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      • Hindi
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      • India
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    • Join Date: Jan 2009
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    Simple past instead of Present Perfect

    Dear Teacher,
    I mark people use simple past instead of present perfect.Let me describe the e.g in both.
    Example 1:
    Let i have to say:-

    1.Why you are so worried ?What you have done?

    2.Why yo are so worried?What you done?

    3.Why you are so worried?What yoy did?

    Example 2:
    1.Can you remember?
    Ans:No,I have forgotten.

    2.Can you remember?
    Ans:No,I forgot.

    WHICH ONE IS CORRECT in both the example .I cant understand,people actually use simple past or omit "have" from the sentence for easy speaking.PLease tell me in detail with more examples.


    • Member Info
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    Re: Simple past instead of Present Perfect

    1. Negatives and interrogatives:

    In example 1, "What have you done?" is correct, "what you done?" is illiterate, and "what you did?" is just wrong.

    If a simple past question were required, it would be "what did you do?".

    In example 2, the forms are correct. See below for how they are used.

    In the two tenses that do not use an auxiliary verb in the affirmative, the auxiliary "do" is used in the negative and interrogative.
    I run -- I do not run -- do I run?
    he runs -- he does not run -- does he run?
    I ran -- I did not run -- did I run? etc.
    For all tenses which have an auxiliary verb, the not is attached to the auxiliary, and for questions the auxiliary and the subject switch places:
    I have run -- I have not run -- have I run?

    Any other form is not standard.

    2. Simple past vs. present perfect

    The simple past denotes an action that took place in the past, without any reference to the present; in fact it gives no other information other than the event took place in the past.

    The present perfect denotes an action that took place in the past, with the extra information that the action is complete, fully accomplished at the present moment.

    In both examples, because the first question takes place in the present -- "why are you so worried? can you remember?" -- it is correct to answer with the present perfect: "No, I have forgotten", and also to ask the second question: "what have you done?". The "having done" relates to "being worried", and the "being worried" is in the present.

    That said, in loose conversation the simple past is common, in the forms given above. Thus, "why are you so worried? what did you do?" and "Can you remember? No, I forgot". While acceptable in conversation, the simple past does not really give the correct information to answer the question in the present. That is, it is possible to forget and then to remember again. "I forgot, but since then I've remembered it again."

    Some more examples:

    Have you seen your father? -- Yes, I have seen him.
    When did you see your father? -- I saw him yesterday.
    Did you see your father yesterday? -- Yes, I did.

    Have you seen your father? -- Yes, I have: I saw him yesterday.
    Have you seen your father? -- Yes, I saw him yesterday. Simple past because the "yesterday" marks the action as taking place in the past and removes any reference to today.

    "Have you seen your father yesterday?" is poor because the question asks about the present state (seen-not seen as of NOW), but in the same breath asks what happened yesterday.
    Last edited by abaka; 27-Jan-2009 at 03:58. Reason: typo

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