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Until + present perfect/ simple past

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Until + present perfect/ simple past
Message from azuki92 posted on 11-04-2019 at 14:19:39 (D | E | F)
Hello everyone,
Even though I've been trying my best to understand how to use the present perfect and simple past for a long time, I'm still struggling to feel comfortable with these tenses. In my opinion, it's one thing to exercises about these tenses and another thing to choose the right tense to express one's point.

I've written this sentence but I'm not sure it is correct: "I've been a student until last September."
So can anyone tell me if it is correct, please? I've seen somewhere that the present perfect can be used with the adverb until, but my sentence seems odd to me. Is the simple past more appropriate in this sentence or not?
Thank you for your answers.

-------------------
Edited by lucile83 on 11-04-2019 14:57


Re: Until + present perfect/ simple past from gerondif, posted on 11-04-2019 at 14:32:40 (D | E)
Hello
If you were a student from September 2014 until September 2018, you could say :
"I was a student until last September." The action is dated and finished.

If you use the present perfect, you insist on your experience and don't take the implied date into account.
Hey, I know everything about this problem ! After all, I've been a student until last September.



Re: Until + present perfect/ simple past from azuki92, posted on 11-04-2019 at 15:47:25 (D | E)
Thank you gerondif for your explanation.

Please correct if I am wrong, but I've understood that according to your answer, the choice between the present perfect and the past simple with the adverb until in a sentence depends on the context.

So is it right to use the present perfect if I write this: "I've been an English student until last September. However, though I studied for many years, I'm still struggling to speak English fluently."?



Re: Until + present perfect/ simple past from gerondif, posted on 11-04-2019 at 15:53:52 (D | E)
Hello
"I've been an English student until last September. However, though I studied for many years, I'm still struggling to speak English fluently."?
Yes, you could say that if the consequences , your inability to speak fluently, are more important than the date.
"I've been an English student for (depuis) a long time. However, though I studied for (pendant) many years, I'm still struggling to speak English fluently."



Re: Until + present perfect/ simple past from azuki92, posted on 11-04-2019 at 17:02:27 (D | E)
So my sentence wasn't wrong, was it?

Between the two sentences, "I've been an English student until last September" and "I've been an English student for a long time." which one is more appropriate in the context that I insist on my inability to speak English fluently? In your explanation, did you mean that both sentences were equivalent?

Thanks.



Re: Until + present perfect/ simple past from gerondif, posted on 12-04-2019 at 00:45:05 (D | E)
Hello
As I said, it depends what you want to insist on.
Normally, a date will require a preterite:
I was a student from 2014 to September 2018
I was a student until September 2018.
Strictly speaking.

If it is still going on :
How long have you been a student ?
I have been a student for four years,(depuis in Frnch) since 2014 and I still have a year to go.

If it is over :
How long were you a student ?
I was a student for four years(pendant in French), from 2014 to 2018 /from 2014 until September 2018)
Neither "I've been an English student until last September" nor "I've been an English student for a long time."express your inability to speak English fluently. It is the concession that comes afterwards.




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