Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5 Last
Results 1 to 10 of 44
  1. #1
    Franck87 is offline Newbie
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Turkish
      • Home Country:
      • Turkey
      • Current Location:
      • Belgium
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    27

    Usage of "Just" with Present Perfect

    Dear All, I'm trying to understand how flexible can present perfect tense be used within some specific contexts.

    For example during a daily talk when we want to describe what we mean to do, we say " I just wanted to..."
    I guess in such cases "just" possess a polite meaning, sort of synonym for "only".
    However "what we mean to do" most of the time happens in very recent past.
    Therefore why don't we ever use "I have just wanted to ..."?
    Allow me to clarify as below:

    1)Just (only)

    I just wanted to help you.----> This is very common usage.
    I have just wanted to help you. ----> Have you ever heard/used in this way? Is it utterly wrong?

    2) Just (time adverb) in recent past actions


    I just wanted to help you. ---> This is very common usage.
    I have just wanted to help you. ---> This must be common I think especially in British English ?

    3) Without "just "as time adverb in recent past actions (only skipping "just" from No.2 above)

    I wanted to help you.---> This is very common usage
    I have wanted to help you ---> Does this sound natural when we wanted to help let's say 5 minutes ago. Have you ever heard/used in this way?

    Your responses will be appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    22,259

    Re: Usage of "Just" with Present Perfect

    The present perfect sentences are not natural.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. #3
    Franck87 is offline Newbie
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Turkish
      • Home Country:
      • Turkey
      • Current Location:
      • Belgium
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    27

    Re: Usage of "Just" with Present Perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    The present perfect sentences are not natural.
    Can you please explain why? I think you are evaluating according to American English?

  4. #4
    teechar's Avatar
    teechar is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Iraq
      • Current Location:
      • Iraq
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    11,456

    Re: Usage of "Just" with Present Perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    The present perfect is common in British English with 'lust' when 'just' means 'a very short time ago'.
    Was that a typo or a Freudian (or even Piscean) slip?

  5. #5
    Franck87 is offline Newbie
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Turkish
      • Home Country:
      • Turkey
      • Current Location:
      • Belgium
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    27

    Re: Usage of "Just" with Present Perfect

    Thanks Piscean.
    So in this respect when I say " I have just wanted to help you" this only means in British English I wanted to help you short time ago?
    Can I skip "just" and use present perfect again to have similar meaning (still short time but not "just", let's say half an hour ago)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    The present perfect sentences do not work in British English, either.

    The present perfect is common in British English with 'lust' when 'just' means 'a very short time ago'.

  6. #6
    Matthew Wai's Avatar
    Matthew Wai is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    8,327

    Re: Usage of "Just" with Present Perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by Franck87 View Post
    Can you please explain why?
    'Want' is a stative verb. I think that's why the present perfect is inappropriate.
    I am not a teacher.

  7. #7
    Franck87 is offline Newbie
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Turkish
      • Home Country:
      • Turkey
      • Current Location:
      • Belgium
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    27

    Re: Usage of "Just" with Present Perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    That is not a natural sentence. I can't think of a natural context in which I would say "I have just wanted ...".
    A teacher asks a question to the student in an exam.
    The student doesn't reply correctly and says: " Teacher, you never help us but ask hard questions all the time"
    Teacher says: " I have just wanted to help you. However you didn't realize. My question that I have just asked already includes the answer."

  8. #8
    Franck87 is offline Newbie
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Turkish
      • Home Country:
      • Turkey
      • Current Location:
      • Belgium
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    27

    Re: Usage of "Just" with Present Perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    That is not natural. The teacher might say, for example, "I have just tried to help you".
    So if I want to use "want" in this context, I can only choose simple past? "I just wanted to help you."
    Can you please explain why present perfect doesn't sound natural to you regarding my examples? Is it just because how people prefer using or is there some lingusitic expalanations?

  9. #9
    Matthew Wai's Avatar
    Matthew Wai is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    8,327

    Re: Usage of "Just" with Present Perfect

    The present perfect refers to a completed action. I can't imagine how 'want' can be completed.
    I am not a teacher.

  10. #10
    Franck87 is offline Newbie
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Turkish
      • Home Country:
      • Turkey
      • Current Location:
      • Belgium
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Posts
    27

    Re: Usage of "Just" with Present Perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    The present perfect refers to a completed action. I can't imagine how 'want' can be completed.
    Stative verbs (want, like, hate etc.) cannot be used with progressive tenses in English, this is the only rule.
    I can say "I wanted to..." and this is complete action then why not " I have wanted to..."?

Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5 Last

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •