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  1. #1

    Once again present perfect

    I find in some place following sentence:
    ...
    - Mike, as a seargent of the police I came to the office
    at 9. Always.
    - OK boss. But once I have come at 9 and there was no one over here.
    ...

    Is it right to use perfect form here? The "once" is suspicious.

    thanks

  2. Harry Smith's Avatar
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      • Armenian
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      • Armenia
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

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    #2

    Re: Once again present perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by alrod View Post
    I find in some place following sentence:
    ...
    - Mike, as a seargent of the police I came to the office
    at 9. Always.
    - OK boss. But once I have come at 9 and there was no one over here.
    ...

    Is it right to use perfect form here? The "once" is suspicious.

    thanks
    No, it's more correct to say : Once I came at 9 and there was no one over here.


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 3,059
    #3

    Re: Once again present perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by alrod View Post
    I find in some place following sentence:
    ...
    - Mike, as a seargent of the police I came to the office
    at 9. Always.
    - OK boss. But once I have come at 9 and there was no one over here.
    ...
    Is it right to use perfect form here? The "once" is suspicious.
    thanks
    There is a strong tendency among ENLS to avoid using adverbial markers which seem to place a past action at a particular point in time, which then, would tend to cause us to use a past tense.

    But, in speech, this strong tendency is sometimes overcome by semantic considerations. Also there is a reason for a speaker to use this adverb, 'once' with the present perfect, the present perfect of experience;

    Have you ever come here at 9 AM? How many times have you come here at 9 AM?

    CGEL (at page 144)

    This use of the present perfect [experential] allows for the inclusion, under restrictive conditions, of a past time adjunct.
    I think it would have sounded more "natural" if it had been phrased,

    - OK boss. But I have come here once at 9 and there was no one over here.

    Remember, the strong tendency that native spekaers have to follow certain "rules" can be overridden for other important language considerations.

  3. #4

    Re: Once again present perfect

    Thank you, it is clear now.
    Just for training : Can I use the past perfect in the same context , like

    "- OK boss. But yesterday I had come by 9 and there was no one over here."

    ?
    thanks again

  4. Harry Smith's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Armenian
      • Home Country:
      • Armenia
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 2,932
    #5

    Re: Once again present perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by alrod View Post
    Thank you, it is clear now.
    Just for training : Can I use the past perfect in the same context , like

    "- OK boss. But yesterday I had come by 9 and there was no one over here."

    ?
    thanks again
    Yes, it's fine!

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