Past Simple or Present Perfect

< Previous | Next >

Hotmale

Senior Member
Polish
Hi, everyone

Could you tell me whether the sentence is correct?
"The text you read was rather poor. You should rephrase it."

Shouldn't Present Perfect be used here instead of Past Simple?

Thanks
 
  • Isabel04

    Senior Member
    Argentina
    Hi, everyone

    Could you tell me whether the sentence is correct?
    "The text you read was rather poor. You should rephrase it."

    Shouldn't Present Perfect be used here instead of Past Simple?

    Thanks
    I think that you should say: "The text you have read is rather poor. You should rephrase it.
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    Hi, everyone

    Could you tell me whether the sentence is correct?
    "The text you read was rather poor. You should rephrase it."

    Shouldn't Present Perfect be used here instead of Past Simple?

    Thanks
    One possible meaning, but I have to guess without context:

    "The text you just read was rather poor. You should rephrase it."

    Something is missing. Who wrote the text? Why should you rephrase it?

    Let's assume you wrote the text. A teacher is talking:

    "The text you [just] read [to me] was rather poor. You should rephrase it."

    In this case I would use simple past. Do you see why it is impossible to answer your question without context?

    Gaer
     

    Tennessee

    New Member
    English, US
    I guess I wonder about the word "text" itself. It has a variety of meanings that any dictionary can provide, but somehow this sounds like a student reading something from his/her own paper. If it refers to a portion of that work, I'd say "passage" (or maybe "selection" or even "part") rather than "text," but as others have said, it all comes down to context.
     

    Hotmale

    Senior Member
    Polish
    One possible meaning, but I have to guess without context:

    "The text you just read was rather poor. You should rephrase it."

    Something is missing. Who wrote the text? Why should you rephrase it?

    Let's assume you wrote the text. A teacher is talking:

    "The text you [just] read [to me] was rather poor. You should rephrase it."

    In this case I would use simple past. Do you see why it is impossible to answer your question without context?

    Gaer
    Hi Gear,
    yes, I see it. I came across such a sentence in my test book and I wondered why past simple was used here instead of past perfect. To me, there is a link between writing the text/paragraph with the need to improve it. Just like Talant suggested.

    Thanks!
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    If you use 'just' you should use the Present Perfect.

    'The text you have just read.'
    Why? I have always written, I just wrote… :confused:

    In most cases I think we make choices about simple past or present perfect by feel, but I have never fully understood the prescriptive rules, and I have also noticed that many fine authors are at least somewhat inconsistent.
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    Hi Gear,
    yes, I see it. I came across such a sentence in my test book and I wondered why past simple was used here instead of past perfect. To me, there is a link between writing the text/paragraph with the need to improve it. Just like Talant suggested.

    Thanks!
    I'm not sure I gave you the right answer. If I saw a whole paragraph, I would have a better feel.

    I don't want to give the wrong info, but I BELIEVE there are situations in which it is not 100% clear which tense is best, so if someone has really clear prescriptive rules (I don't), you will do best to follow them for formal writing classes/tests.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top