[Grammar] ever took

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oksuz_

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Hi,

It is the most difficult course I ever took.
It is the most difficult course I have ever taken.

What is the difference, if any, in meaning between above sentences?

Thank you!
 

Matthew Wai

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They mean the same to me.
 

bubbha

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For all practical purposes, they're interchangeable in pretty much any circumstance. But some people may see the following subtle distinction:

The first one may imply that the person is no longer a student and does not expect to go back to school anytime soon. (I would start it out as "It was the...")

The second one may imply that the person is still a student, or that he/she may go back to school in the foreseeable future.
 

GoesStation

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I would only use the present perfect there but I wouldn't be surprised to hear the past simple from other American English-speakers. I'd correct it to the present perfect if it appeared in something I was editing.
 

Tdol

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With the simple present in the first part, the present perfect sounds much more natural to me. To make the distinction Bubbha points out, I would, as a BrE speaker, follow his suggestion and use was in the first part.
 
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