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    #1

    Past simple or present perfect

    Is the following sentence correct?

    I spent two days reading all the letters that I have received throughout the years from your parents and you since 1974.

    Thank you.

  1. mkss's Avatar

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    #2

    Thumbs up Re: Past simple or present perfect

    I (have*) spent two days reading all the letters that I have received throughout the years from your parents and you since 1974.


    -------

    have is optional:
    * you must use it if what you mean is that you have been receiving letters until 'now' or a point in time very close to the present.
    * if you don't use it, the meaning of the sentence would be that you read that letters and that you haven't received any others since then.


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    #3

    Re: Past simple or present perfect

    Thank you for your quick response. It was very helpful.

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    #4

    Re: Past simple or present perfect

    If I may add, "over the years" is the usual idiom. :)


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    #5

    Re: Past simple or present perfect

    Thank you for your reply. I am learning a lot today!

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    #6

    Re: Past simple or present perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by mkss View Post
    i (have*)#1 spent two days reading all the letters that i have#2 received throughout the years from your parents and you since 1974.

    you don't need either "have".
    -------

    have is optional: which "have" is optional?
    * you must use it if what you mean is that you have been receiving letters until 'now' or a point in time very close to the present. are you talking about the second "have"?

    * if you don't use it, the meaning of the sentence would be that you read those letters and that you haven't received any others since then. obviously, since you read "all the letters", there are no others.
    2006

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Past simple or present perfect

    'I spent two days reading all the letters that I received from you and your parents over the years since 1974.' All the letters have been read, it is finished.

    'I have spent two days reading all the letters that I have recieved from you and your parents over the years since 1974.' Maybe all the letters have been read, maybe not, perhaps it is ongoing.

    It depends what you want to say.

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    #8

    Re: Past simple or present perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    'i spent two days reading all the letters that i received from you and your parents over the years since 1974.' all the letters have been read, it is finished.

    'i have spent two days reading all the letters that i have recieved from you and your parents over the years since 1974.' maybe all the letters have been read, maybe not, perhaps it is ongoing.
    as far as i'm concerned, all the letters have been read. If only some have been read, "all the" should not be used.

    it depends what you want to say.
    2006
    Last edited by 2006; 16-Jan-2009 at 03:05.

  3. mkss's Avatar

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    #9

    Thumbs up Re: Past simple or present perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by 2006 View Post
    2006

    To 2006:
    Please use your piece of knowledge of English to correct what the students/learners ask you. (you didnīt answer learning abc123's question).


    Read more carefully.
    Originally Posted by mkss
    i (have*)#1 spent two days reading all the letters that i have#2 received throughout the years from your parents and you since 1974.

    you don't need either "have". Of course my friend. I was speaking about options and their respective meanings. My humble original intention was to explain how adding 'have' (which is highlighted enough for you to get my point) produces a change in meaning.
    -------

    have is optional: which "have" is optional?
    * you must use it if what you mean is that you have been receiving letters until 'now' or a point in time very close to the present. are you talking about the second "have"? That's it my dear Watson! I knew you would need the parentheses.

    * if you don't use it, the meaning of the sentence would be that you read those letters and that you haven't received any others since then. obviously, since you read "all the letters", there are no others. Read carefully. It says "any others".
    Thank you for 'those'! What a Freudian slip! Looks like I wanted to finish the sentence asap! (thinking of the following clause!)


    No offence is intended. In my view, we're here to help and discuss, but honestly and trying to cooperate.
    My viewpoint has been clarified. I must apologise for my delay in doing so... the reason: virus--> computer --> format --> computer (now)

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    #10

    Re: Past simple or present perfect

    what about :I spent two days reading all the letters that I had received throughout the years from your parents and you since 1974?

    --- this means once he started reading letters, since then, he didn't receive any letters..

    I believe the original sentence posted by the thread starter
    i.e., 'I spent two days reading all the letters that I have received throughout the years from your parents and you since 1974.'

    is incorrect in the sense that .. the first clause uses past tense.. hence reading all the letters is over. However, in the subordinate clause, the present perfect tense makes the total sentence absurd because of the ongoing receiving of letters.

    I am not a teacher.. Please correct me if am wrong.

    Thanks,
    Kiran

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