Best advice Eric ever <gave> you.

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Phoebe1200

Senior Member
Russian-Russia
NCIS LA, TV show
Context: Nell starts talking about politics with Hetty and suddenly Eric interrupts her and pulls her aside.

Nell: What the heck? I was just bonding with Hetty.
Eric: I just saved you. You do not discuss politics with Hetty.
Nell: That's ridiculous.
Callen: Best advice Eric ever gave you.

Is he just being American by using the past simple with "ever"?
Would the British people use the present perfect here "Best advice Eric's ever given you."?
 
  • boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    I personally would have used the present perfect, just as you suggest. If not American, the past tense is more conversational...
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Some examples of 'completed past time'
    Eric is dead
    the speaker knows you will never see Eric again
    you knew Eric as a child, but now he is on Mars
    etc.
    :)
     

    Phoebe1200

    Senior Member
    Russian-Russia
    Some examples of 'completed past time'
    Eric is dead
    the speaker knows you will never see Eric again
    you knew Eric as a child, but now he is on Mars
    etc.
    :)
    - I lived with Eric 3 years in the 90s.
    - What was the best advice he ever gave you?
    Here "ever" ended in the 90s.
    Thank you very much. Now I understand what you meant but this is not the case in the OP. Eric is still with them.:confused:
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    As I understand, according to the OP, Eric still can give advice in the future, so, in other words, Teddy meant that the OP wouldn't work in BE.
     

    Phoebe1200

    Senior Member
    Russian-Russia
    Thanks.

    Here's what I actually thought about the OP. I thought that the British English speakers would use the present perfect in the OP and the past simple in the OP is just American English usage and the meaning is absolutely the same as if Americans used the present perfect.

    Was I wrong?
     

    SevenDays

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Thanks.

    Here's what I actually thought about the OP. I thought that the British English speakers would use the present perfect in the OP and the past simple in the OP is just American English usage and the meaning is absolutely the same as if Americans used the present perfect.

    Was I wrong?
    Nope.
    From what I've seen, the perfect form ("has given you") is expected in BE, while the simple form ("ever gave you") is common in AE. However, I don't know if this is anecdotal (based on what's seen here in WR) or if it actually a linguistic phenomena, reflecting how speakers in the UK and in America speak. Strictly in terms of syntax, though, there's no difference in the two forms, so you can use either one.
     
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