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A couple days ago I stumbled upon a sentence that I couldn't get my head around.

In the sentence:

I have read all of his books, Gregor gave me the first book.

I know it sounds wrong if you say:

I have read all of his books, Gregor has given me the first book.

but could someone please explain to me why the present perfect tense can't be used in the second sentence?

  • We get a large number of questions on when to use the past and when the perfect. You really need to address this to our sister site English Language Learners - or study a grammar book. You will find other similar questions here if you look for them. – WS2 Dec 4 '15 at 22:38
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Both sentences are comma splices, but that's not what you are asking about.

Gregor gave me the first book.

and

Gregor has given me the first book.

are both perfectly good sentences, but you would probably use them in different circumstances.

In the context of "I have read all of his books", it is very likely that your reading of the first book, and so your acquisition of the first book, is an event that is complete: so the simple past is much more likely.

But suppose you mean that you have just finisehd reading all the books from Gregor's library, and now that you have finished, Gregor has realised that you value them and has decided to give you a present. In that case Gregor has given me the first book fits perfectly.

  • I think you're alluding to the fact that they are comma splices, @Rathony, as I said. – Colin Fine Dec 5 '15 at 11:03
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What would be the case if the books didn't come from Gregor's library, but he just gave you the first one of the author?

so the sentences would change like this:

I have read all of the author's books, Gregor gave me the first book of the series.

I have read all of the author's books, Gregor has given me the first book of the series.

ps: thank you for your first anserw @Colin Fine, it was already helpful but i've just got one more question.

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