Past Simple or Present Perfect?

I ....... them yesterday.


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Tdol

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Which is correct and why?
 

RonBee

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The word yesterday makes all the difference here. It provides a time frame, and that makes all the difference. You can say I have seen him today, but you can't say I have seen him yesterday. I suppose the reason for that is that while saw refers to the past, have seen is about both the past and the present.

How's that?

:wink:
 

Tdol

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Agreed. ;-)
 
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yulia

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The reason why I've chosen "saw" is that it's known that you can only use Perfect time when the action is continuing, when it's not finished, no matter whether you use it in the past, in the present or in the future , which I often when happen to have a problem with. But one thing is for sure that there's no way you can use yesterday with Perfect time. But you can use it when talking about today, as the action is not finished yet.
 

Tdol

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'Yesterday' is finished time, so use the past. 'Today' is different- we use both. ;-)
 
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yulia

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tdol said:
'Yesterday' is finished time, so use the past. 'Today' is different- we use both. ;-)

What do you mean by saying "we use both"? Oh, I've just remembered that I've happened to come across in the books "yesterday" to be used with the Past Perfect time. Is taht correct? :wink:
 

Tdol

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I could say 'I haven't had lunch today', unfinished time and I expect to have lunch. If I have left my office and am on the bus home I could say 'I did a lot of work today'. Here, the day has not ended, but the working part has and I don't expect to do any more work.;-)
 
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yulia

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tdol said:
I could say 'I haven't had lunch today', unfished time and I expect to have luch. If I have left my office and am on the bus home I could say 'I did a lot of work today'. Here, the day has not ended, but the working part has and I don't expect to do any more work.;-)

Ha, at least now I know how to use this form.
So if I understood you right, I can use present perfect for today when there's a possibility for something to happen today again, but when something has been done completely, and you know that it's going to happen for today as well, then you can't use this form.
What will the right thing to say: I've had a great lunchtoday, or: I had a great lunch today (you're not supposed to have another lunch today, maybe dinner only)? :wink:
 

Tdol

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If the lunch is very recent- for example, you're still in the restaurant or just after, then it has enough present relevance to use the perfect.;-)
 
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yulia

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How to learn to use Perfect Times correctly? All of Them? Is there a way to it actually?
 

Tdol

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It's tricky because there are so many different uses in different contexts. I'm afraid it's an area of English that does take time and exposure.;-)
 

Tdol

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With 'yesterday' we normally use the past tense, but with 'since yesterday' we will tend to use the present perfect.;-)
 

rajan

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1. I have finished my work.
2. I finished my work.

What is the difference between two. I think "1st sentence" is connected with the present situation, recently.




tdol said:
With 'yesterday' we normally use the past tense, but with 'since yesterday' we will tend to use the present perfect.;-)
 

Tdol

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Rajan, you're right- it's connected to now in some way. ;-)
 

gu_bh

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It´s rather obvious the use of the simple past since you specified the time of the action.
 

gu_bh

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rajan said:
1. I have finished my work.
2. I finished my work.

What is the difference between two. I think "1st sentence" is connected with the present situation, recently.

As a matter of fact, when time is not specified, both simple past and simple past may be used.However, when you use the present perfect you give more emphasis to the sentence connecting it straight with the present. The difference is that in sentence 1 you probably JUST finished your work.In sentence 2 time is not important for the speaker
 

irene8

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I think that the answer is 'saw' because is an finished action. The action happened 'yesterday':up:
 

Tdol

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You're right, Irene. ;-)
 
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