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    #1

    About tenses

    "I have deposited my share for the bouquet to ABC last week but forgot to tell you about it."

    Is the present perfect correctly used here?
    Thanks.

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    #2

    Re: About tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepurple View Post
    "I have deposited my share for the bouquet to ABC last week but forgot to tell you about it."

    Is the present perfect correctly used here?
    Thanks.
    No, a basic rule for the present perfect, which you probably know but have forgotten, is that if you specify a time (last week), you use the simple past tense.
    Last week I deposited ...
    *(not) Last week I have deposited ...

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    #3

    Re: About tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    No, a basic rule for the present perfect, which you probably know but have forgotten, is that if you specify a time (last week), you use the simple past tense.
    Last week I deposited ...
    *(not) Last week I have deposited ...
    Thank you Raymott.

    The scenario is that:
    My friend and I have bought a bouquet for a friend who is sick.
    My friend pays her share by depositing the money into my bank account.
    After the payment, she tells me by email that she has deposited the money into my bank account last week and asks me to check.
    In this case, can I say the action (depositing the money) has some relevance to the moment that the request is made, i.e. asking me to have a check on it. So, can I use the perfect tense here despite the time phrase, last week? Thanks again.

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    #4

    Re: About tenses

    [ she tells me by email that she has deposited the money into my bank account last week and asks me to check. ]

    What did she actually write? If she wrote "I have deposited the money into your bank account last week" then she has made the same error.

    [ In this case, can I say the action (depositing the money) has some relevance to the moment that the request is made, i.e. asking me to have a check on it.]

    Yes, certainly it's relevant. But she still shouldn't use the present perfect. She should say "I deposited the money at 13.55 on 4th July", not "I have deposited..."
    Of course, in speech, and emails etc. she could legitimately say "But I've already deposited the money ... last week
    at 13.55 on 4th July". But in a correct, fluent written sentence, it's ungrammatical.

    [ So, can I use the perfect tense here despite the time phrase, last week? Thanks again. ]


    It's not idiomatic. Saying that you deposited the money at a certain time implies that you have deposited it and that it has been deposited, so there's no ambiguity.
    The underlying principle is that the present perfect describes events which are in force (completed, perfected) at the present time. The state of things right now is that the money is in the bank. If you want to refer to an action in the past (by using a time phrase), you aren't referring to a completed action in the present - even though that action in the past leads to the completed state in present.

    Look at a few basic grammar books, which might explain it better.


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    #5

    Re: About tenses


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    #6

    Re: About tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    [ she tells me by email that she has deposited the money into my bank account last week and asks me to check. ]

    What did she actually write? If she wrote "I have deposited the money into your bank account last week" then she has made the same error.

    [ In this case, can I say the action (depositing the money) has some relevance to the moment that the request is made, i.e. asking me to have a check on it.]

    Yes, certainly it's relevant. But she still shouldn't use the present perfect. She should say "I deposited the money at 13.55 on 4th July", not "I have deposited..."
    Of course, in speech, and emails etc. she could legitimately say "But I've already deposited the money ... last week
    at 13.55 on 4th July". But in a correct, fluent written sentence, it's ungrammatical.

    [ So, can I use the perfect tense here despite the time phrase, last week? Thanks again. ]

    It's not idiomatic. Saying that you deposited the money at a certain time implies that you have deposited it and that it has been deposited, so there's no ambiguity.
    The underlying principle is that the present perfect describes events which are in force (completed, perfected) at the present time. The state of things right now is that the money is in the bank. If you want to refer to an action in the past (by using a time phrase), you aren't referring to a completed action in the present - even though that action in the past leads to the completed state in present.

    Look at a few basic grammar books, which might explain it better.
    Dear Raymott, Thank you for taking the time and trouble by giving me a marvellous explanation.
    Furthermore, since the "deposited" is a momentary action by the doer, it should not be continuing till the moment of speaking. As a result, the past simple rather than the perfect is used. Am I right?

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    #7

    Re: About tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepurple View Post
    Dear Raymott, Thank you for taking the time and trouble by giving me a marvellous explanation.
    Furthermore, since the "deposited" is a momentary action by the doer, it should not be continuing till the moment of speaking. As a result, the past simple rather than the perfect is used. Am I right?
    Yes, that's another way of looking at it.

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    #8

    Re: About tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Yes, that's another way of looking at it.
    Thank you for getting back to me again. My appreciation.
    By the way, I have news for you, Raymott, that Brisbane is really a very nice place to live.
    A long while ago, I was there to attend my friend's Grad at UQ, and after that was staying for two weeks for sight-seeing. One of the spots was the sky rail, amazing and an eye-opener to me. It has fresh fragant air in the morning, hot ballons and small planes writing in the skies, and most of all, never rains but POURS (water vapour would sieve through the umbrella and I was soaked to the skin), which was one of my unforgettable experiences.
    Last edited by Deepurple; 09-Jul-2008 at 10:09.


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    #9

    Re: About tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepurple View Post
    Dear Raymott, Thank you for taking the time and trouble by giving me a marvellous explanation.

    Furthermore, since the "deposited" is a momentary action by the doer, it should not be continuing till the moment of speaking. As a result, the past simple rather than the perfect is used. Am I right?
    Not completely, Dee, because the present perfect is also used to make past actions/events seem important/current to now.

    Here's an example of this type of present perfect which occasionally overrides the strong tendency to use past time adverbial adjuncts with the present perfect.

    [Note the part in red.]

    [quote]

    Blair denies he made deal with Brown over job

    London (AP) Prime Minis*ter Tony Blair has denied a new claim that he agreed to quit before the end of his sec*ond term to make way for Chancellor of the Exchequer (Treasury chief) Gordon Brown, but then decided to stay on.

    ...

    Blair on Sunday played down the significance of the claims made in the book, "Brown's Britain," by Robert Peston, a Sunday Telegraph journalist, who has known Brown and members of his in*ner circle for more than 10 years.

    "This is reheated from six or seven months ago," Blair told BBC TV's 'Breakfast With Frost' program. "I'm simply not going back over things that I've answered many, many times before."

    Asked whether he had as*sured Brown that he will step down, then changed his mind, Blair replied: "I've dealt with this six months ago. I said then you don't do deals over jobs like this. You don't."

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    #10

    Re: About tenses

    [quote=riverkid;320094]Not completely, Dee, because the present perfect is also used to make past actions/events seem important/current to now.

    Here's an example of this type of present perfect which occasionally overrides the strong tendency to use past time adverbial adjuncts with the present perfect.

    [Note the part in red.]


    Blair denies he made deal with Brown over job

    London (AP) Prime Minis*ter Tony Blair has denied a new claim that he agreed to quit before the end of his sec*ond term to make way for Chancellor of the Exchequer (Treasury chief) Gordon Brown, but then decided to stay on.

    ...

    Blair on Sunday played down the significance of the claims made in the book, "Brown's Britain," by Robert Peston, a Sunday Telegraph journalist, who has known Brown and members of his in*ner circle for more than 10 years.

    "This is reheated from six or seven months ago," Blair told BBC TV's 'Breakfast With Frost' program. "I'm simply not going back over things that I've answered many, many times before."

    Asked whether he had as*sured Brown that he will step down, then changed his mind, Blair replied: "I've dealt with this six months ago. I said then you don't do deals over jobs like this. You don't."
    Riverkid, just out of curosity. May I ask what the asteriks do in some of the words above?

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