I haven't found that ...

voonli24

Member
Malaysia
I have a couple of questions.

<......>

2. "I haven't found that." In this statement, why do we use past tense
instead of present tense since the statement refers to now, that the
person cannot find that. Is that everytime when we say something
we didn't do before making that statement, we have to use past
tense after "have not/ has not" ?

<......>
 
  • Hockey13

    Senior Member
    AmEnglish/German
    The statement is specifically referring to the past, though it indirectly describes a current situation.

    I have not found anything. At no time in my searches did I find anything. It talks about what didn't happen in the past.

    This leads to the inference that, since I have not found anything, I do not have that which I was looking for.
     

    bartonig

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I have a couple of questions.

    <......>

    2. "I haven't found that." In this statement, why do we use past tense
    instead of present tense since the statement refers to now, that the
    person cannot find that. Is that everytime when we say something
    we didn't do before making that statement, we have to use past
    tense after "have not/ has not" ?

    <......>

    "I haven't found that."
    This is the present tense and not the past. It's in the perfect aspect in order to indicate that the action in the interval leading up to the present time (i.e. now) is relevant to the present situation.
     
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