No, I didn't. However I got you a new watch.

    Is everything alright?

  6. #6
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    Amigos4 is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Were you at school today? or Have you been to school today?

    Sticklers of standard English might question your use of the word 'alright' instead of 'all right'. You will find an interesting discussion here and here.

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