16

... you can't present perfect (or continuous) and past simple within a sentence. As it stands, this rule is incorrect. In many cases it is acceptable and logical to mix past and present references in consecutive clauses I lost my keys last week, but now I have found them. This makes sense: A was true then, but B is true now. This, however, ...


13

One strange property of the perfect tense is that it refers to two times: the time in the past when the action was performed, and the time indicated by the auxiliary verb (to have). Depending upon usage, a sentence using the perfect tense can be more about the present (or the time of the auxiliary verb) than it is about the past: A: Are you hungry? B: I ...


10

The rule you quote is simplistic. It is quite permissible to mix all sorts of tenses within one sentence. The issue is whether the time relationships that they convey make sense. Take a simpler case: present and future. Would a blanket rule that you should never mix present and future in a sentence be valid? No. "Bob owns the house and so he will paint it ...


10

Your past perfect tense starts in the infinite past for any action, but it doesn't have to happen so. I include an illustration for the verb see in the past perfect from the following text, written around 2010, which is about a movie that was shelved in 1981, kept for two decades, but finally released around 2002. So, instead of two reference points on the ...


9

Speaking as a non-linguist with no education in the theory, but a native speaker with a lifetime of exposure to practice, my ear would expect you to say "The most important news is that my parents opened a new restaurant a few weeks ago." If you said "have opened a restaurant a few weeks ago", it would sound really off. Additionally, "opened" implies "new"...


8

You didn't use the gift I gave you. could imply that you thought the other party was supposed to use the gift at a specific point of time (or when a certain event occurred), and they have lost the opportunity. You haven't used the gift I gave you. implies that so far the other party has not used the gift, but there's a chance they still will.


8

I usually put it in the form "the speaker is choosing to present the past event as relevant to the present". But either way, the particular relevance (or connection) can vary. Some examples are: a state which continues to the present ("has lived"); an action which has a continuing effect in the present ("has written"); an action which is so recent that ...


7

"I already asked her" is in simple past tense, indicating that the event occurred in the past. "I have already asked her" is in present perfect tense and is used in situations where a past event has relevance to the current situation. These get used interchangeably, but if you want to be exactly correct, it depends on the context of your sentence. For ...


6

OK, in questions 19 and 20 the time expressions are different. Present Perfect is the "best" solution for 19, but Simple Past could also be used. 19) I have drunk three cups of coffee today. For question 20 the Simple Past is the only appropriate form given the choice between Present Perfect and Simple Past. 20) I drank three cups of coffee ...


5

The simple past tense (when referring to the past) means the action takes place in the past, and that this necessarily excludes the present. It is over before the moment of speaking. "I read your question 2 minutes ago." With the simple past, I am not connecting the past event of my reading to the moment of me writing that sentence. The present ...


5

Have you seen Michael today? Have you seen Michael in the last 3 days / 3 years / 30 years? These phrases are all correct. "Did" cannot apply: it is used for a "remote" past: one that is "detached" from this time, day, week, etc. Did you see Michael this morning? (now it is the afternoon) Did you see Michael yesterday / last week / last year /...


4

The perfect tense, used in the second sentence, indicates something done in the past, which has a continuing effect on the present. To ask the first could mean nothing, as their hands could have been washed yesterday, or maybe even today and are now dirty. The second, however, is much more effective in interrogation.


4

Ah, present perfect versus simple past... the joys one can find in the nuances of verb tenses! Three questions to ask yourself when deciding whether to use the simple past or the present perfect: Has the time period of the action finished? If the time period has completed, the simple past is in order. Otherwise if the time period is still ongoing, then ...


4

The simple past is used to relate or narrate past eventualities. It makes no reference to the present. The present perfect, however, is not used to relate past events or states: it is a present tense and expresses a present state which in some respect arises out of the past eventuality. That present state is not explicitly named, but is left to the hearer/...


4

Because the present perfect refers to past time with present relevance, it is not usually used with a specific time reference that does not include the present (such as last year), but it is usually used with a specific time reference that does include the present (such as in the past year). If you said I went to Australia in the past year it would imply ...


3

The choice here is pretty close. The negative simple past ("you didn't leave") says that an event did not happen in the past while the negative past perfect says that an event didn't complete in the past ("you haven't left"). In this case, it pretty much amounts to saying the same thing in different ways, and both would be likely from native speakers. I ...


3

No, it is not correct to say that "that time periods aren't used with 'have been'". Nor is it correct (as in Patrick's answer) to say that "we don't use the present perfect with specific time related events". Tense itself is 'time-related', and hence almost everything we say has some relationship to time. The primary question (as Patrick ...


3

Did you watch the movie last night on NBC at 9pm? (If you didn't, you missed it.) If you recorded it, you might be asked: Have you seen the movie broadcast last night on NBC at 9pm? Have you seen the new movie with Brad Pitt? (whenever you rent the dvd or watch it on Netflix)


3

Did - happened in the past. Example: My mom asked me a question yesterday, I did not answer. Have - happened in the past but still have impact until now. Example: My mom asked me a question yesterday, I have not answered.


3

The short answer is that you are right to question the workbook's black-and-white logic. Both versions could be generated by native speakers, but the first probably sounds better and means something a bit different. It also pertains to a higher register thanks to the inversion. The problem is that we can't tell you why your workbook requires a particular ...


2

I think one aspect of this question is not being given enough emphasis: the difference between formal written English and informal colloquial English. I am a humble retired English teacher (UK!) who spent many years trying to encourage his pupils to feel that good English mattered - for several different reasons, not least of which is accuracy in the ...


2

There seems to be a belief that the simple past/present perfect ("have you ever"/"did you ever") distinction is a Brit/American thing, but I disagree. I would say that in standard American usage, using the simple past to talk about things that happened or may have happened over an indeterminate period of time is incorrect. To my ear, constructions like "...


2

Have you ever is usually used to reference an indefinite time in the past. Did you ever implies a more specific time. For example: Have you ever played chess? Did you ever finish playing that game of chess?


2

Regarding present/past perfect continuous, e.g.: I have been reading and I have read can both even be used in the same situation by the same person; the difference isn't always temporal: I have been reading since 3:00. I have read 50 pages. The first emphasizes the action, and the second emphasizes the object, even if it is the same person saying both ...


2

"He made a picture of his sister." is what you'll more frequently run into in the U.S., regardless of the context. "He has made a picture of his sister" doesn't run off the tongue very easily. The only situation that would really be used is if a child just drew a picture and someone was immediately commenting on it. Even then, it would be wierd if a ...


2

The first places the making of the picture at a specific time in the past. The second suggests that the picture was made quite recently and that that fact is relevant to what has gone on previously in the conversation.


2

For items 2 and 3, it is not true that the simple past is preferable. Without any contextual signs that the "see" and "call" actions happened in the past, the present perfect would be "better."


2

The present perfect tense is used here because although the action (the invitation) happened in the past, it "points toward" the future (the workshop is only next week). After the workshop, you could write Ten Taiwanese film directors, producers and screenwriters were invited to participate in a two-day workshop in Paris the week after


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible