letter Past Tense or Present Perfect Tense

English grammar questions, answered by Alan

Moderator: Alan

Locked
User avatar
markaurel
New
New
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2023 6:43 am
Status: Learner of English
Location: Vienna

letter Past Tense or Present Perfect Tense

Post by markaurel »

Dear community,

I've got a question and would be very grateful if you could give me your expertise:

Situation: You are in Australia and you write a letter to a friend. You want to tell him/her what you have already seen and what you are going to see.

If the person writes: I have seen e.x. the Sydney Opera House. - I would say that's correct, because he/she is still in Australia and that's the connection to the presence.

If the person writes: Yeserday a saw the Sydney Opera House. - I would say that's correct too, because he/she saw the Opera House yesterday - and that's over and has no connection to the presence.

So probably both versions are correct - it depends on what you prefer or how you want to see things.

Be so kind and tell me your opinion - as you have probably already mentioned I am not an English native speaker and therefore it is not totally clear for me.

Thank you very much!

Greetings,

M.A.
User avatar
Alan
Teacher/Moderator
Teacher/Moderator
Posts: 15284
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 7:56 pm
Status: Teacher of English
Location: Japan

Re: letter Past Tense or Present Perfect Tense

Post by Alan »

Yes, your understanding of the difference seems basically sound.

Note, however, that the appropriateness of 'I have seen the Sydney Opera House' is not limited to the time of your stay in Australia. You may say it at any time following the experience provided you do not attempt to add a phrase of definite time (last year, etc.)
Locked