Present perfect + while + past simple

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Hi! Do you think the following sentence is correct?

"A magazine for students of English has asked its readers to send in articles about an interesting or unusual experience they have had while they were with other family members."

Do you know a comprehensive comparison of time clauses?

Thanks.
Junior Member72
The quoted sentence is correct.

I'm not sure what your other question is asking
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TommyekDo you know a comprehensive comparison of time clauses?
No, and I doubt you can find one. The number of combinations is so large and so dependent on the exact situation being described by each sentence that I think it might be impossible to assemble anything really comprehensive. About all you can do is remember the general principles and imitate the speaking and writing of native speakers.

CJ
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It's ungrammatical to use present perfect with specific time reference. Isn't while they were an example of it?
TommyekIt's ungrammatical to use present perfect with specific time reference. Isn't while they were an example of it?
I was afraid you'd ask that. Emotion: smile

You've got the rule right, but the combination is not objectionable here. I suspect that while-clauses don't violate the rule even though when-clauses do. while indicates activity over a period of time, so it's not exactly a specific (point in) time.

CJ
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Thank for your help, boys. "imitate the speaking and writing of native speakers." - words of wisdom. Sometimes, it's difficult to do, especially when a teacher demands a complete grammatical correctness from you.
Tommyekespecially when a teacher demands a complete grammatical correctness from you
Oops! That's a special case, I suppose. Emotion: smile

CJ
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Hi.

The sentence should read as, unusual experience they had while they were with other family members.

Use of past continuous indicates a finished action in the past which is in contrary with concept of present perfect.

So in my opinion, the persent perfect should be changed to past simple to have a correct grammatical structure.

Cheers
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hrsaneishould read as, unusual experience they had while they ...
Hmm. That doesn't sound quite right to my ear in the context given. The idea is that it is any experience they may have had at any time from their birth until the present moment, and you need the perfect tense to cover the whole time period.

If I talk about "an experience you had", it individualizes it, as if I know exactly which of your experiences I'm talking about. The writer wouldn't know which experience in the case described by the OP.

CJ
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