I told the class that [...] and they all did / have (done).

Couch Tomato

Senior Member
Russian & Dutch
Complete the sentences with an appropriate form of do, be or have.
[...]
8. I told the class that they had to hand in their books by 9.00 and they all ......... .
(Advanced Grammar in Use, Martin Hewings)

The key suggests (have) done or did. I chose did, but I have (done) doesn't make sense to me. The whole thing is about something that happened in the past, so did seems to be the obvious choice to me.

Could someone please explain why (have) done is also possible?

Thank you in advance.
 
  • timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    Complete the sentences with an appropriate form of do, be or have.
    [...]
    8. I told the class that they had to hand in their books by 9.00 and they all ......... .
    (Advanced Grammar in Use, Martin Hewings)

    The key suggests (have) done or did. I chose did, but I have (done) doesn't make sense to me. The whole thing is about something that happened in the past, so did seems to be the obvious choice to me.

    Could someone please explain why (have) done is also possible?

    Thank you in advance.
    It's a matter of perspective. The "did" form is un-nuanced. It places all of the action squarely in the past. Using "have done" links it to the present (in a way that we can't be sure of without more context). If the teacher were sitting there with a pile of books in front of him ready to be marked, for example, then here he might well say "and have done" because the implication is "and here they all are now". In other words "did" will always be correct in this example (as far as I can think). "Have done" might well be correct, but we need a reason to use it.

    To give a counter-example you could not say "in 1720 the teacher Mr Jones asked his pupils to all hand in their books and they have done". You would have to say "did" because there is no way (again as far as I can think) to link this to the present.
     

    Couch Tomato

    Senior Member
    Russian & Dutch
    Thank you, timpeac.

    So if I understand correctly, what you said about have done also applies to have?
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    Thank you, timpeac.

    So if I understand correctly, what you said about have done also applies to have?
    I'm not sure I understand your question. Do you mean does it apply in general to the perfect tense? If so, then in general yes - we use the perfect tense instead of the preterite when there is some reason to link to the present or very near past. "Have you done your homework?" refers to today or perhaps this weekend. You could only say "did you do your homework 20 years ago when you were at school".
     

    Couch Tomato

    Senior Member
    Russian & Dutch
    Thanks, timpeac.

    No, what I meant was, does your explanation also apply to:

    I told the class that they had to hand in their books by 9.00 and they all have.

    Because the key indicates that done could be omitted. Now that I think of about it, have is probably just short for have done in this case.

    I'm sorry if I didn't state my question clearly.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I believe we have seen that this book uses British English, but I thought I'd mention that "have done" would not be used in this context in American English (unless you change it to "they all have done it" which still seems awkward).
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    Ending "have done" sounds fine to me - another BE/AE difference by the sound of it.

    By the way - I've thought of a counter-counter example (and from the latest comments this may well apply only to British English!)

    You would say "in 1720 the teacher Mr Jones planted 3 acorns in the hope that they would one day grow into strong trees. And they have done!" (said by someone today standing next to said trees. If you said "did" it might even suggest that they have since been cut down and that's why you're not using the perfect tense!)
     

    Couch Tomato

    Senior Member
    Russian & Dutch
    Thank you, timpeac, Myridon and Forero.

    I believe we have seen that this book uses British English, but I thought I'd mention that "have done" would not be used in this context in American English (unless you change it to "they all have done it" which still seems awkward).
    If "have done" is unacceptable in AmE, how then would bring about the nuance, described by timpeac in post #2?

    Would you, in contrast to Forero, accept the sentence ending with "did", so without "so"?
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    If "have done" is unacceptable in AmE, how then would bring about the nuance, described by timpeac in post #2?
    As I understand it Americans are much less likely to make the distinction at all - even in instances where it is obligatory in British English (well unless influenced by American speech) such as with "just". In British English it's "she has just told me she's leaving" whereas in American English you can say (I believe) "she just told me she's leaving".
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    If "have done" is unacceptable in AmE, how then would bring about the nuance, described by timpeac in post #2?
    Frankly, I don't understand post #2.

    I think it would be just "have":
    "... and they all did (hand in their books)."
    "... and they all have (handed in their books)."
    "... and they all have done (handed in their books)." :eek:
     
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