have bought a new bike since last year [present perfect]

Discussion in 'English Only' started by sunfloweronline, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. sunfloweronline

    sunfloweronline Senior Member

    vietnamese
    I bought a new bike last year and now I still have it. So, could I say: I have bought a new bike since last year or should I say: I have had a new bike since last year. :confused: I
     
  2. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    There is a logic problem here., at least in English We don't tend to think of the bike as new after you have used it for a year, so the bike is new only when you purchased it (and possibly for a short time afterwards). "This bike is the new one I bought last year" or "I have the bike I bought new last year" would work for me if you want to emphasize that it was new when you bought it.
     
  3. cyberpedant

    cyberpedant Senior Member

    North Adams, MA
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    This almost works. But since last year's bike can no longer be considered "new," you should remove that word.
     
  4. velisarius

    velisarius Senior Member

    Greece
    British English (Sussex)
    I'm a person who hates throwing things away, so that may colour my view, ;) but I disagree that we cannot say "new" here.
    I may have a couple of old bikes in the shed and I go out and buy a new red one. For a few years at least, that red bike is going to be my "new" one.
    "I've had my new bike for a year now; I'm thinking of giving the old one to my little brother." I am probably biased since our shed is full of old bikes in varying stages of decay.
     
  5. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    These sentences are valid, but are different in meaning.

    I agree with velisarius: something can easily remain 'new' in that sense (post 4) for a long time (Edinburgh's New Town is over 200 years old). In this sense, we could well say 'I have had my new bike since last year'.

    Note that this sentence works correctly to express the length of time you have had the bike: not the fact that it is your 'new' bike (that fact is assumed to be already known by the listener).

    On the other hand, the sentence 'I have bought a new bike since last year' works correctly to express the fact that the bike is a new acquisition compared to a year ago: but it does not say how long you have had the bike.

    Suppose you had been cycling with a friend a year ago and now you have your first meeting since that time.
    The sentence 'I have bought a new bike since last year' simply says that the bike has been bought at some time since you last met.
    Your friend could well reply, 'Oh, how long have you had it?'
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2013
  6. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    That makes sense to me with "my". It distinguishes that bike in the collection of your bikes. It wouldn't necessarily even have to be "store-bought new", as I would use it. "My new bike" might be my latest used bike acquisition. :)

    I wonder if you would say "I've had a new bike since last year". Would you?
     
  7. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    A; "Whose is that bike?"
    B: "It's mine."
    A: "But you always ride round on that old black thing."
    B: "You need to keep up. I've had a new bike since last year. I got it off Harry."
     
  8. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    Plausible. Definitely plausible. :) I'm sold.
     
  9. sunfloweronline

    sunfloweronline Senior Member

    vietnamese
    Thank you everyone has answered my questions. The present perfect tense is more complicated than I have thought.
     
  10. Giorgio Spizzi Senior Member

    Italian
    Hullo, wandle.

    Are you sure there's not something grammatically strange in 'I have bought a new bike since last year' ?
    I'm asking because I don't think that the buying "process" can be considered ongoing since last year. Maybe you meant "I've had a new bike since last year", or the obvious "I bought a new bike last year"?

    GS :)
     
  11. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    The present perfect is regularly used to report news. The fact of the purchase is news to the friend, since this is their first meeting since the year before.

    'I've had a new bike since last year' leaves open the possibility that it had been disposed of in the mean time, whereas 'I have bought a new bike since last year' makes clear it is still owned by the speaker (a present consequence of the purchase).
     
  12. Giorgio Spizzi Senior Member

    Italian
    Thank you, wandle.
    Now I see the sentence in a new light: "I've bought a new BIKE since last year (="Since last year I've bought a new BIKE").
    GS :)
     
  13. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    I don't think either one eliminates either possibility.

    "Since last year I have had/bought a new bike and sold it" and "Since last year I have had/bought a new bike that I ride every day" both (i.e. all four) make sense to me.
     
  14. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    :thumbsup:

    I think you understand now. "Since last year" defines a time interval beginning "last year" and ending with "now". If you bought at least one new bike during that time interval, you can say "I've bought a new bike since last year."

    The time interval in question is a stage on which events have happened. Those events do not have to last the whole time to justify the use of Present Perfect. And, in my opinion, it does not matter whether you still have a bike.
     
  15. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British

    Yes; but if he says to the friend in the context of post 5, 'I have bought a new bike' (no mention of having sold it) this says to the friend that he still has the bike: whereas, 'I have had a new bike' does not.
     
  16. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    With no mention of having sold it, and no mention of not having sold it, "I have bought a new bike" does not, to me, imply I still have the bike. Nor does it imply I do not still have the bike.

    The same goes for "I have had a new bike."

    However, having usually lasts longer than buying, so "I have had a new bike since last year" makes my still having the bike more likely than "I have bought a new bike since last year" does. If we add "ever" to the "have had" sentence, it becomes almost certain that I still have the bike: "I have had a new bike ever since last year." If a person says this last, I expect context to the contrary if they don't still have the bike.

    And "I have bought a new bike ever since last year" would be quite an odd thing to say without supporting context (probably something about buying a new bike on multiple occasions, such as every time something else has happened to me), so when I see "I have bought a bike since last year", I think a bike has been bought but in the absence of further context indicating one way or the other, I do not know whether the bike has subsequently been sold.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2013
  17. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    Please do not forget that each of my comments above has been carefully contextualised.
    The context established in post 5 is that two friends have met for the first time since cycling together the previous year.

    If one now says to the other 'I have bought a new bike since last year', with no mention made of selling it, this conveys the message that the speaker still has the bike. This is not a logical entailment of that sentence on its own, but it is a natural implicature of that sentence in context. That is because he is giving a piece of news which has its significance in their shared experience of cycling. The news he is giving is the purchase of the bike. As indicated in post 5, such a statement in such a context would naturally evoke an interested response from the friend, such as 'What make is it?' 'How long have you had it?' 'How well does it ride?' etc. etc.

    On the other hand, the sentence 'I have had a new bike since last year', spoken in the same context, could evoke a similar response: but it could alternatively evoke the response 'Oh, what make was it?' - which would not be an appropriate reaction to 'I have bought a new bike since last year'.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2013
  18. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    I still disagree. Why would the purchaser not say simply "I have a new bike now", or "I bought a new bike. Would you like to see it?"?
     
  19. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    London
    English - British
    Those are perfectly possible sentences, but they are not the ones the thread was asking about.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2013

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