I <have> met Jessica yesterday, so I'm going to visit her...

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Brigitte_anna, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. Brigitte_anna Senior Member

    german
    Hi!

    I met Jessica yesterday evening, so I'm going to visit her and her husband today.

    This situation looks like an ideal occasion to use the Present Perfect:

    I have met Jessica yesterday evening, so I'm going to visit her and her husband today.

    because what we have here is a past event (meeting Jessica) that has present consequences (going to visit). Right?

    Actually I know that the second sentence is incorrect, but it just seems a little bit strange to me that Perfect tense is not applicable here.
     
  2. velisarius

    velisarius Senior Member

    Greece
    British English (Sussex)
    You've used an expression that shows when this happened: "yesterday evening", so you can't use the present perfect. In addition, we only use "I have met (someone)" when we've met them for the first time.

    I've met a nice girl called Jessica; I'm going to visit her and her husband today.
     
  3. Florentia52

    Florentia52 Modwoman in the attic

    Wisconsin
    English - United States
    No, we don’t use the present perfect with specific times. You could say:

    I met her yesterday, and today I am going to visit her.

    I have met her, and today I am going to visit her.

    [Cross-posted with velisarius]
     
  4. Brigitte_anna Senior Member

    german
    Yes, but I have also used the situation that fits Present Perfect prefectly:D. Why time specification takes priority over the situation?

    Thank you for this remark!
     
  5. dojibear

    dojibear Senior Member

    Fresno CA
    English - Northeast US
    It doesn't fit "the past up until now" if it happened yesterday evening. Yesterday evening doesn't continue up until now.
     
  6. Brigitte_anna Senior Member

    german
    I agree. Are the following sentences correct then:
    I have met Jessica today, so I'm going to visit her and her husband.
    I had met Jessica yesterday evening, so I'm going to visit her and her husband today.
     
  7. Brigitte_anna Senior Member

    german
    But we are losing the Perfect aspect then (past event is a cause of present consequences), it's like to say:
    I ate, so I'm not hungry now.
     
  8. velisarius

    velisarius Senior Member

    Greece
    British English (Sussex)
    This is a fundamental difference. If you want to indicate when something took place, you cannot use the present perfect. If you do, people will understand you, but you will have revealed that you are not a native speaker. The advantage is that it's quite an easy rule to remember. I say "rule" because I can't think of any exceptions to it.

    I've met a very interesting man. I met him last night, at a party.
    I met a very interesting man at a party last night.

    Even when something happened only a very short time ago:
    I met a very interesting man five minutes ago.
    I've (just) met a very interesting man.

     
  9. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    I think your problem, Brigitte, is that you cannot separate yourself from the fact that the construction you would use in your native language looks like the present perfect in English.
    The above is sound advice. I suggest you accept it.:)
     
  10. Linkway Senior Member

    British English
    I don't think that is correct.

    I see nothing wrong with this example:

    I have met the Russian ambassador six times during the past year.
     
  11. velisarius

    velisarius Senior Member

    Greece
    British English (Sussex)
    Yes, I mean in a sentence like this, where you seem to be talking about a single meeting. Context is everything:

    I have met Jessica yesterday evening...:cross:
    I have met a really nice girl called Jessica... :tick:

    I met Jessica in town today. We had lunch together.:tick:
     
  12. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    Texas
    English - US
    You've added "six times during the last year" which changes the sentence.
    Have you ever met the Russian ambassador?
    I have met the Russian ambassador. (The fact that you met him once makes this sentence work so the sentence basically refers to the first time you met. It's not necessary to mention the other five times.)
     
  13. Linkway Senior Member

    British English
    Have you ever met an ambassador?

    Yes, I have met the Russian ambassador.

    Once?

    No. Several times.
     
  14. Hermione Golightly

    Hermione Golightly Senior Member

    London
    British English
    One of those very useful rules is that when a finished period of time is mentioned or implied the present perfect can't be used. 'Yesterday' is a finished period of time. :)
     

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