Tag Archives: présent parfait

Francophone Mistakes 1 – present/perfect (1)

Vous voulez dire, “Je travaille ici depuis dix ans”, et vous traduisez:

* I am working here since ten years (incorrect)

Deux fautes:

1. Il faut dire: ‘I’ve worked here’ parce qu’on utilise le présent parfait pour indiquer un lien entre le passé et le présent – on y travaille toujours.

2. “for ten years” parce que “since” est pour une date précise:

I’ve worked here since 1999
I’ve worked here for ten years

Exercice:

Traduisez:

1. Ca fait dix ans que je vis ici.
2. Actuellement, je travaille sur un projet très important.
3. Je joue au tennis tous les weekend.
4. Je ne t’ai pas vu depuis longtemps.
5. Il n’est pas là, il est parti en Espagne.

Réponses:

1. I’ve lived here for ten years.
2. I’m currently working on a very important project.
3. I play tennis every weekend.
4. I haven’t seen you for a long time
5. He’s not here, he’s gone to Spain.
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preterit or present perfect?

Here is a question concerning the video on the present perfect:

Can I translate the preterit (simple past) instead of the present perfect? For example, “I did my homework” or “I have done my homework”

To answer your question, you can substitute the preterit (simple past) for the present perfect when it is not important to make a link with the present, and this is quite common in American English:

AmE: “did you eat yet?” “avez-vous déjà mangé?”
BrE: “Have you already eaten?” “avez-vous déjà mangé?”

In your example, saying ‘I have done my homework’ suggests that at the present moment the homework is completed, there is no more to be done.

‘I did my homework’ tells me that at some moment in the past the homework was done, but there is no connection with the present: you may have more homework that needs to be done!

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