[Grammar] Usage of "Just" with Present Perfect

Franck87

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Dear All, I'm trying to understand how flexible can present perfect tense be used within some specific contexts.

For example during a daily talk when we want to describe what we mean to do, we say " I just wanted to..."
I guess in such cases "just" possess a polite meaning, sort of synonym for "only".
However "what we mean to do" most of the time happens in very recent past.
Therefore why don't we ever use "I have just wanted to ..."?
Allow me to clarify as below:

1)Just (only)

I just wanted to help you.----> This is very common usage.
I have just wanted to help you. ----> Have you ever heard/used in this way? Is it utterly wrong?

2) Just (time adverb) in recent past actions


I just wanted to help you. ---> This is very common usage.
I have just wanted to help you. ---> This must be common I think especially in British English ?

3) Without "just "as time adverb in recent past actions (only skipping "just" from No.2 above)

I wanted to help you.---> This is very common usage
I have wanted to help you ---> Does this sound natural when we wanted to help let's say 5 minutes ago. Have you ever heard/used in this way?

Your responses will be appreciated. Thanks!
 

GoesStation

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The present perfect sentences are not natural.
 

Franck87

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teechar

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The present perfect is common in British English with 'lust' when 'just' means 'a very short time ago'.
Was that a typo or a Freudian (or even Piscean) slip? ;-)
 

Franck87

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Thanks Piscean.
So in this respect when I say " I have just wanted to help you" this only means in British English I wanted to help you short time ago?
Can I skip "just" and use present perfect again to have similar meaning (still short time but not "just", let's say half an hour ago)?

The present perfect sentences do not work in British English, either.

The present perfect is common in British English with 'lust' when 'just' means 'a very short time ago'.
 

Franck87

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That is not a natural sentence. I can't think of a natural context in which I would say "I have just wanted ...".

A teacher asks a question to the student in an exam.
The student doesn't reply correctly and says: " Teacher, you never help us but ask hard questions all the time"
Teacher says: " I have just wanted to help you. However you didn't realize. My question that I have just asked already includes the answer."
 

Franck87

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That is not natural. The teacher might say, for example, "I have just tried to help you".

So if I want to use "want" in this context, I can only choose simple past? "I just wanted to help you."
Can you please explain why present perfect doesn't sound natural to you regarding my examples? Is it just because how people prefer using or is there some lingusitic expalanations?
 

Matthew Wai

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The present perfect refers to a completed action. I can't imagine how 'want' can be completed.
 

Franck87

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The present perfect refers to a completed action. I can't imagine how 'want' can be completed.
Stative verbs (want, like, hate etc.) cannot be used with progressive tenses in English, this is the only rule.
I can say "I wanted to..." and this is complete action then why not " I have wanted to..."?
 

Franck87

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You can. I have wanted to see Monument Valley since I was a child. I am finally going to get there next month.

Thanks Piscean, I know such usage but my question concerns recent past as explained in my original post. Can you elaborate further please?
 

teechar

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2) Just (time adverb) in recent past actions

I have just wanted to help you. ---> This must be common I think especially in British English.

Note that "want" is not at all an action verb; it is stative (indicates a state). Hence, the present perfect usage you refer to does not apply.
 

Franck87

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If you say that you have just done something, you are normally speaking of an action of fairly short duration that (started and) finishes a fairly short time ago. 'Wanting' is not that type of thing..
Ok Piscean, thanks for the clarification. One last question as asked in condition 1 in my original post.
If just means "only" and combined with present perfect tense: " I have just wanted to helped you" ?
 

Franck87

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GS and I both told you that 'just' does not work with the present perfect in your original sentences.
Anyways thanks, I was just expecting more satisfactory answers.
I also know that these sentences sound a bit unnatural but my aim was understanding insights.
Is it about idiomatic usage, is it about some linguistic rules etc etc
 

Franck87

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In 'I just wanted to help you', which is fine. the 'wanting' took place in the past. It is not relevant to the moment of speaking.
Sorry Piscean but this is getting confusing. That's why I clearly classified the sentences in my original post.
If it was related with the present then this means it is possible to use present perfect.
However you have just explained uniqueness of "verb" as stative.
Anyways maybe I must ask these questions to linguists.
 

Matthew Wai

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Stative verbs (want, like, hate etc.) cannot be used with progressive tenses in English, this is the only rule.
We can say 'I'm loving it', where 'love' is a stative verb.
 

Matthew Wai

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If it was related with the present then this means it is possible to use present perfect.
If it is related to the present, I would use the simple present.
 

GoesStation

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I also know that these sentences sound a bit unnatural....
Not just a bit. A native speaker would never utter them. We'd understand them on the lips of a non-native speaker because we're accustomed to hearing them mix up certain tenses.
 

teechar

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We'd understand them on the lips of a non-native speaker
I would say "from the lips of" in the above [Is this yet another AmE thing? I wonder. :)]. I would use on the lips for something trendy/topical, etc.
 

Franck87

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Not just a bit. A native speaker would never utter them. We'd understand them on the lips of a non-native speaker because we're accustomed to hearing them mix up certain tenses.

Sorry guys you are all confusing...

"Have just wanted to.." phrase is being used any possible way. It has nothing to do with "stative" issue too.

Here is an interview from native English speaking singer, just ctr +f and search for the keywords:
https://www.gq.com/story/robin-thic...rating-with-2-chainz-and-kendrick-lamar-mercy
Another examples:
http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/ruth-winder-ive-stopped-worrying-about-the-future/
https://blog.r3bl.me/en/chrome-vs-chromium/
 
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