EN: Have you received / Did you receive

Discussion in 'French and English Grammar / Grammaire française et anglaise' started by Mlle Juju, Sep 9, 2009.

  1. Mlle Juju Member

    Canada French
    Si je veux dire "As-tu reçu mon cadeau?"... Quelle forme utiliser?

    I know that people use both forms : "Have you received my gift..." and "Did you receive..." (well, if I'm not mistaken :eek:). Quelle serait la différence entre les deux?
  2. b1947420 Senior Member

    "did" is the past tense of the verb "do"
    "have" is present tense

    "have you received" = present perfect
    "did you receive" = simple past
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2009
  3. Mlle Juju Member

    Canada French
    Yes. But "have you received" indicates that something could have happend in the past (like receiving the gift). Dans quel cas faudrait-il utiliser l'une et l'autre forme?
  4. KraftDinner Senior Member

    American English
    I think they have the same meaning but I would use "Did you" more often.
  5. KraftDinner Senior Member

    American English
    Dans quel cas faudrait-il utiliser l'une et l'autre forme?

    I can't think of any situation where we can only use one or the other. I think they mean EXACTLY the same thing. In my opinion, "Did you ..." is more common though.
  6. Mlle Juju Member

    Canada French
    Interesting: that means that either way, I'm not making a mistake... I like that :)
  7. quinoa Senior Member

    What is commonly said about the difference between preterite (simple past) and present perfect is that when using the former the speaker has a "when" in mind, some image of the past, or of the fact that the situation he is speaking about has no link with the present moment, whereas when using the latter, the speaker has some "so what?" in mind, focusing on what is happening, on the consequences of the fact he is speaking about.
    But sometimes making this difference is not relevant because it doesn't have much importance...
  8. moustic Senior Member

    near Limoges
    British English
    Pour un britannique :
    Have you received my present ?
    sousentend "jusqu'à maintenant" - il y a encore un lien entre le moment passé (l'envoi du colis) et le moment présent - on s'inquiète que le colis ne soit pas encore arrivé.
    Did you receive my present ?
    sousentend que l'envoi et l'arrivée du colis sont tous les deux dans le passé (la semaine dernière par exemple).

    Je pense qu'un anglophone américain fait moins de distinction entre les deux formes. A vérifier !

    Autre exemple :
    Charlie Chaplin made many films. (prétérit - il est décédé, il n'y aura plus de films, plus de lien entre le passé et le présent)
    Brad Pitt has made many films. (present perfect - lien passé présent - il en fera encore des films)

    J'espère que ceci clarifie un peu les choses.
  9. geostan

    geostan Senior Member

    English Canada
    I like the last two examples. As for a distinction between the two tenses, I believe I make the same ones you do.

    Have you received my present [yet]? (If not, it's on its way.)
    Did you receive my present. (if not, it may have got lost, since it has been some time since I sent it. It should have reached you before now.)

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