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  1. Unregistered
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    #1

    Wink present perfect

    Hello ,

    I'm a young English teacher and I need a hand.

    A student of mine said " I didn't know you were here because I HAVEN'T SEEN your car on the car park".

    My problem: I didn't manage to explain cleary why "I haven't seen" was not appropriate in that case.

    Could you help me please?

    Thanks

    Emy

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: present perfect

    He's referring to a specific point in time: When he arrived that day.

    We don't use the present perfect with a specific point in time.

    When I arrived at 8:30 this morning, I didn't see your car.
    * When I arrived at 8:30 this morning, I haven't seen your car.

    If he was referring to an extended period of time (I haven't seen your old car over the past several days. Did you get a new one?) rather than his specific arrival this morning, it would work.


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    #3

    Re: present perfect

    Further to Barb's point, this is a matter of context.

    There's nothing wrong with the sentence:

    "I didn't know you were here because I HAVEN'T SEEN your car in the car park".
    Last edited by colloquium; 09-Dec-2008 at 16:05.

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    #4

    Re: present perfect

    Hi Barb_D,

    Would you be kind enough to tell me your opinion concerning the following pairs of sentences?

    1.1. I have written four letters this morning. (it is still morning now)

    1.2. I wrote four letters this morning. (it is afternoon or even evening now)

    or

    2.1. I have learnt French for a year.

    2.2. I learnt French for a year.

    or

    3.1. I have seen the King.

    3.2.I saw the King six years ago.

    or

    4.1. I have had a visit to day. (not 4.2. I had a visit to day.)
    5.1. I saw him yesterday. ( not 5.2. I have seen him yesterday.)

    or

    6.1. Have you ever read any of Shakespear’s plays?
    6.2. Did you ever see any of Shakspear’s play performed while you were in London?

    or

    7.1. Have you been to London this year?
    7.2. Did you go to London last year?

    or

    8.1. He has finished his breakfast now.
    8.2. He finished his breakfast an hour ago.

    Thank you for your effort.

    Regards,

    V.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    #5

    Re: present perfect

    vil: It's a bit rude to so blatantly hijack someone else's thread.

    I for one am very interested in following the current debate on this intriguing problem.


    • Join Date: Feb 2008
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    #6

    Re: present perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    He's referring to a specific point in time: When he arrived that day.

    We don't use the present perfect with a specific point in time.

    When I arrived at 8:30 this morning, I didn't see your car.
    * When I arrived at 8:30 this morning, I haven't seen your car.

    If he was referring to an extended period of time (I haven't seen your old car over the past several days. Did you get a new one?) rather than his specific arrival this morning, it would work.
    I agree. Even if the student doesn't mention it, "when I arrived" is implicit in this context and as such is incompatible with the present perfect.


    • Join Date: May 2008
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    #7

    Re: present perfect

    Yes, it has to refer to, I quote, an "extended period".

    Context:

    A) Have you been off work ill lately stephanie?

    B) No, I've been in all week. What makes you ask that?

    A) Oh, I didn't know you were here because I HAVEN'T SEEN your car in the car park.

    B) Oh yeah, it's at the garage being repaired.

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: present perfect

    If you leave out 'because' and make two sentences it is perfect (present perfect) 'I didn't know you were here. I haven't seen your car in the car park.'


    • Join Date: Apr 2008
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    #9

    Re: present perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    " I didn't know you were here because I HAVEN'T SEEN your car on the car park".
    I think 'haven't seen' is wrong. The time of the action is given indirectly - through the mention of the place of the action, "in the car park", i.e. the person didn't see the car when he was in the car park.

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