Results 1 to 8 of 8

    • Join Date: Jan 2007
    • Posts: 64
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    grammar

    Which tense should I use? I guess the present perfect is better;on the other hand, the time adverb refers to the past, I am not sure. Can you help me please?
    After two years, I finally have had a car.
    Or,
    After two years, I finally had a car.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong

    • Join Date: May 2007
    • Posts: 845
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    Re: grammar

    Quote Originally Posted by eddkzk View Post
    Which tense should I use? I guess the present perfect is better;on the other hand, the time adverb refers to the past, I am not sure. Can you help me please?
    After two years, I finally have had a car.
    Or,
    After two years, I finally had a car.
    Present perfect. "I finally have had a car" is the consequence of having been waiting for two years.
    (Not a teacher)


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    Re: grammar

    If referring to the car that I have just managed to buy, I would say "After two years I finally have a car", but if referring to the past, "After two years I finally had a car".


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 3,059
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #4

    Re: grammar

    Quote Originally Posted by eddkzk View Post
    Which tense should I use? I guess the present perfect is better;on the other hand, the time adverb refers to the past, I am not sure. Can you help me please?

    After two years, I finally have had a car.
    Or,
    After two years, I finally had a car.
    'have', in this case, is the wrong verb in order to show possession, Eddkzk. It works fine for the present simple,

    "I have a car",

    but using the verb 'have' in present perfect holds a meaning that you no longer have a car.

    1. After two years, I finally have got a car.

    Or,

    2. After two years, I finally got a car.



    Number 2,

    "After two years, I finally had a car"

    sounds like a narrative where you're telling the story of your life and you're re-living that time when you had a car.

    Regarding 'after two years', it's fine. It holds a meaning of "up to now", so it matches the present perfect just fine.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #5

    Re: grammar

    Oh dear, another of these across the pond differences!

    In BrE there is no problem in saying "I have a car" in this way. It is not necessary to include the inimitable "got".


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 3,059
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #6

    Re: grammar

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    Oh dear, another of these across the pond differences!

    In BrE there is no problem in saying "I have a car" in this way. It is not necessary to include the inimitable "got".
    There's no cross pond difference, Anglika. You'd better have another read. I wrote,

    It works fine for the present simple,

    "I have a car",

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Apr 2007
    • Posts: 4,146
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #7

    Re: grammar

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    Oh dear, another of these across the pond differences!

    In BrE there is no problem in saying "I have a car" in this way. It is not necessary to include the inimitable "got".
    Maybe there is no big across the pond difference in this case. I think many N A English speakers would answer exactly as you did.


    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 3,059
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #8

    Re: grammar

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    Maybe there is no big across the pond difference in this case. I think many N A English speakers would answer exactly as you did.
    To reiterate, there is NO cross pond difference with respect to using 'have' in the present simple to denote possession/ownership;

    After two years, I finally have a car.

    But just because the present simple verb form 'have', can be used in the present simple tense to denote possession/ownership doesn't mean that 'have' can also be used in the simple past or the present perfect to denote possession/ownership.

    I hope that Eddkzk and Albertino and other ESLs reading this thread understand this difference.

    Now, when we introduce the collocation, <I've got/gotten>, it gets a little more complicated. There are cross pond differences and what I'm going to say here applies only to NaE, NOT to BrE.

    Some suggest that <I've got> is a present perfect but I maintain that it is simply an alternative form, but more emphatic form that means the same as <I have>.

    <I've gotten> is a present perfect but it has a meaning of "S have/has acquired".

    To Eddkzk's original question:

    Which tense should I use? I guess the present perfect is better;on the other hand, the time adverb refers to the past, I am not sure. Can you help me please?
    After two years, I finally have had a car.
    Or,
    After two years, I finally had a car.
    We now know that 'have' is not possible here in the simple past or the present perfect without a change in meaning; changes that would render/make Eddkzk's original meanings very different, ie. both would be finished/"past tense" meanings denoting that he had a car but doesn't now have a car.

    By using the verb 'get', we stay with a meaning denoting that he still has a car, which, I'm quite sure, is Eddkzk's meaning.

    NaE uses three different verb collocations for three different purposes:

    {I've removed the finally's from all three examples so we can focus on the verb form}

    1. After two years, I have gotten a car.

    2. After two years, I got a car.

    3. After two years, I've got a car.

    Number 1, with <gotten>, is a true present perfect that carries the meaning of "acquired".

    Number 2, using <got>, is the past simple that also carries the meaning of "acquired".

    Number 3, using the present perfect FORM plus <got> has a stative meaning denoting ownership/possession.

    As I mentioned/As I've mentioned, BrE uses this in a different manner than NaE. I'll leave that description to the Brits.

Similar Threads

  1. Is there a grammar of spoken English?
    By M56 in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 09-Feb-2009, 01:58
  2. May Might Can Could
    By beachboy in forum Teaching English
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 23-Jan-2008, 20:20
  3. Complex english grammar
    By shivam in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 12-Oct-2007, 05:57
  4. Complex english grammar
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 17-May-2007, 09:03
  5. corrections help
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 21-Feb-2003, 18:05

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •