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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    please help !!

    i wanted to know the meaning of these two sentences
    "i ate the apple "
    "i have eaten the apple "
    " i had eaten the apple"

    i know that they are correct but i dont know when do i use each one of them.

    for example i know that " i ate the apple " means that i ate the apple and i dont need to mention when....

    please make your explanation specific because i am sick of the whole had / have thing.

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    #2

    Re: please help !!

    Dear Groover:

    I ate the apple. Simple past tense. It's an action completed anytime in the past.
    "What happened to the fruit that I bought this morning? asked Mary. "I ate the apple, but I don't know who ate the pears," I replied.

    I have eaten the apple. Present perfect. It is used to express 1) an action that was begun in the past and continues into the present, 2) a completed action that has an effect on the present, 3) an action that occurred in the unspecified past.
    1) I have eaten apples for many years (and continue to eat them).
    2) I have eaten (finished eating) the apple and am ready for my sandwich.
    3) I have (already) eaten more apples than I can remember.

    I had eaten the apple. Past perfect. Expresses an action that took place before another action in the past.
    I had eaten the apple before I realized it was yours.
    (Note: eating the apple was first. Realizing it was yours was second. They are both actions that have already happened.

    I hope this is helpful,
    Petra

  2. Newbie
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    #3

    Re: please help !!

    that was helpful, that you alot. However, i got a question isnt this example is got an action based on another action in the past "2) I have eaten (finished eating) the apple and am ready for my sandwich.
    " so we shouldnt we use "had " here instead of have".

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    #4

    Re: please help !!

    Dear Groover:

    I have eaten (finished eating) the apple and am ready for my sandwich.
    The eating of the apple is finished and right now in the present I am ready for my sandwich.
    (or: "I have studied these crazy English verb tenses for many hours, and I am ready to throw my book out the window!" said Groover.)

    I had eaten the apple (action completed in the past) before I realized (action also already completed in the past).

    When you use had eaten, had seen, had gone, etc., it must refer to an action in the past that happened before another action in the past.
    So we can't say, "I had finished eating my apple and am now ready to eat my sandwich", because I am ready right now. (in the present)

    Here are some more examples:

    1.Shehas seen that play three times and is seeing it again tonight.
    2.She had seen that play three times before she realized it was by Chekhov.

    In 1, the first action (has seen) has already happened, but the second action (is seeing it again tonight) has not.
    In 2, both actions were completed in the past.


    3. I have washed my clothes and now I am going to iron them.
    4. I had washed my clothes before I saw yours needed washing, too.

    In 3, the first action (washing) has already happened, but the second action (ironing) has not.
    In 4, both actions (washing and seeing) were completed in the past.


    I hope this helps. If it's still unclear, I would be happy to keep working on it with you. I admire your perseverance and willingness to work until you understand!

    Petra



  3. Newbie
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    #5

    Re: please help !!

    haha .. you have no idea how much that helped me. I really believe that giving alot of examples is that best way of explaining.

    anyway, since we are doing this...i have always wondered how come the americans couldnt care less about the proper structure of the sentense as much as the british.

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    #6

    Re: please help !!

    Dear Groover,

    Hmmm...well, that's a topic that could fill a book (or a bookshelf), but 'off the top of my head' [without much reflection or research], I'd say that to the extent that it is true that "the americans couldnt care less about the proper structure of the sentense as much as the british," it may be because, (historically) as former colonial subjects, Americans took a certain pride in distinguishing themselves from the British. For example, they were very proud that there were no hereditary titles, and, in theory, no class barriers. For some, this attitude evolved into in a strain of anti-intellectual bias, leading some to be perversely proud of a lack of formal education. Again, please understand that I am no expert in this question!

    humbly,
    Petra


  4. Newbie
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    #7

    Re: please help !!

    Actually I am not saying it is bad thing, on the contrary, I like the way Americans are "keepin it real” :D .
    I just hope you didn’t take that the wrong way; as a matter of fact I am an American fan. Anyways, thanks a lot Petra it is really nice to get some help these day :D

  5. Newbie
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    #8

    Re: please help !!

    so i think i got it ....have when i am talking about a specific time in the past ( and i have to say when ) and the normal past tense other wise. (correct me if i am wrong plz)
    I want to ask about using it in a question form ... for example have i missed it?.... have you eaten the apple ? are these correct ?

    another example i want to ask about ....
    1-why havnt u called yesterday ?
    2-why didnt u call yesterday ?
    3- the line has been busy
    plz tell me if these are correct

  6. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: please help !!

    Quote Originally Posted by groover View Post
    so i think i got it ....have when i am talking about a specific time in the past ( and i have to say when ) and the normal past tense other wise. (correct me if i am wrong plz)
    I want to ask about using it in a question form ... for example have i missed it?.... have you eaten the apple ? are these correct ?

    another example i want to ask about ....
    1-why havnt u called yesterday ?
    2-why didnt u call yesterday ?
    3- the line has been busy
    plz tell me if these are correct
    No, you don't use present perfect (have Xed) with a specific time.
    Why didn't you call yesterday?



    Use the present perfect when there is a connection to what is going on right now, when something has very recently happened, when something may continue.

    The line has been busy, but I will keep trying - that is connected to the present.

    The line was busy, so I wasn't able to reach her - that is a completed situation.

    * He has been there last Tuesday. - No, not with a completed action linked to a specific time in the past.
    He was there last Tuesday.
    He has been there the last two Tuesdays, and I expect that he will be there this coming Tuesday as well. -- This remains connected to the present - he's "being there" will continue into the future.

    {not a teacher}

  7. Newbie
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    #10

    Re: please help !!

    So, are these 2 sentences right " I hadn't seen the movie untill i finished my homework" and " i hadn't had the chance to call you yesterday, because i was working on my project"

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