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Present Perfect Simple - Is this an exception ?
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justjust



Joined: 31 Jul 2010
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:54 pm    Post subject: Present Perfect Simple - Is this an exception ? Reply with quote

If the present perfect simple is used to emphasise the result then why is it correct to say

'Sorry I am late. I missed the bus' and not 'Sorry I am late. I have missed the bus'

Thank you Smile
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Lorikeet



Joined: 18 May 2003
Posts: 1368
Location: San Francisco, California

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 7:49 am    Post subject: Re: Present Perfect Simple - Is this an exception ? Reply with quote

justjust wrote:
If the present perfect simple is used to emphasise the result then why is it correct to say

'Sorry I am late. I missed the bus' and not 'Sorry I am late. I have missed the bus'

Thank you Smile


I have never heard that it is used to emphasize the result. When you use the present perfect, it has to be connected in some way to the present. I could imagine a scene at the bus stop as the bus goes by, with the person saying, "Oh no, I'll be late! I've missed the bus!" (I would probably use "I missed the bus there too however.) After arriving wherever he was going, "Sorry I am late. I missed the bus." makes more sense because the act is completed.

It's always hard to explain present perfect, so I'm not sure this helped but I tried Very Happy
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justjust



Joined: 31 Jul 2010
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:59 am    Post subject: Thank you ever so much for your kind reply :) Reply with quote

Thank you ever so much for your kind reply Smile Yes I agree with what you said. I would also say the same.

As far as the use for simple present perfect goes I have more examples here which conform to this rule.

2. To emphasise the present result of a past event.

I can't get in the house. I've lost my keys.
He can now rest because he has finished his work.
My uncle is in hospital because he has had a car accident.
My watch has stopped so I don't know what time it is.

Thank you once again. I very much appreciated your reply Smile
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Lorikeet



Joined: 18 May 2003
Posts: 1368
Location: San Francisco, California

PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 3:30 am    Post subject: Re: Thank you ever so much for your kind reply :) Reply with quote

justjust wrote:
Thank you ever so much for your kind reply Smile Yes I agree with what you said. I would also say the same.

As far as the use for simple present perfect goes I have more examples here which conform to this rule.

2. To emphasise the present result of a past event.

I can't get in the house. I've lost my keys.
He can now rest because he has finished his work.
My uncle is in hospital because he has had a car accident.
My watch has stopped so I don't know what time it is.

Thank you once again. I very much appreciated your reply Smile


Present perfect is very hard to explain for the meaning that something happened in the indefinite past that is important to the present discussion.

I would prefer "My uncle is in the hospital because he had a car accident." in your sentence.

Perhaps you will find someone who can explain it better.
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justjust



Joined: 31 Jul 2010
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:57 am    Post subject: Thank you very much once again :) Reply with quote

Thank you very much once again.

Have a lovely day Smile
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 26 Oct 2004
Posts: 3008
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 3:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although the underlines in your subsequent examples appear to help support the quoted rule, the "present result" could apply to both or either (i.e. just one of) of the Present perfect versus Simple present clauses (and obviously most of the given Present perfect clauses in or by themselves would sound odd in this context if cast otherwise: Hmm, my watch has stopped cf. ??/*Hmm my watch stopped). That is, why would you necessarily need to add any further presentness or "result" beyond the 'am' of the 'Sorry I'm late' part? (As for the cause [missing the bus] of the lateness, Simple past obviously conveys that meaning very well. Present perfect is thus not required in that particular cause part). It is well known that Simple past and Present perfect overlap functionally with regard to "resultative aspect" (more here: http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=104526 ), and I'd be wary of any too-mechanical rules or extrapolations therefrom that suggested that only one but not the other should be used to express that aspect when used together with a Simple present clause.

Putting all that another way, if one really wants to draw still-present relevance from the fact of missing the bus then one might as Lori has suggested say something like 'Oh no, I've missed the bus, so now I'll have to get a taxi instead!' (or possibly 'I'll have to get a taxi now [as I've missed the bus]').

So yes, your first example might seem an exception to your rule, but I think you really have to ask yourself whether it is that good or clear a rule. From what I can see, it is conflating the forms and implying that both are together necessary to achieve the desired functional effect. IMHO that is quite wrong, and leads to the sort of confusion you're experiencing. The fact is that the example you've queried is perfectly acceptable English (i.e. clauses can have differing forms, "independent" of each other), and the replacement example you've suggested, simply in order to follow an incorrect or misunderstood rule, is unsurprisingly thus semantically awry. All I can suggest is that you try to form some clauses more independently of each other (e.g. there are a lot more conditional combinations than the famous four - zero, and first to third - would suggest), certainly Simple present and/or Present perfect ones lol.
.
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justjust



Joined: 31 Jul 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 2:04 pm    Post subject: Thank you very much for taking the time to reply. Reply with quote

Thank you very much for taking the time to reply.
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 26 Oct 2004
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Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heh, you're welcome, JJ! I'm just sorry I didn't have time to (re)write my thoughts a bit more clearly and succinctly is all, but my above answer will have to do for now. Smile
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 26 Oct 2004
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just thought I should offer a few more examples, such as:

I('ve) lived in China for 2 years, so I'm fluent in Chinese.

Note how I can use either Simple past or Present perfect in the first clause (as you doubtless already know, the former simply suggests I no longer live there, while the latter form simply suggests that I may well still live there), and that each can lead equally well into the second, Simple present clause. I therefore don't need to use Present perfect just because there is a "present result" (my fluency), and the Simple past clause-choice (I lived in China for 2 years) would in no way clash with the Simple present one (I'm fluent).
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justjust



Joined: 31 Jul 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:11 am    Post subject: Thank you ever so much for explaining further. Reply with quote

Thank you ever so much for explaining further. I perfectly understand what you mean now and I very much appreciate your help.

Just so you know the rule and the examples that followed were from the following websites
http://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/english-grammar/verbs/present-tense/present-perfect
http://www.englishtenses.com/tenses/present_perfect

Have a lovely day and thank you once again !
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 26 Oct 2004
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Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I don't see anything in either website about needing to change Simple past into Present perfect LOL. So I'm not quite sure where you got the idea that that examples like 'I'm sorry I'm late, I missed the bus' are wrong. I guess you were just misreading or overapplying the rule. (That happens sometimes when we master one form-rule but then forget about others/differing forms. It's almost like we want to use the recently mastered form exclusively or more often than it really warrants!).
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justjust



Joined: 31 Jul 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have only just read your final reply ! Once again thank you very much for your input fluffyhamster but perhaps you misunderstood me. I never said that either of the websites indicated that the simple past should be replaced with the present perfect nor did I think that the given example was wrong. I knew it was right. I simply wanted to know why.

Take good care of yourself Smile
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 26 Oct 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, it was hard to know quite what you were asking then, but no harm no foul. I'd just be wary of apparently theorizing (and thereby generating "counter-examples") on the basis of explanations, least of all of present prefect, because its standard explanations hardly seem that clear or usable to begin with! Granted though, that may be one way of improving the explanations if not the examples.
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justjust



Joined: 31 Jul 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smile Yes you have taught me how to be more flexible in my approach and I really appreciate it. THANK YOU as always fluffyhamster Smile
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fluffyhamster



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's no kiss emoticon so this will have to do: Razz
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