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    #1

    the first time, the last time

    Grammar teaches us that in the sentence 'This is the first time (that) I've been to London', we have to use the perfect tense after 'that'.

    I wonder why there's no such rule 'of perfect tense' over the sentence 'That was the last time (that) I saw her' or 'Today is the last time I shall give you a lesson in French'.

    Thank you.

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    #2

    Re: the first time, the last time

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    Grammar teaches us that in the sentence 'This is the first time (that) I've been to London', we have to use the perfect tense after 'that'. Who told you that?

    I wonder why there's no such rule 'of perfect tense' over the sentence 'That was the last time (that) I saw her' or 'Today is the last time I shall give you a lesson in French'.

    Thank you.
    2006

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    #3

    Re: the first time, the last time

    Dear 2006,
    Michael Swan says in his PRACTICAL ENGLISH USAGE that after the following structures we should use the present perfect tense:
    This/ That/ It is the first/second/ third etc
    This/ That/ It is the only...
    This/ That/ It is the best/ finest/ worst/ most interesting etc
    For example:
    This is the first time (that) I've felt really relaxed for months.
    This is the first time (that) I've heard her sing.
    That's the seventeenth beer (that) you've drunk this evening.

    It was the third time that he was in love that year.
    Sorry, Swan's original sentence is:
    It was the third time that he had been in love that year.

    I've read similar advice in other grammar books.
    Last edited by joham; 11-Dec-2007 at 08:04. Reason: wrongly written.

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    #4

    Re: the first time, the last time

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    Dear 2006,
    Michael Swan says in his PRACTICAL ENGLISH USAGE that after the following structures we should use the present perfect tense: As Michael Swan is English, it is not surprising that he is overly fond of the present tense.
    This/ That/ It is the first/second/ third etc
    This/ That/ It is the only...
    This/ That/ It is the best/ finest/ worst/ most interesting etc

    For example:
    This is the first time (that) I've felt really relaxed for months.
    This is the first time (that) I've heard her sing.
    That's the seventeenth beer (that) you've drunk this evening.

    In all 3 of the above sentences, I see no reason why one has to use perfect tense. You can just say the following.

    This is the first time (that) I felt really relaxed for months.
    This is the first time (that) I heard her sing.
    That's the seventeenth beer (that) you drank this evening.


    It was the third time that he was in love that year. no perfect tense here

    I've read similar advice in other grammar books.
    2006


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    #5

    Re: the first time, the last time

    Is this an English vs Canadian problem again?

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    #6

    Re: the first time, the last time

    Joham's questions and the answer of 2006 have helped me to clear my doubts too. Thanks

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