efficiency with which they have designed

quiteinteresting

Senior Member
German - Germany
Hi,

I recently read these sentences:

1a) "I'm really impressed with the efficiency with which they have designed this yacht." (Source: youtube.com/watch?v=3weIfkwRGxc)
2a) "They've done quite a neat job with this." (Source: youtu.be/F11Hlq0uo0I?t=180)
3a) "Princess has done a lovely job with this." (Source: youtube.com/watch?v=Z63-oEqp-Do)

However, I would not have expected the present perfect in all the above sentences, but instead the simple past (as these are actions finished in the past):

1b) "I'm really impressed with the efficiency with which they designed this yacht."
2b) "They did quite a neat job with this."
3b) "Princess did a lovely job with this."

The dictionary also gives the simple past as an example: "The dry cleaner's did a good job of removing that oil stain from my shirt." (Source: do/make a good/bad job of sth).

My questions:

A)
Why is the present perfect still used in the above examples? Is the reference to the present (which makes the present perfect necessary) already given by the fact that the results of the work are still visible? 🤔

B) I read this comment here: "We use the simple past usually with a time marker and the present perfect when the time period is unspecified or unimportant." (Source: [Grammar] - I finished my work/I have finished my work.). Can I therefore deduce that the present perfect is always used when there is no time indication in the sentence? 🤔

Thank you so much! 😄
 
  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    It really makes little difference if you use the simple past in those examples; using the perfect just makes the situation seem a little more immediate and vivid.

    EDIT: Removed outdated remark.
     

    quiteinteresting

    Senior Member
    German - Germany
    It's not the present progressive (they are designing...); those are perfect constructions. It really makes little difference if you use the simple past in those examples; using the perfect just makes the situation seem a little more immediate and vivid.
    Thank you, I noticed and corrected my mistake immediately after publishing.☺
    Okay, thank you! I'm curious to see if anyone from the UK will confirm this. Then I could remember that as generally valid in American and British English. 😄
     

    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Thank you, I noticed and corrected my mistake immediately after publishing.☺
    Okay, thank you! I'm curious to see if anyone from the UK will confirm this. Then I could remember that as generally valid in American and British English. 😄
    British English does tend to favor the use of the perfect more than American English.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    In all three sentences there is reference to "this", so the context is reference to past actions that could be seen as directly relevant to a current situation. That justifies the use of the present perfect. I would use it for both 2 and 3. However, the first sentence seems to refer to an action that is much more firmly in the past, and I would be more inclined to use the simple past for that one.

    "The dry cleaner's did a good job of removing that oil stain from my shirt." That seems perfectly reasonable, but there is no context. If I were showing the shirt to somebody I would probably use the past perfect.

    There is no clear rule for this, it is only what seems right at the time.
     

    quiteinteresting

    Senior Member
    German - Germany
    It really makes little difference if you use the simple past in those examples; using the perfect just makes the situation seem a little more immediate and vivid.
    Thank you! ☺️

    In all three sentences there is reference to "this", so the context is reference to past actions that could be seen as directly relevant to a current situation. That justifies the use of the present perfect.
    Thank you so much! 😀
     
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