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  1. #1
    bruxinha is offline Newbie
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    Present perfect or simple present?

    Hello,
    I'm in doubt about the right tense to use on the first example.... my feeling tells me it's present perfect (there is no time hint), but how do you explain that simple present isn't the best option? In the second example there is a clear time statement, so I would use the simple past...
    Examples:
    a) The budgie ____________________ (to disappear).
    b) The budgie ____________________ (to disappear) two days ago.

    Thanks a lot in advance for your help!

  2. #2
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: Present perfect or simple present?

    Past simple, present perfect, past perfect, various continuous tenses, future, modals, and even the present simple are possible in A depending on the context. Only the past simple works in B.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. #3
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Present perfect or simple present?

    There's no way to tell which tense to use in a) because there's no context.

  4. #4
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    Re: Present perfect or simple present?

    If this is a question from an exercise you found somewhere, there must be some instructions telling you what to do.

  5. #5
    bruxinha is offline Newbie
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    Re: Present perfect or simple present?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    There's no way to tell which tense to use in a) because there's no context.
    Sorry, I should have mentioned it... those sentences are the beginning of a text:

    The budgie ____________________ (to disappear). He ____________________ (to disappear) two days ago on the way to the home of his owner...... (and so on. The text then explains how the bird disappeared an the last sentence is: No one __________________________ (to see) the budgie since Friday.)

    I hope this helps to contextualize it better!

  6. #6
    bruxinha is offline Newbie
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    Re: Present perfect or simple present?

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    If this is a question from an exercise you found somewhere, there must be some instructions telling you what to do.
    Yes, it is an exercise, you have to fill in the missing tense forms.

  7. #7
    jutfrank's Avatar
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    Re: Present perfect or simple present?

    Quote Originally Posted by bruxinha View Post
    Sorry, I should have mentioned it... those sentences are the beginning of a text
    Yes, it is an exercise, you have to fill in the missing tense forms.
    Please remember to provide this crucial information in post #1 next time.

    Unfortunately, there's still not enough context to find whichever answer the test writer is looking for. My feeling is that the tense wanted is very probably present perfect. It isn't a good exercise.

    Please tell us where you took this exercise from.

  8. #8
    bruxinha is offline Newbie
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    Re: Present perfect or simple present?

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    Please tell us where you took this exercise from.
    Well, I have it from a teacher... it was in the folder of shared materials that we sometimes use when substituting another teacher (filed under grammar revisions), unfortunately without solutions and without author (so I cannot ask)...
    I would also use present perfect, but I wanted to be sure, since I'm not a native speaker and the pupils will ask for sure why they can't use the simple past on that one. Well, I guess they are not supposed to use the same tense with the same verb twice - and the second sentence must be simple past due to "two days ago"...

    Thanks a lot for your help!

  9. #9
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    Re: Present perfect or simple present?

    They absolutely can use the simple past as the first answer, but with a different effect. That's the issue you're facing.

    It's probably best to ditch this particular exercise and replace it with another one.

    Are you a teacher yourself, bruxinha?

  10. #10
    bruxinha is offline Newbie
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    Re: Present perfect or simple present?

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    They absolutely can use the simple past as the first answer, but with a different effect. That's the issue you're facing.

    It's probably best to ditch this particular exercise and replace it with another one.

    Are you a teacher yourself, bruxinha?
    Hi jutfrank,
    sorry for the delayed answer, I didn't see you question yesterday evening... (I guess I logged out before)

    Yes, I am a teacher. Why?

    Well, I did cut out this sentence... no need to repeat a verb, since the second sentence already informs that "the budgie disappeared two days ago", right?

    Thanks again for your help!

    (By the way, nice picture! )

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