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# Present Perfect vs Simple Past

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Present Perfect vs Simple Past [#permalink]

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09 May 2010, 13:32
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8% (00:00) correct 92% (01:03) wrong based on 17 sessions

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Hi All,

I know the difference between the two (Present Perfect vs Simple Past). When the activity is on-going (stated in the past) we use Present Perfect, otherwise we use Simple Past. However, I have seen questions where it is difficult to make out whether the activity under question is still continuing or has ended. Can somebody please specify which one to use or which one is preferred??

The science of economics, which for four decades was dominated by Keynesians, who at first stressed the government’s role in stimulating the economy, but who were ultimately led away from solutions based on government intervention.
(A) economics, which for four decades was
(B) economics that was to be
(C) economics, one which has, for four decades, been
(D) economics is one that for four decades has been
(E) economics, for four decades, is one that was

keeping aside the other errors can somebody specify why do we use Present Perfect or Simple Past??

Thanks
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Re: Present Perfect vs Simple Past [#permalink]

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09 May 2010, 14:24
artabhi wrote:
Hi All,

I know the difference between the two (Present Perfect vs Simple Past). When the activity is on-going (stated in the past) we use Present Perfect, otherwise we use Simple Past. However, I have seen questions where it is difficult to make out whether the activity under question is still continuing or has ended. Can somebody please specify which one to use or which one is preferred??

The science of economics, which for four decades was dominated by Keynesians, who at first stressed the government’s role in stimulating the economy, but who were ultimately led away from solutions based on government intervention.
(A) economics, which for four decades was
(B) economics that was to be
(C) economics, one which has, for four decades, been
(D) economics is one that for four decades has been
(E) economics, for four decades, is one that was

keeping aside the other errors can somebody specify why do we use Present Perfect or Simple Past??

Thanks

There is an implied "and continues to xxx" for verbs in the present perfect tense.

In the example above: The science of economics, which for four decades has been dominated by Keynesians (and continues to be dominated by Keynesians) xxxxx. Many times as in the example above, certain words give a clue that the action does not continue. "but were ultimately led away" is letting you know that it refers to the past.

Another example:
John has walked ten miles. (we are not 100% sure if the actions is continuing)
Many times another word will give a clue
John walked ten miles, and by the time he arrived he was tired.
John has walked ten miles every day since his birthday.

Many times other words will give a clue about whether something has ended.
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Re: Present Perfect vs Simple Past [#permalink]

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10 May 2010, 10:58
In the above example the sentence is in indirect speech. so" has been " is preferred. what is the OA?
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Re: Present Perfect vs Simple Past [#permalink]

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06 Mar 2011, 13:55
For and since are typical contenders for perfect tense in a sentence when referred with a "time frame".
For eg. I have been living here for last 3 years.
I have been living here since 10'o clock yesterday.
So, D becomes obvious choice above E.
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Re: Present Perfect vs Simple Past [#permalink]

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08 Mar 2011, 00:02
lagomez wrote:
artabhi wrote:
Hi All,

I know the difference between the two (Present Perfect vs Simple Past). When the activity is on-going (stated in the past) we use Present Perfect, otherwise we use Simple Past. However, I have seen questions where it is difficult to make out whether the activity under question is still continuing or has ended. Can somebody please specify which one to use or which one is preferred??

The science of economics, which for four decades was dominated by Keynesians, who at first stressed the government’s role in stimulating the economy, but who were ultimately led away from solutions based on government intervention.
(A) economics, which for four decades was
(B) economics that was to be
(C) economics, one which has, for four decades, been
(D) economics is one that for four decades has been
(E) economics, for four decades, is one that was

keeping aside the other errors can somebody specify why do we use Present Perfect or Simple Past??

Thanks

There is an implied "and continues to xxx" for verbs in the present perfect tense.

In the example above: The science of economics, which for four decades has been dominated by Keynesians (and continues to be dominated by Keynesians) xxxxx. Many times as in the example above, certain words give a clue that the action does not continue. "but were ultimately led away" is letting you know that it refers to the past.

Another example:
John has walked ten miles. (we are not 100% sure if the actions is continuing)
Many times another word will give a clue
John walked ten miles, and by the time he arrived he was tired.
John has walked ten miles every day since his birthday.

Many times other words will give a clue about whether something has ended.

well said, you have to look for the clue in other words of the sentence to understand whether the tense is past.
the meaning of the sentence and the intention of the author have to be interpreted.
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Re: Present Perfect vs Simple Past [#permalink]

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14 Jul 2011, 09:23
Hey gomez,

You wrote: " "but were ultimately led away" is letting you know that it refers to the past."

So, when the sentence mentions that the action ended in the past then how can it use present perfect?

Since here we dont know for sure whether Keynesians are still dominating economics, do you mean to say that present perfect should be used in such instances?

AND somple past should be used in sentences which clearly indicate an action has ended

For instance,
John walked home or John has walked home ( we are not sure whether John has reached home yet, so we use present perfect) BUT

John walked home and has went to bed (has went to bed indicates that John reached home, so we can say walked-simple past)

Is this proper reasoning?

Thank you.

lagomez wrote:
artabhi wrote:
Hi All,

I know the difference between the two (Present Perfect vs Simple Past). When the activity is on-going (stated in the past) we use Present Perfect, otherwise we use Simple Past. However, I have seen questions where it is difficult to make out whether the activity under question is still continuing or has ended. Can somebody please specify which one to use or which one is preferred??

The science of economics, which for four decades was dominated by Keynesians, who at first stressed the government’s role in stimulating the economy, but who were ultimately led away from solutions based on government intervention.
(A) economics, which for four decades was
(B) economics that was to be
(C) economics, one which has, for four decades, been
(D) economics is one that for four decades has been
(E) economics, for four decades, is one that was

keeping aside the other errors can somebody specify why do we use Present Perfect or Simple Past??

Thanks

There is an implied "and continues to xxx" for verbs in the present perfect tense.

In the example above: The science of economics, which for four decades has been dominated by Keynesians (and continues to be dominated by Keynesians) xxxxx. Many times as in the example above, certain words give a clue that the action does not continue. "but were ultimately led away" is letting you know that it refers to the past.

Another example:
John has walked ten miles. (we are not 100% sure if the actions is continuing)
Many times another word will give a clue
John walked ten miles, and by the time he arrived he was tired.
John has walked ten miles every day since his birthday.

Many times other words will give a clue about whether something has ended.

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Re: Present Perfect vs Simple Past [#permalink]

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14 Jul 2011, 12:51
"were ultimately led away from solutions based on government intervention" tells that the "four decades" period was in the past.
This means "has been" usage in D seems wrong.
But "for four decades" in E has been placed very awkwardly. A,B&C are incorrect because none of them is complete sentence.
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Re: Present Perfect vs Simple Past [#permalink]

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14 Jul 2011, 20:18
Expert's post
The question is whether’ ‘Economics was dominated’’ or ‘Economic has been dominated”

At the moment of writing this topic, are the Keynesians still dominating? In that case what does “were ultimately led away" imply? This means that they are not still stressing their original stand of depending upon government’s assistance any more.

Hence that economics was dominated by Keynesians is a closed chapter and thing of past; therefore, a past tense will be the right thing to express the phenomenon. In this case, E merits the right choice.
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Re: Present Perfect vs Simple Past [#permalink]

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14 Jul 2011, 21:27
Yes I too thought E is best of given choices.
Just that I didn't like how "for four decades" is placed in E. Is it ok?
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Re: Present Perfect vs Simple Past [#permalink]

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14 Jul 2011, 22:05
D is the best choice. with "A" its a sentence fragment missing main verb.
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Re: Present Perfect vs Simple Past [#permalink]

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14 Jul 2011, 22:36
@pankgarg
Why "has been" is correct?
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Re: Present Perfect vs Simple Past [#permalink]

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15 Jul 2011, 06:55
Expert's post
@hellishbrain

The word ‘since’ marks the beginning of an event but not the end. Hence the hint of continuance. But the word ‘for’ is different. It does denote a period of beginning and ending;
For example: ‘For the five years I studded at the St. Joseph’s, I walked up the distance.” We don’t say ‘For the five years I have studied at the St.Joseph’s, I have walked up the distance’

Using ‘for’ is ok in E, as I see.
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Re: Present Perfect vs Simple Past [#permalink]

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15 Jul 2011, 13:13
a tough one...i thought "has been" was correct because of passive construction. But yeah "were led away" suggests use of "was" over "has been". But the construction in "E" is really wordy and awkward.
it could just be economics, for four decades, was
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Re: Present Perfect vs Simple Past [#permalink]

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15 Jul 2011, 13:47
IMO, D.

The misplaced modifier in E changes the meaning.
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Re: Present Perfect vs Simple Past [#permalink]

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16 Jul 2011, 10:32
sgupta0827 wrote:

Do you mean that this is the OA?

IMO D
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Re: Present Perfect vs Simple Past [#permalink]

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16 Jul 2011, 11:25
144144 wrote:
sgupta0827 wrote:

Do you mean that this is the OA?

IMO D

I apologize; I don't even know where these questions are coming from. I am just posting my opinion.
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Re: Present Perfect vs Simple Past   [#permalink] 16 Jul 2011, 11:25
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