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  1. #1

    past simple vs present perfect

    My grandfather died 30 years ago. I never met him.

    My grandfather died 30 years ago. I've never met him.



    Which is correct?

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    #2

    Re: past simple vs present perfect

    "I've never met him" has a connection to the present and holds the possibility that I will meet him at some time. Therefore, sentence 1, "...I never met him" is the correct choice.

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    #3

    Re: past simple vs present perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by mykwyner View Post
    "I've never met him" has a connection to the present and holds the possibility that I will meet him at some time. Therefore, sentence 1, "...I never met him" is the correct choice.
    Mykwyner,

    I have a question.

    Can we use the simple past referring to something that hasn't happened and surely neither will?

    Ex: He never played cricket. (he hasn't played it and neither will he because he dislikes it).
    Last edited by retro; 11-Jan-2007 at 04:08.


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    #4

    Re: past simple vs present perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by mykwyner View Post
    "I've never met him" has a connection to the present and holds the possibility that I will meet him at some time. Therefore, sentence 1, "...I never met him" is the correct choice.
    M, I don't believe the connection has to remain either current or possible for the present perfect to be used. For this particular instance, it could be an experential PP or a PP of consequential to the moment.

    PP of consequence:

    My grandfather died 30 years ago so obviously [to address this current question you've posed and to even be a bit more polite than when we use the simple past] I've never met him.

    Experential PP:

    A: Have you ever met your grandfather?

    B: No, I've never met him. He died 30 years ago.

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    #5

    Re: past simple vs present perfect

    RK<
    I should have said that I thought that the simple past was the better of the two choices (not the only correct choice) because there is no possibility that it will happen.


    I never got Christmas presents.
    I have never gotten Christmas presents.

    To my ear, the second sentence holds the unspoken thought, "until now."

    Retro,

    The simple past can certainly be used in sentences like, "He never played cricket."


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    #6

    Re: past simple vs present perfect

    Hi,
    What abt I had never met him? Seems logical, doesn't it?


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    #7

    Re: past simple vs present perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by Humble View Post
    Hi,
    What abt I had never met him? Seems logical, doesn't it?
    Good question, Humble. It'll require some cogitation.


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    #8

    Re: past simple vs present perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by Humble View Post
    Hi,
    What abt I had never met him? Seems logical, doesn't it?
    my 2 cents:

    Have you met your father? (he is still alive just like you)
    This is called the event present perfect. The implicit time period that frames the event began when the son was born and reaches up to the present.

    Answer: I had never met him, before he first visited my mother, but I have met him several times since that time.

    or
    I have never met him up to this moment.

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