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  1. Unregistered
    Guest
    #1

    tense in the independent clause

    for the following independent clause, what tense is grammatically correct to use, the past tense or present perfect tense? iíve personally been using the past tense but iíve seen both cases. now iím confused.
    itís been a while since i saw him.
    itís been a while since iíve seen him.
    could anybody help me on this please?
    many thanks,
    bamboo

  2. #2

    Re: tense in the independent clause

    The first sentence is correct. But you have to put the word "last" into it.
    It's been a while since I last saw him.
    It's more grammactical
    The second is not, you can't use the tense like that.


    • Join Date: May 2006
    • Posts: 1,335
    #3

    Re: tense in the independent clause

    Hi,
    I agree with Belly, but still the other usage is rather common.


    • Join Date: Sep 2005
    • Posts: 260
    #4

    Re: tense in the independent clause

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    for the following independent clause, what tense is grammatically correct to use, the past tense or present perfect tense? iíve personally been using the past tense but iíve seen both cases. now iím confused.
    itís been a while since i saw him.
    itís been a while since iíve seen him.
    could anybody help me on this please?
    many thanks,
    bamboo
    It depends on your circumstances.

    The first sentence is correct if there is no chance of seeing him again, the second sentence is correct if he is still around somewhere and you expect to see him.

    In simple terms, use past simple if the matter is finished

    "Charles Dickens wrote a lot of books" - he won't write any more because he is dead.


    Use present perfect if the matter is unfinished, current, or has current effects.

    "Dan Brown has written a lot of books" - he is still alive and could write some more.

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