Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. Graver's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 64
    #1

    Cool Past or present?

    what's the difference between

    "He didn't have breakfast today" and "he hasn't had breakfast today"

    and

    "He hasn't shaved today" and "he didn't shave today"


    Thank you!!!


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

    Re: Past or present?

    1) He had breakfast today = He didn't have breakfast today

    2) He has had breakfast today = he hasn't had breakfast today


    1 is the past simple and 2 is the present perfect.

    It's the same for the other examples.

    To form the negative we add the aux "do" with "not" (didn't) where there is no aux in the affirmative statement, and we slot "not" ('t) between the aux and main verb where there is (i.e. with a tense such as the present perfect).

    I am not a teacher.


    • Join Date: Feb 2008
    • Posts: 95
    #3

    Re: Past or present?

    Hi. I am just a student.

    Well. The sime past expresses that something which happened in the past is over.

    I played football yesterday.

    "He didn't have breakfast today"

    The author/person whatsoever means that "he" had no breakfast (the morning could possibly be over which includes the time for breakfast)

    "He hasn't had breakfast today"

    The present perfect expresses that something happened in the past but is not over yet.

    In this example "He" has maybe just woken up when someone called the narrator/author whatsoever and asked if "He" has already eaten.
    But like I have already said "He" has just woken up so he hasn't had breakfast yet.

    This is how I interpret these sentences.

    best wishes

  2. jma's Avatar

    • Join Date: Oct 2008
    • Posts: 15
    #4

    Re: Past or present?

    Both could be used, and the difference is very subtle.

    Both these sentences might be used by the same person, on two different days. They mean almost exactly the same thing.

  3. Graver's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 64
    #5

    Re: Past or present?

    Quote Originally Posted by jma View Post
    Both could be used, and the difference is very subtle.

    Both these sentences might be used by the same person, on two different days. They mean almost exactly the same thing.
    ALMOST makes a big difference to me


    • Join Date: May 2008
    • Posts: 810
    #6

    Re: Past or present?

    Quote Originally Posted by jma View Post
    Both could be used, and the difference is very subtle.

    Both these sentences might be used by the same person, on two different days. They mean almost exactly the same thing.
    Within context this is very true: but to a learner the rules are helpful.

    The past simple is completive; therefore in stating I didn't have my breakfast today - the speaker is probably indicating that breakfast time is over, it is no longer even morning.

    Whereas I haven't had breakfast today doesn't entirely rule out the possiblity that the problem could still be remedied, although it would be far clearer if it read: "this morning" and not "today". In this sense, it could boil down to an ambiguous adverbial choice: adverbials carry a huge amount of weight in terms of time referance.

Similar Threads

  1. i need urgent help
    By nita in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 11-Sep-2009, 13:13
  2. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 16-Mar-2009, 18:34
  3. [Grammar] Totally lost - Past simple
    By engpoem in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-Oct-2008, 06:41
  4. My own theory on the present perfect tense
    By HaraKiriBlade in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 16-Aug-2007, 22:29
  5. A strange use of tense
    By shun in forum Linguistics
    Replies: 26
    Last Post: 18-Sep-2006, 02:45

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
  •