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    #1

    Present Perfect / Past Simple

    Hi again,

    The first time we spoke was just the other day.

    Why is it not possible to use have spoken instead of spoke?

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    It's been ages since we heard from Dave.

    Why not using have heard instead of heard.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    I would be thankful for any explanation.

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    #2

    Re: Present Perfect / Past Simple

    Quote Originally Posted by c0da View Post
    Hi again,

    The first time we spoke was just the other day.

    Why is it not possible to use have spoken instead of spoke?

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    It's been ages since we heard from Dave.

    Why not using have heard instead of heard.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    I would be thankful for any explanation.
    Not a teacher,
    The answer is very simple: they are talking about a specific time in the past, so they have to use simple past. (The red words suggest that one has to use simple past tense)


    • Join Date: Nov 2008
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    #3

    Re: Present Perfect / Past Simple

    Then why am I using in this sentence present perfect:

    It's the first time I have eaten caviar.

    and in this sentence with since also:

    I haven't seen here since last year.

  1. engee30's Avatar
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    #4

    Smile Re: Present Perfect / Past Simple

    Quote Originally Posted by c0da View Post
    Hi again,

    The first time we spoke was just the other day.

    Why is it not possible to use have spoken instead of spoke?

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    It's been ages since we heard from Dave.

    Why not using have heard instead of heard.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    I would be thankful for any explanation.
    As for the first sentence - the use of the past simple tense is determined by the adverbial the other day.
    As for the second - you could also say It's ages since we (last) heard from Dave. This is a fixed expression, and means We haven't heard from Dave for ages, or The last time we heard from David was ages ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by c0da View Post
    Then why am I using in this sentence present perfect:

    It's the first time I have eaten caviar.

    and in this sentence with since also:

    I haven't been here since last year.
    As for the first one - again, it's a fixed expeession; after It's the first/second/third etc. time we use the present perfect tense - it refers to our life up to now.
    As for the second one - this is the only way you can say so; this time, since last year determines the use of the present perfect.



    • Join Date: Nov 2008
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    #5

    Re: Present Perfect / Past Simple

    Thanks engee30, your explanations help me a lot.


    • Join Date: Apr 2008
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    #6

    Re: Present Perfect / Past Simple

    Quote Originally Posted by c0da View Post
    Then why am I using in this sentence present perfect:

    It's the first time I have eaten caviar.

    and in this sentence with since also:

    I haven't seen here since last year.
    Present Perfect may indicate an action that has happened in the period of time which isn't over yet.

    1. It's the first time I've eaten caviar. = I've never eaten caviar. (the period of time which isn't over is the person's lifetime)

    2. I haven't seen her since last year.
    The period of time started last year and is still on.


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    #7

    Re: Present Perfect / Past Simple

    Since computers were first introduced to the public in the early 1980's, technology (change) has changed a great deal. The first computers (be) were simple machines designed for basic tasks. They (have, not) didn't have much memory and they (be, not) weren't very powerful. Early computers were often quite expensive and customers often (pay) paid thousands of dollars for machines which actually (do) didwere very little. Most computers (be) separate, individual machines used mostly as expensive typewriters or for playing games.

    Times (change) have changed. Computers (become) have become powerful machines with very practical applications. Programmers (create) have created a large selection of useful programs which do everything from teaching foreign languages to bookkeeping. We are still playing video games, but today's games (become) have become faster, more exciting interactive adventures. Many computer users (get, also) have also got on the Internet and (begin) have begun communicating with other computer users around the world. We (start) have started to create international communities online. In short, the simple, individual machines of the past (evolve) have evolved into an international World Wide Web of knowledge.
    I would say the first paragraph is apart from has changed completely in Past Tense, because the time period has finished and the informations are not new.

    The second paragraph is completely in Present Perfect because time period and the actions haven't finished.

    Could someone have a look at it and correct my mistakes?

  2. engee30's Avatar
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    #8

    Thumbs up Re: Present Perfect / Past Simple

    Since computers were first introduced to the public in the early 1980's, technology (change) has changed a great deal. The first computers (be) were simple machines designed for basic tasks. They (have, not) didn't have much memory and they (be, not) weren't very powerful. Early computers were often quite expensive and customers often (pay) paid thousands of dollars for machines which actually (do) did very little. Most computers (be) were separate, individual machines used mostly as expensive typewriters or for playing games.

    Times (change) have changed. Computers (become) have become powerful machines with very practical applications. Programmers (create) have created a large selection of useful programs which do everything from teaching foreign languages to bookkeeping. We are still playing video games, but today's games (become) have become faster, more exciting interactive adventures. Many computer users (get, also) have also got on the Internet and (begin) have begun communicating with other computer users around the world. We (start) have started to create international communities online. In short, the simple, individual machines of the past (evolve) have evolved into an international World Wide Web of knowledge.
    Quote Originally Posted by c0da View Post
    I would say the first paragraph is apart from has changed completely in Past Tense, because the time period has finished and the informations are not new.

    The second paragraph is completely in Present Perfect because time period and the actions haven't finished.

    Could someone have a look at it and correct my mistakes?
    I am of the same opinion as yours about the correct usages of the two tenses in the paragraphs above.

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