Present perfect vs. Simple past: in the last year

Discussion in 'English Only' started by IRAJ2000, Jan 13, 2018.

  1. IRAJ2000

    IRAJ2000 Senior Member

    Hey everyone,

    Would you please tell me which tense is correct for the case below?

    -Stinson is a fantastic writer. He ........ (write) ten very creative short stories in the last year.

    Which tense should be used here?
    Wrote or has written?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    I am going to assume that Stinson is still alive: "has written" :thumbsup: - the present perfect takes us up to the present. The simple past ends before the present.
  3. IRAJ2000

    IRAJ2000 Senior Member

    Why? Isn't "in the last year" a clear time reference?
  4. Englishmypassion

    Englishmypassion Senior Member

    India - Hindi
    I'd use either "in the last one year" (with the present perfect) or the simple past with "last year" (He wrote ten stories last year.)
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
  5. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    'Yesterday' is a clear time reference "in the last year" is a duration - a length of time.
  6. IRAJ2000

    IRAJ2000 Senior Member

    Why does it refer to a duration? Isn't "in the last year" similar to "in 2017"?

    I wrote a book in 2017.
    I have written a book in 2017.

    I'm a little bit counfused. Which one is correct?
  7. velisarius

    velisarius Senior Member

    British English (Sussex)
    He wrote two books in 2017.
    He wrote two books last year.

    Both "2017" and "last year" refer to a time period that is seen as having finished on December 31.

    He has written two books in the past/last year.

    When we use "in the past year/in the last year", that takes us right up to the present, and we are considering that 12-month time period as not yet consigned to the past.

    If he wrote both his books in the spring of 2017, when I speak in June 2018 I won't be able to say "He has written two books in the past year". More than a year will have passed, so I will have to say that "He wrote two books last year". In June 2018, "the past year" will refer to the 12 months of "June 2017 - June 2018".

    Note that "last year"is more vague, and may mean "the previous 12 months"or "the last calendar year".

    See also: last year used in Present Perfect Tense.
  8. se16teddy

    se16teddy Senior Member

    London but from Yorkshire
    English - England
    The present perfect tense is used of events that occurred more or less continually or continuously over a period of past time that continued to the present period. In the past year is just such a period, and the phrase therefore attracts the present perfect tense.

    The present perfect tense is also used to indicate the present result of past actions, including the present total resulting from cumulative past actions. Ten is the present total.
  9. IRAJ2000

    IRAJ2000 Senior Member

    Thank you very much.

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