has acquired vs acquired

marcbatco

Senior Member
Italian-Italy
Hi, I would please ask you which of the options in bold is correct (I think that the former is correct) in the following (She has already completed her studies):
These modules are also a catalyst for further developing the knowledge and skills she (has acquired)/acquired in the course of her studies by building specialised competences in the area of ...
 
Last edited:
  • Bondstreet

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    .
    Both versions are acceptable, but to me "has acquired" implies that she acquired the skills more recently than "acquired".

    Consider these two sentences, which give a different impression of the time at which the skills were acquired:

    "She has been studying hard, and is very proud of the skills she has acquired. (recent)

    "She acquired those skills early in her career. (further back in time)
    .
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Bondstreet, I would avoid saying that the difference between the present perfect and the past simple has anything to do with with the action being more or less recent, because it simply isn't true. Consider this:

    Q.: Have you spoken to Tom?
    A.: Yes, he called me a moment ago.


    How recent is that?.;)


    In the OP's sentence we would use the present perfect if there were no (even implied) time reference but in this case we know that she has already completed her studies (a completed action in the past). Her knowledge and skills were clearly acquired during her studies so we need the past simple here.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Yes, I think 'in the course of her studies' is a time reference, and the simple past should be used when there is a time reference.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    These modules are also a catalyst for further developing the knowledge and skills she (has acquired)/acquired in the course of her studies by building specialised competences in the area of ...
    I don't think it counts as a time reference here, but it would surprise me if her studies weren't recent, or rather that they have continued up until recently.

    I've (just) finished a course in art history. Now I want to put to use the knowledge I've acquired in the course of my studies. I think it's a case of present relevance, plus the fact that this is recently-acquired knowledge.

    Compare with:
    I did a course in art history a few years ago. Now I want to put to use the knowledge I acquired in the course of those studies.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top