present perfect+no time definition

Discussion in 'English Only' started by slovac, Mar 9, 2013.

  1. slovac Senior Member

    Could I ask, it is possible to use present perfect tense in a case when I don't have an exact time definition?
    Let me explain my statement. This is a classical example from book.
    She has been mentally ill since my birth.
    However, I would like to ask whether it is possible to emphasize that it started from an exact past moment and continues to present.
    Every woman: I used to be fine. However, in 20XX I had a baby and left the job. I don't know what happened to me, but I have been mentally ill.(since my baby's birth and also in present)

    However, I don't want to mention since my baby's birth. A listener/reader has to read this not said/written part from the context.

    Thank you.
  2. boozer Senior Member

    I think it is understood that this has been the case since you left the job. Mentally ill people are usually not aware of their illness so I think they would be unlikely to say this, but that is another story...
  3. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    That doesn't work, Slovac. This woman (I don't think you mean "every" woman, do you?) says that in a particular year she had a baby and (I guess at the same time?) left her job (it should be "left my job"). Then she says, "I have been mentally ill." If you want it to be clear that it began when she had the baby and left her job, you'll need to say so; otherwise, we have no idea when her mental illness began; it may have been three weeks ago.
  4. slovac Senior Member

    Thank you. I meant "every" because nowadays children don't want to obey their parents.
  5. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    Now I'm really bewildered! Are you saying that children don't want to obey their parents, and therefore all women leave their jobs when they have babies and then become mentally ill? :confused:
  6. Annalees Senior Member

    I agree with Parla - If you don't want to say "since my baby's birth", you'll at least have to say "ever since".

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