1. vanilla16
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    vanilla16 Member

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    Which is correct?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by vanilla16, Jul 6, 2011.

    I've commented on your story.
    I commented on you story.

    Thank you :)
     
  2. teacherayala
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    teacherayala Contributing Member

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    "I've commented on your story" hints that in the past, back in the day, you have commented on her story at some unknown, random point in time. This could be used like: "I've commented on your story before, and I don't have many more changes to make."

    "I commented on your story" hints that in the past you commented, and it might have even been fairly recently. This would preface something like: "I commented on your story, but I'm not sure if I was helpful or not."
     
  3. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    "I've commented on your story" is correct present perfect.
    "I commented on your story." is correct simple past.

    Each has its use. Which is best depends on the context.
    "As requested, I've commented on your story. Please find attached a copy of your original file marked up with my comments."

    "I've done lots to support your writing career! I commented on your story. I mailed it for you. I even paid for the postage stamps!"
     
  4. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi vanilla16

    Both examples are correct. You are merely expressing the message in two different past tenses.

    I commented on your story is written in simple past tense.

    I've commented on your story is written in present perfect tense, which, despite the name, is still a past tense! ;)

    (much like what the poster above said, if only I had been sufficiently alert to read it first! BTW "had been" is past perfect progressive tense. ;)
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    as noted above, both are correct...
     
  6. vanilla16
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    vanilla16 Member

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    What is simple past and present perfect?

    @Halcyon what's a past perfect progressive? It sounds cool! :-D
     
  7. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    They are the names of the different tenses and aspects. There are descriptions with helpful diagrams here.
     
  8. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Don't they teach tenses in school any more?
     
  9. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, it has been being cool, anyway. :D
     
  10. vanilla16
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    vanilla16 Member

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    Thank you so much! Your site explains it very well. : )
     
  11. flipflop
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    flipflop Senior Member

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    no
    some kids cant even read after they've left school
    (depends on the school)
     
  12. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    And lots more don't know when to use an apostrophe :D

    (Sorry, we all fall victim to Muphry's law from time to time)
     
  13. vanilla16
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    vanilla16 Member

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    May I ask one more question?

    Both of these sentences are correct?
    I have already completed my assignment.
    I already completed my assignment
     
  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Yes, correct but slightly different in meaning.
     
  15. flipflop
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    flipflop Senior Member

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    am i being dumb its just i cant quite work this one out:confused:
     
  16. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    No, the difference is definitely subtle between past tense and present perfect, especially in this example. But there is a difference.

    The first sentence uses present perfect tense for an action that has occurred before the present time. The second sentence uses past tense ti denote an action in the past.

    A more obvious example:

    I flew to Europe.
    I have flown to Europe.

    The first is more definite, and speaks of a specific instance, but the second means that at some indefinite past time the speaker has travelled to Europe by air.

    Google present perfect tense for a more detailes explanation.

    In some contexts, there is little difference between present perfect and past tense semantics, but in other cases the difference is very significant.
     
  17. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Both are grammatically correct. Because simple past usually refers to a specific time, and "already" is vague about the actual time, "I have already completed my assignment" would probably be better, but you will hear both.
     
  18. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    One instance where only one of the tenses can be used and not the other is:

    "I completed my assigment at 3 o'clock yesterday."

    You could not use present perfect then, because we're talking about a specific point in past time.

    "I have completed my assignment at 3 o'clock yesterday." is incorrect, and I'm sure you can hear it. Present perfect always points at an undefined (and irrelevant) moment in the past, and the fact that the assignment indeed has been completed by now is in focus.
     
  19. flipflop
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    flipflop Senior Member

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    cheers very helpful:)
     

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