This morning I had /have had breakfast

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by Everybody lies, May 2, 2012.

  1. Everybody lies

    Everybody lies Senior Member

    Hi mates!

    I'd like you to tell me with which tense I should answer to this question (I also write the two possibles opcions)

    --"What have you already done this morning?"--

    - This morning, I woke up at 7:30 AM, had a little breakfast and brushed my teeth.
    - I have had breakfast, I have already gotten dressed and gotten to work.

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2012
  2. chamyto

    chamyto Senior Member

    Burgos, Spain
    Spanish
    Bueno, creo que la solución nos la da la pregunta: What have you already done? = Present perfect.

    No obstante yo hubiera dicho: - I have (already) had breakfast, gotten dressed and gone to work.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2012
  3. AquisM Senior Member

    Hong Kong
    English/Cantonese
    En este caso, diría que se puede usar ambos tiempos, pero cambiaría el orden de las palabras para que suenen más natural. También te corrijo unos errorcitos.

     
  4. kayokid

    kayokid Senior Member

    Chicago
    English, USA
    Strictly speaking, I agree with this. If follows the tense of the question and therefore it works because it is parallel in construction. In practice, I can see myself using the simple past in everyday conversation because, in my mind, I am listing the things I have accomplished, and in my mind are done/completed.
     
  5. Everybody lies

    Everybody lies Senior Member

    So, can I use the Past Simple though the question is Persent Perfect?
     
  6. kayokid

    kayokid Senior Member

    Chicago
    English, USA
    I do it. That doesn't mean it is correct.
    As I said above, it seems more 'correct' to stay with the original tense (present perfect). In practice, that does not happen all the time.
     
  7. Everybody lies

    Everybody lies Senior Member

    That's OK. Thanks all of you.
     
  8. GregAC86 Junior Member

    Madrid
    British English
    The key here is whether at the time of speaking/writing it is still 'the morning' or whether 'the morning' is finished:

    If it is still the morning (or you consider it to still be the morning) you should use the present perfect. e.g. "This morning I've had breakfast, gone to work, and written a few emails." [At the time of speaking it's 11am for example, so still the morning]

    If the morning is finished (or you consider the morning to be finished) you should use the past simple. e.g. "This morning I had breakfast, went to work and wrote a few emails." [At the time of speaking it's 3pm for example, so the morning is finished]

    Because the question is "What have you already done this morning?" the context dictates it is still the morning; or the person asking the question considers it to still be the morning; so an answer using the present perfect should be used.

    Note, however, that in American English they often use the present simple in contexts that Britons would use the present perfect.
     
  9. The Prof

    The Prof Senior Member

    Good answer. :thumbsup:
     
  10. Istriano

    Istriano Senior Member

    -
    But, there has been some American influence on the speech of young people in the UK, so the past simple use is spreading. ;)
     

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