Present Perfect or Past Simple?

English grammar and usage issues

Moderator: Susan

Present Perfect or Past Simple?

Unread postby Malteaser » 08 Jan 2011, 00:22

Hi

I'm currently doing my CELTA course and have just started on the skills lesson related assignment.

I'm basing it around the song The Day Before You Came by ABBA and will be targeting it towards an Entry 3 Level group I have been teaching in practice sessions.

I'm struggling to decide if the tense is present perfect due to have + past participle or past simple as we know the times when the things happened. Or maybe I'm wrong on both counts!

I Hope someone can help, I can post the lyrics if you're not familiar with the song.

Thanks
Malteaser
Registered Member
 
Posts: 2
Joined: 07 Jan 2011, 23:44
Status: Trainee Teacher

Re: Present Perfect or Past Simple?

Unread postby Josef » 08 Jan 2011, 06:20

Please post the relevant line(s).
User avatar
Josef
Admin
 
Posts: 74
Joined: 15 Dec 2010, 09:53
Status: Other

Re: Present Perfect or Past Simple?

Unread postby Malteaser » 08 Jan 2011, 13:43

First verse below:

I must have left my house at eight, because I always do
My train, I'm certain, left the station just when it was due
I must have read the morning paper going into town
And having gotten through the editorial, no doubt I must have frowned
I must have made my desk around a quarter after nine
With letters to be read, and heaps of papers waiting to be signed
I must have gone to lunch at half past twelve or so
The usual place, the usual bunch
And still on top of this I'm pretty sure it must have rained
The day before you came


Thanks
Malteaser
Registered Member
 
Posts: 2
Joined: 07 Jan 2011, 23:44
Status: Trainee Teacher

Re: Present Perfect or Past Simple?

Unread postby Alex Case » 09 Jan 2011, 13:54

It's neither.

The structure is:

must + perfect infinitive

The perfect infinitive is have (never has) + past participle (= PP/ 3rd form). You can tell that it isn't the Present Perfect because it doesn't change with the subject. For example, contrast:

He has seen it

With

He must have seen it

More generally, you identify a tense by its structure, as I have done above. You might need to pay attention to the time clauses like you mentioned to identify its meaning, but not to identify the tense.
Alex Case
Teacher Trainer
 
Posts: 547
Joined: 17 Aug 2007, 02:53
Location: Tokyo
Status: Teacher

Re: Present Perfect or Past Simple?

Unread postby mikeclark » 09 Jul 2012, 17:42

Hi Malteaser

Alex gave you a really good, clear answer to your Present Perfect v. Past Simple query.
As you're into songs, why not try "Lady in Red" by Chris de Burgh. It's nice and slow and , unwittingly, Chris really flags up the difference between the two! (i.e. the dated Past Simple along with the "set phrase" Present Perfect with ever/never repeated over and over! I also find the way the Present Perfect also merges with the present ("Lady in Red is dancing with me") highlights the "nowness" of the present perfect in "I have been blind". 8)

"Lady in Red" by Chris de Burgh

I've never seen you looking so lovely as you did tonight
I've never seen you shine so bright
I've never seen so many men ask you if you wanted to dance
They're looking for a little romance
Given half a chance
And I've never seen that dress you're wearing
Or those highlights in your hair
That catch your eyes
I have been blind.

The lady in red is dancing with me
Cheek to cheek
There's nobody here
It's just you and me
It's where I wanna be
But I hardly know this beauty by my side
I'll never forget the way you looked tonight.

I've never seen you looking so gorgeous as you did tonight
I've never seen you shine so bright - you were amazing
I've never seen so many people want to be there by your side
And when you turned to me and smiled it took my breath away
And I have never had such a feeling, such a feeling
Of complete and utter love, as I did tonight.

The lady in red is dancing with me
Cheek to cheek
There's nobody here
It's just you and me
It's where I wanna be
But I hardly know this beauty by my side
I'll never forget the way you looked tonight

I never will forget the way you looked tonight
The lady in red
My lady in red
I love you.

I've also got worksheets, if you're interested.
:)
Mike CLARK

PS Re malteaser: Do you tease people badly - or just can't stop eating them once you've started?!
mikeclark
Registered Member
 
Posts: 3
Joined: 29 Jun 2012, 13:17
Status: Other


Return to Grammar and Usage

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests