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  1. Junior Member
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    #1

    American native speakers and simple past and present perfect tenses

    Hi,
    I've been trying to figure out when American native speakers use simple past over present perfect tense and vice versa. Unfortunately, I couldn't figure that out. And I ended to that there is no rule at all. They just tend to use the simple past tense the majority of time and sometimes use the present perfect instead.
    - The following are examples of what I heard In an american TV series,

    1- I lost my job.
    2- A recorded message of the answer machine of the phone says "Hi, you have reached the Hefernan family, please, leave a message".
    3- Have you got a job? -- I know that got here should've been "gotten" but the American replace it with "got". So, it's present perfect.
    Edited:
    He was talking about an event in the past not present. It could be " did you have a job, yetand?".

    And many more examples.
    Am I right about my guessing? no rule? But in the majority of situations they tend to use the simple past?
    Last edited by Eslam Elbyaly; 19-Aug-2019 at 09:14. Reason: Changed past prefect to present perfect, That's what I meant in the first place. And tried to make example no. 3 more clear.

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    #2

    Re: Native American speakers and simple past and past perfect tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Eslam Elbyaly View Post
    I've been trying to figure out when American native speakers use simple past over past perfect tense and vice versa.
    I think you mean present perfect.

    I eat - present (simple)
    I ate - past (simple)
    I have eaten - present perfect
    I had eaten - past perfect.

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    #3

    Re: Native American speakers and simple past and past perfect tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Eslam Elbyaly View Post
    3- Have you got a job? -- I know that "got" here should've been "gotten" but the Americans replace it with "got".
    Got is correct there. We Americans always use the past participle got when to have got means "to have". Otherwise, we nearly always use gotten.
    I am not a teacher.

  4. Junior Member
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    #4

    Re: Native American speakers and simple past and past perfect tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    I think you mean present perfect.
    Yes, my mistake. I have edited the question.

  5. probus's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: American native speakers and simple past and present perfect tenses

    I have changed the word order in the thread title to avoid confusion. In the United States the phrase "native American" has been co-opted to name the descendants of North America's original inhabitants. In Canada we refer to them as "first nations."

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    #6

    Re: American native speakers and simple past and present perfect tenses

    I wouldn't say it's been co-opted, which makes it sound like someone was clinging to that term for some other purpose. If "native American" existed before it was introduced as a more accurate term than "Indian" for the descendants of the people who lived in American territory before the European conquest, I don't recall ever having seen it.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #7

    Re: American native speakers and simple past and present perfect tenses

    I recall a news item from quite a few years ago that said many college and university students had obtained reduced tuition rates by claiming to be native American when they had in fact no Indian blood. The report quoted education officials as saying they did not know how many were fraudsters and how many were just interpreting the phrase according to the natural meaning of its words: a person born in the United States. This shows the danger of adopting a euphemistic or politically correct phrase to avoid referring to people as Indians. That's why I chose co-opted.

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    #8

    Re: American native speakers and simple past and present perfect tenses

    I agree that "native American" is inaccurate. I don't think "co-opted" is a good way to describe its adoption, though. It wasn't previously in use, so it couldn't have been co-opted from anything.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #9

    Re: American native speakers and simple past and present perfect tenses

    NOT A TEACHER


    Just a gentle reminder that one always capitalizes the "n": "Mona and Juan visited a Native American reservation in Arizona."

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    #10

    Re: American native speakers and simple past and present perfect tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    Just a gentle reminder that one always capitalizes the "n"
    That is so when referring to people formerly descended from those who lived there before Europeans arrive, but it's native speakers (of American English). its

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