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  1. Unregistered
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    #1

    Present Perfect use

    Hello there!

    I need some help please! I've already got an answer from Heidita (thanks a lot) but I'd like to have some more opinions please! Thanxxx

    Can you confirm the following analyses are right, please?:

    -I lived in Italy for 5 years ( means that I don't live there anymore)

    -I've lived in Italy for 5 years(-means that I'm still living there/ also means that I've had the experience of living in Italy)

    I've been living in Italy for 5 years (I'm still living in Italy)


    I also have some problems with the verb "forget" , do we sometimes say " I've forgotten something"? It doesn't sound really familiar to me. Do we always say "I forgot?"

    Thanks a lot for your help!!


    • Join Date: Feb 2008
    • Posts: 44
    #2

    Re: Present Perfect use

    [quote=Unregistered;260927]Hello there!

    I need some help please! I've already got an answer from Heidita (thanks a lot) but I'd like to have some more opinions please! Thanxxx

    Can you confirm the following analyses are right, please?:

    -I lived in Italy for 5 years ( means that I don't live there anymore) That's right.

    -I've lived in Italy for 5 years(-means that I'm still living there Can also be used when the action has just ended/ also means that I've had the experience of living in Italy For a past experience it would be more usual to use the Simple Past, I lived in Italy)

    I've been living in Italy for 5 years (I'm still living in Italy). Can be used for an action that is happening now or that has just finished or about to.


    I also have some problems with the verb "forget" , do we sometimes say " I've forgotten something"? It doesn't sound really familiar to me. Do we always say "I forgot?" ['I have forgotten' is used more in British English. It's not so common to say 'I forgot' in use as the Present Perfect, but it can have that meaning in American English.

    I have have forgotten my, please open the door. (Typical British English)

    I forgot my key, please open the door. (OK in American English)



    Thanks a lot for your help!!


    • Join Date: Feb 2008
    • Posts: 484
    #3

    Re: Present Perfect use

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    Hello there!

    I need some help please! I've already got an answer from Heidita (thanks a lot) but I'd like to have some more opinions please! Thanxxx

    Can you confirm the following analyses are right, please?:

    -I lived in Italy for 5 years ( means that I don't live there anymore)

    -I've lived in Italy for 5 years(-means that I'm still living there/ also means that I've had the experience of living in Italy)

    I've been living in Italy for 5 years (I'm still living in Italy)


    I also have some problems with the verb "forget" , do we sometimes say " I've forgotten something"? It doesn't sound really familiar to me. Do we always say "I forgot?"

    Thanks a lot for your help!!
    As a native speaker and a teacher, I’d say that all your comments with the verb “live” are correct except perhaps the last comment (“I’ve lived in Italy for five years … also means that I’ve had the experience of living in Italy”). To my way of thinking, you can hear this type of structure a lot in spontaneous English : in reality it would be a shortcut for “I’ve lived in Italy. I lived there for five years.” It would exemplify the way we start out on a sentence without foreseeing how we’re going to end it so rather than go back and repeat ourselves we just tack the “for five years” onto the end of our present perfect structure. I think more or less the same explanation was given by Tdol somewhere in this forum but I’ve lost track of it.

    As for the verb “forget”, it’s an interesting question. Firstly, yes, you can use it in an affirmative sentence but (according to my theory) only if it isn’t too late to do what you’ve forgotten to do.

    For instance, let’s say someone called Alexandre regularly breakfasts at 8.30 a.m. and then leaves for work. One day his alarm doesn’t go off so he gets up late and rushes off to work without having breakfast. By eleven o’clock he feels very hungry. “I’m starving,” he tells a colleague, “I didn’t have any breakfast.”

    Here, he cannot say “I haven’t had any breakfast,” because it’s too late, it’s not breakfast time any more.

    Now, let’s say that on Sundays he sleeps late and generally has breakfast any time around 11a.m.

    So just as he’s going to sit down to breakfast around 11a.m. one Sunday, the phone rings. It’s his brother Matthieu phoning for a bit of a chat. “Can I call you back in half an hour or so?” says Alexandre, “I haven’t had breakfast.” Here the use of the present perfect is indicated (at least in British English): it’s not too late for him to have breakfast because it’s Sunday and Sunday breakfast is late.

    According to my theory (and anybody’s welcome to demolish it as long as they do it nicely) this “too late” restriction concerns negative statements and questions only. If it can also refer to an affirmative statement with “forget”, it’s because “forget” has a negative connotation (not remember).

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