'because I haven't played in a long time'

Hinata Sama

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi, my friends.
This tense thing is really confusing me.
Could you help? Thank you

Let's say, today I was talking with a friend.

I: I played basktball yesterday.
my friend: Was it fun?
I: It's okay, but I didn't play well. Because I haven't played in a long time.

Native speakers, could I use present perfect tense here?
I am not sure because I don't know if 'played basketball yesterday' is considered an event far in the past clearly.
 
  • anthox

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Yes, everything in your sample conversation sounds natural and correct (though grammatically, your third sentence should be combined into a single phrase). You could say, "I played basketball today" as well, if you did it earlier than the moment of telling about it.
     

    Hinata Sama

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Yes, everything in your sample conversation sounds natural and correct (though grammatically, your third sentence should be combined into a single phrase). You could say, "I played basketball today" as well, if you did it earlier than the moment of telling about it.
    Thank you, but I am still have some questions
    what about 'I played basketball a week ago'
    I am thinking maybe I could also use present perfect? because this event is still fresh in my minid?
     

    Giorgio Spizzi

    Senior Member
    Italian
    No, Jack, it would be wrong.
    You may have memories of when you were a kid, but the moment you name the time* something happened you have to use a Simple Past.

    GS :)
    * by means of different kinds of expressions: in 1990; last winter; when I was operated on; when I was five; yesterday; etc.
     

    Mrs JJJ

    Senior Member
    USA
    English (British)
    I would also change the "It's OK" to "It was OK". The friend was asking specifically about yesterday's basketball session, so a past tense sounds more appropriate to me.

    I'd answer "It's OK", if my friend were asking about the basketball sessions in general. eg:

    Friend1 : I hear you've joined a basketball team! How's it going? Is it fun?
    Friend 2: It's OK. But I'm out of practice, because I haven't played for a long time.
    (Or: It's OK. But I'm not playing very well, because I haven't played basketball for a long time.)
     
    Last edited:

    Hinata Sama

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    I would also change the "It's OK" to "It was OK". The friend was asking specifically about yesterday's basketball session, so a past tense sounds more appropriate to me.

    I'd answer "It's OK", if my friend were asking about the basketball sessions in general. eg:

    Friend1 : I hear you've joined a basketball team! How's it going? Is it fun?
    Friend 2: It's OK. But I'm out of practice, because I haven't played for a long time.
    (Or: It's OK. But I'm not playing very well, because I haven't played basketball for a long time.)
    Could I use ' hadn't ' in the conversation I made?
    Because I looked it up in grammar books, there seem to be some rules which say I should use "hadn't "
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    I agree with SS that the past perfect is more accurate, even though the present perfect also works (because the whole thing is still fresh).
     
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