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Hi everyone, I have some doubts about which tenses I can use with always/never. In American English, what's the difference between.....( here are some sentences, they are only examples):

  • I have never seen that thing (before) / I never saw that thing (before)
  • I have always/never wanted to be a singer / I always/never wanted to be a singer / Did you always wanted to be a singer?
  • I have never/always known you were American / I never/always knew you were American
  • Before I met her, I had always thought she was slim / Before I met her, I always thought she was slim
  • She has always/never been a great singer / She was always/never a great singer / She always/never was a great singer


  • Could some of them have the same meaning? I read sentences like the above every day.... they are driving me crazy! Emotion: angry Emotion: wink I guess sometimes some people use all that sentences for saying the same thing... but I'm not sure!

    I can't understand if there are some differences in meaning among the above examples, and which tenses I should use in such cases. I need just a brief explanation, I'm sure you'll be clear as always.Emotion: wink

    Thank you very much in advance
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Comments  (Page 2) 
LE HANH 2383This means that I can also use simple past in 7 and 8.

You would be understood if you used those, but you would be known to be a foreigner.

CJ

Hi CJ

CalifJimYou would be understood if you used those, but you would be known to be a foreigner.

This means, native speakes never use simple past in 7 and 8, do they?

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This means, native speakers never use simple past with "ALWAYS" in 7 and 8, do they?

LE HANH 2383This means native speakers never use simple past in 7 and 8, do they?

Correct.

I suppose in a moment of inattention, if a speaker is distracted in some way, a simple past might slip out, but that is an extremely unusual situation.

CJ

CalifJimI suppose in a moment of inattention, if a speaker is distracted in some way, a simple past might slip out, but that is an extremely unusual situation.

*If there has been a change which just happened, I can use both "simple past " and present perfect

For example I saw a dog just 1 second a go, I would tell to my friend:

"I never saw a dog driving." OMG! This is the fist time of my life to see one driving.


*If there hasn't been a change, I can only use present perfect. This means I am describe something until now and may happen to the future.

For example: I have never seen a dog driving before, I ask my friend who hasn't seen a dog driving before too "Have you seen a dog driving before?

My friend would answer:

I have never seen a dog driving. Why are you asking that silly question?


Is my opinion above correct?

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Hi CJ

I just took a look again at my grammar book.

Here is the paragraph about using simple past or present perfect for actions until now.


According to the book, it sounds common to use simple past for actions up to now.This means that I can use simple past for example below:

Example:

I have never seen a dog driving before, I ask my friend who hasn't seen a dog driving before too "Have you seen a dog driving before?

My friend would answer:

I have never seen a dog driving. Why are you asking that silly question?


But you said on one of your comments above: "You would be understood if you used those, but you would be known to be a foreigner."
==>This means that it is not common to use simple past for actions up to now.


Due to the difference between your and my book's. I am still little confused.


Here is one more examples, I think that either tenses is fine to use. I would like to hear your opinions:

1. I tell to my mum who is still alive. what I mean is my love to my moon from the past until now. I still love her.

"I always loved you"

"I 've always loved you"


Could you please help me ?

LE HANH 2383For example if I saw a dog just a second a go, I would tell to my friend, "I never saw a dog driving."

No. You would say I just saw a dog driving or I've just seen a dog driving. Maybe you would add, I've never seen a dog driving before.

LE HANH 2383I ask my friend who hasn't seen a dog driving before too "Have you (ever) seen a dog driving before?"

OK.

LE HANH 2383

My friend would answer:

I have never seen a dog driving. Why are you asking that silly question?

OK.

CJ

LE HANH 2383According to the book, it sounds common to use simple past for actions up to now.

Seeing a dog driving is not "action up to now". It's a one-time event.


In my opinion, it's not as common as the book makes it sound. And besides, it says sometimes possible. Not always possible.

LE HANH 2383

This means that I can use simple past ??? for example below:

Example:

I have never seen a dog driving before, I ask my friend who hasn't seen a dog driving before too "Have you (ever) seen a dog driving before?

My friend would answer:

I have never seen a dog driving. Why are you asking that silly question?

Your example is OK, but you said it was an example using the simple past and there's no simple past in your example. Emotion: sad

LE HANH 2383

"I always loved you."

"I've always loved you."

The second one is the standard version. Loving your mother is an "action up to now", so some people, sometimes, might say the first one. There is never an obligation to speak so casually as the first one, however, so if you just remember the second one, your English will be fine in any situation, formal or informal.


Now here's the real meaning of the first one, based on the meaning of the simple past tense — and this is regardless of how people might use it in other ways when they are not being careful.

I always loved you implies "during a definite period of time that began and ended in the past". This leaves a time gap between when the loving ended and the present time when you say this. That means it is not an "action up to now".

....... [ - - - - always loved you - - - - ] ............................... NOW
........[ - - - - - - - - have always loved you - - - - - - - - NOW - - -

Only the second version shows an "action up to now".

CJ

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Dear CJ

I am so happy receiving your answer.

Thanks so much for your dedicated answer and your patience for me.


Here is what you advise me to use


But on your previous post to someone's question

The question:
5.I take a look around, and suddenly I see a dog driving. Immediately I say........ Which example can I use between C,D and E? All?

Your answer:

5. C or D is possible.


So, From all the posts above, I think that when I just saw a dog driving, I can use either. Right?

Wow, I never saw a dog driving." (

> this is possible to use but this is a careless way, casual way)

Wow, I have never seen a dog driving."(>this is the best way, standard way to use)


**

CalifJimSeeing a dog driving is not "action up to now". It's a one-time event.

Yes, but "not seeing a not driving" is an action up to now.


Once again,

Thanks so much.

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