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    • Join Date: Nov 2005
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    #1

    present perfect

    In the following sentences, which tense is right? And why?

    1.Although I am more confident about writing, I still have many problems to overcome. I find ( or I have found??) that writing takes a great deal of time.


    2.Having adult responsibilites has given me the chance to understand what the world is like( or what the world will be like) outside of my home. It has provided me with hands-on training and is benefical( or has been beneficial) for me.


    • Join Date: May 2008
    • Posts: 810
    #2

    Re: present perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by bosun View Post
    In the following sentences, which tense is right? And why?

    1.Although I am more confident with my writing, I still have many problems to overcome. I find ( or I have found??) that writing takes up a great amount of time.

    The present simple (find) indicates that, generally speaking, writing still takes up a lot of your time.

    The present perfect (have found) suggests that at some point in the past you realized that writing takes up a lot of your time and continues to do so.

    2.Having adult responsibilites has given me the chance to understand what the world is like( or what the world will be like) outside of my home.

    Again, the present simple suggests a general opinion (that of responsibilities giving a better understanding of the world).

    The future tense suggests that you have been offered some foresight with regards to what to expect in terms of problems you may face and things you need to be aware of outside of your home.

    It has provided me with hands-on training and is benefical( or has been beneficial) for me.

    Simple present, same as above (general opinion).

    Present perfect, explaining that the training, so far, has been helpful.
    The tense you choose depends on the intended meaning of your sentence.

    I'm not a teacher.
    Last edited by colloquium; 26-Jun-2008 at 11:04.


    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 72
    #3

    Re: present perfect

    I think bosun does a great job answering this question in general. I would just like to clarify one difficult point however. Bosun writes:

    2.Having adult responsibilites has given me the chance to understand what the world is like( or what the world will be like) outside of my home.

    Again, the present simple suggests a general opinion (that of responsibilities giving a better understanding of the world).

    The future tense suggests that you have been offered some foresight with regards to what to expect in terms of problems you may face and things you need to be aware of outside of your home.:

    I would be very careful about assuming that "will" is the future tense of English. In reality, English doesn't have a single future tense as the following examples clearly illustrates:

    The train leaves form New York tomorrow
    The train is leaving from New York tomorrow
    The train is going to leave from New York tomorrow
    The train will leave from New York tomorrow
    The train should leave from New York tomorrow

    "Will" is one of the modal auxiliary verbs in English. It does not mark tense ("tense" in this case strictly referring to time, to "when" something is happening). There is lots of information available on the web and in libraries about the linguistic function of modal auxiliaries - although, unfortunately, much of that information is technical and is written by and intended for professional linguists.


    Not assuming that "will" is the future tense of English, however, is a very good start to discovering how native speakers really express future time.

    I hope that helps.

    Matthew Balson
    www.competence.es





    • Join Date: May 2008
    • Posts: 810
    #4

    Re: present perfect

    I totally agree Matthew.

    However I couldn't think of a simple way to explain "will be" without referring to it as a "future tense".

    It is easy (as you partly suggest) to laden an explanation with technical details and comprimise the efficiency of the answer.
    Last edited by colloquium; 26-Jun-2008 at 11:52.

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