question for native speakers of English

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question for native speakers of English

Post by maryemily » Sat Nov 20, 2004 1:01 am

When do you exactly use simple past and past perfect?

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GRammer Question

Post by Harlee » Mon Jan 24, 2005 3:36 am

Hi, my name is Harlee and I'm an ESL teacher in America. It would be difficult to answer your question based on face value. Can you give me an example of what you are asking about grammar?

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Re: question for native speakers of English

Post by Dolamar » Tue Feb 22, 2005 9:23 pm

maryemily wrote:When do you exactly use simple past and past perfect?
That I don't know exactly to tell you the truth! :lol:
That's the funny thing about being a native speaker. :P

Anyways, here are some write ups on the simple past and the past perfect tenses and their uses in English. :)

Hopefully they'll help you in some way! :oops:

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Post by rebeca » Wed Feb 23, 2005 6:26 pm

Past Perfect is used when is a past action before another past action.
Past Simple - a past finished action

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Post by GiddyGad » Tue Mar 01, 2005 6:12 pm

Rebeca is right.

See it as a formal operation. The first verb of the Predicate will tell you the Time - either the Past or the Present (it's a funny thing but there's no Future form in English; they use modals for expressing the Future). Anyway, the first verb of the Predicate will show you the formal Time of the sentence. The Past will either refer the meaning of the sentence to the past events or or will be in the Subjunctive Mood (if you know what it is); conversely, the Present will refer the meaning to the Present or the Future. Aspect (Perfect in your case) shows the state of the action - be it in the Past or the Present - not the Time. Thus, again, Past Perfect will show either the result of the action in the past or the impossibility to change the result in the Present - what is done cannot be undone - in the Subjunctive, as in: "I shouldn't have touched that plate", which now is (probably) broken, or "Had I been in your shoes..." - luckily, I'm not.
Ask if you've got any questions...

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