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EN: we've had a pretty awful summer

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by beiramarense, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. beiramarense New Member

    Lisbon (Portugal)
    Portuguese - Portugal, French - France
    Hello,

    I'm in trouble. :confused:

    In my English Grammar book (English Grammar in Use), it is said that we use the present perfect when the action has a link with now (for instance "this year I've read 10 books"), but when the action is in the past we use the past tense (for instance "last year I read 20 books").
    However this morning I read "We've had a pretty awful summer" in BBC's 6-Minute English (Page 1). As we are in January, the summer is over, so I would have used the past tense.

    So, here's my question. Why did the broadcaster say and write: "we've had a pretty awful summer" instead of "we had a pretty awful summer"?

    Thank you very much
     
  2. johnwr New Member

    Inglish
    You are correct: "We've had a pretty awful summer" should refer to an on-going event (ie. summer), and January is clearly not an extension of summer if you are living in England. That said, colloquial English does allow for a measure of grammatical flexibility. I would assume in this particular instance that the speaker was referring to the seasonal year as a whole, or simply that he was being sloppy. For its part, the BBC has been having quite a dreadful year.
     
  3. moustic Senior Member

    near Limoges
    British English
    From your example, I would assume that the person who said "we've had a pretty awful summer" was recorded last September. :)
     
  4. beiramarense New Member

    Lisbon (Portugal)
    Portuguese - Portugal, French - France
    Thank you for your answers.
     

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