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Present perfect or preterite

<< Forum anglais: Questions sur l'anglais || En bas

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Present perfect or preterite
Message de suzy123 posté le 27-09-2010 à 09:03:52 (S | E | F)
Bonjour,
Please could you tell me whether it is a big mistake to say :

- Have you forgotten instead of Did you forget?

Thank you.

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Modifié par lucile83 le 27-09-2010 09:05



Réponse: Present perfect or preterite de gerondif, postée le 27-09-2010 à 09:30:39 (S | E)
Hello,

It is impossible to answer you with such a short sentence! Both are correct.

Now, if the action is dated in the past, use a preterite:
Did you forget your umbrella yesterday ?

Now, if what counts is the present result of a past action, use a present perfect:

Oh no ! I see there is no butter left in the fridge ! Have you forgotten to buy some ?

Prenez la phrase: j'ai vu ce film !
Si dans votre tête, l'idée est un simple souvenir déconnecté du présent, alors:
I saw that film, yes, I saw it in the seventies, "Harold and Maud", I used to listen to Cats Stevens all the time then !

Si dans votre tête, cela veut dire, c'est bon, j'ai déjà vu ce film, je ne veux pas le re-regarder:

I have seen that film, yes, I remember the plot now,I'll watch something else!




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Modifié par gerondif le 27-09-2010 18:58

Thank you notrepère, or as they used to say in Manchester, ta, luv !(thank you dear)



Réponse: Present perfect or preterite de notrepere, postée le 27-09-2010 à 15:21:56 (S | E)
Hello Gerondif!

Just one minor correction: Cat Stevens. I used to listen to him all the time too.

Cordialement



Réponse: Present perfect or preterite de gerondif, postée le 27-09-2010 à 22:26:35 (S | E)
Hello, np,

When I typed this this morning, I was thinking it would sound better to say:
"oh no, you have forgotten to buy butter again!! but as I wanted to use the initial sentences, I put an interrogative form.
The preterite does sound better, more vindicative ! You put the emphasis on the mistake of the absent-minded husband or wife !!




Réponse: Present perfect or preterite de traviskidd, postée le 28-09-2010 à 00:12:08 (S | E)
Hello tout le monde.

First of all, not everyone uses words like "Goddammit" on a daily basis. It's quite an impolite word and should only be used if you are very angry and/or are very familiar with the other person and are quite sure you won't offend him.

Secondly, there is sometimes a fine nuance between the present perfect and the preterite. Compare:

- What have you done? (What is the present result caused by your past action?)
- What did you do? (What past action has caused the present result?)

-There's no butter in the fridge. Did you forget to buy some (the last time you went to the store)? Hofefully you haven't forgotten that we need some!

-How many tickets have you bought so far, and how many do you still need to buy?
-You have a lot of tickets there! We only need two. How many did you buy???

Not to mention that Americans tend to accept the preterite in more situations than the British. "Did you eat yet?" doesn't really bother my ears, but would probably sound cacophonous to a Briton.

Of course the present perfect is acceptable in American English in every case where British English requires it, although it sometimes sounds a little "heavy". For example, I remember a few years ago when, right after winning the Super Bowl, the winning coach shouted:

WE DID IT! WE DID IT! WE DID IT!

It would have sounded less natural, even if more grammatically correct, for him to have shouted "WE'VE DONE IT!" three times instead.

Lastly, to answer the original question, if you are unsure which tense to use, always use the preterite. If you say "Yesterday, I have..." then I'll know you are a French-speaker.

See you.



Réponse: Present perfect or preterite de lucile83, postée le 28-09-2010 à 07:55:57 (S | E)
Hello travis,

If you say "Yesterday, I have..." then I'll know you are a French-speaker.

Do you mean only French people make that awful mistake?




Réponse: Present perfect or preterite de traviskidd, postée le 28-09-2010 à 18:09:10 (S | E)
Hello notrepere. Your humor might have not been lost on me were this not a forum for French-speakers who probably wouldn't catch it either. In any case, better to clarify now before some poor exchange student commits a gaffe. Although being out of butter is a pretty frustrating situation, I admit.

Hello lucile. It is an error peculiar to French-speakers, since the French passé composé doesn't distinguish between the preterite and the present perfect.

See you.



Réponse: Present perfect or preterite de notrepere, postée le 28-09-2010 à 19:12:30 (S | E)
Hello traviskidd! You are correct, we wouldn't want to corrupt the exchange students. Expletives deleted. Bonne journée

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Modifié par traviskidd le 30-09-2010 01:44
Just for the record, I wasn't asking or expecting you to delete your post; I just thought it best to clarify. (In fact it's not good form to delete a post that's already been responded to.)





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