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  1. #1
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    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.

  2. #2
    albertino is offline Senior Member
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    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)

  3. #3
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    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".

  4. #4
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    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.

  5. #5
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    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".

  6. #6
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    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",

  7. #7
    2006 is offline Banned
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    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.

  8. #8
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    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.

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