You worked hard today

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nkspb

Member
Hello everybody.

As I know, Past Simple is used when we refer to something from the position of the past.

"I didn't shave this morning" = the morning is over and I didn't shave.
"I haven't shaved this morning" =
it's still the morning and I might shave later.

But what if one says:
"You worked hard today."
?

We all understand that today is not over. Is Past Simple appropriate here as if we say:
"You worked hard on all work for today and there won't be work today anymore."

So, relating to this work, today is over.

Is this the way it works?

Thanks.
 
  • Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    It's not exactly that "today is over," it's merely that you expect that he is finished with the work and will not continue with it today.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "I didn't shave this morning" = the morning is over and I didn't shave.
    If it is still morning but you are at work, it is understood that the "morning" time when it was possible for you to shave is over.
    The same is true of "today" with respect to work. It is still the same day, but the working part of the day is over.
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    I think you could perhaps say something like "I've worked hard on it again this morning but I still haven't finished it." but I'm a little undecided as to whether the simple past "I worked..." wouldn't sound equally natural.:confused:
    I suspect you probably have a choice there.
     

    nkspb

    Member
    DonnyB, thanks. What confuses me is the rule that you can't use the Present <Perfect> when using time clauses like yesterday, a few hours ago etc., because those clauses indicate that the action has no connection to the present.

    On the other hand, when you want to emphasize an action happened, the Present <Perfect> can be used but with those time clauses it might be not correct anyway...

    Could you, please, tell me what you think? Thanks.



    < Edited to write out 'Perfect' in full.
    Cagey, moderator. >
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Well, in general expressions such as "yesterday" refer to a period in the past which has now finished, and so if I were to use the perfect tense and say "I've worked hard on it yesterday" it would sound odd to me.

    The reason I suggested "I've worked hard on it again this morning but I still haven't finished it" is that from the perspective of the present, the action (or the "it", if you like) is still incomplete. On the other hand, "I've worked hard on it again yesterday but I still haven't finished it" doesn't work for me and I'd use the past continuous "I was working hard on it again yesterday but I still haven't finished it." In that case, the yesterday puts it too far back in the past to make the pefect tense sound natural.

    But you will, unfortunately, find that native speakers frequently disagree on the choice of tense.:(
     

    nkspb

    Member
    Thanks for the reply.

    The reason I suggested "I've worked hard on it again this morning but I still haven't finished it" is that from the perspective of the present, the action (or the "it", if you like) is still incomplete.
    Having read many sources, I was sure that using the Present Perfect with adverbials of time that indicate a finished period of time is incorrect. What you say to me really confuses me - even though the action is still incomplete, time period is, and therefore using the Present Perfect with "this morning" when saying it in the evening might be wrong... maybe it's the case when native speakers disagree on the choice of tense, as you say...o_O
     
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