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I want to know: Could a sentence in the present perfect tense has different meanings under different contexts? I don't really think so. It's like in every native english speaker's mind, in their concepts, there is only one answer for some kinds of typical sentences no matter what context is, since the context would also let you feel that way. I can give you two examples. I think they are typical sentences in the present perfect tense:1) When a person says: I have eaten a chicken. Even though you don't have context, you will think that it means he already ate it . That sentence has only this one meaning. You will not think that it means he ate it, and he is still eating it. Then If he gives you a context, I think the context would also let you feel that it means He already ate it. But if he tries to express that he is still eating it (the second meaning),then you must feel so weird that this person expressed wrongly. 2) I have never been to England. No context for you now. You must think it means I didn't go to England before, and now I am still not there; From past to now, I have never been there. I think you don't really need context to understand the Use of this sentence. However, If i give you a context. Suppose that we are both now in England, and i say to you: "This country is nice, I have never been here." Then, you must feel so weird, because in your mind, "I have never been here" means .... (I already said above). So you may correct me:"you need to say 'I have never been here BEFORE' ". [I am not so sure about this example, because my teacher told me "I have never been to England" mean I didn't go there before. So i can say this sentence when I AM in England right now] But i think you can get my point now? If you don't agree with my thought, then you mean a sentence (two sentences i gave above) has different meanings under different contexts? I hope you can solve my confusion. Thanks a lot!
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>"you need to say 'I have never been here BEFORE'

To me, it's a matter of logic.

If you're in England now, you should say:
I have never been in England BEFORE.
because you're contradicting the "never been" with your very presence at this moment.

If you're NOT in England now, you should say:
I have never been in England.

See here such a change (not availabe before/available now):

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Televised footage for many luxury destinations has never been readily
available before
but through the internationally acclaimed sister
production, The Luxury Travel Show - which airs in the UK, USA, Asia
and throughout Europe, there is now a pool of exclusive material. The
Luxury Holiday Show will offer all the latest deals in the luxury
sector as well as added value.
------

From BBC:
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Crowning a week of stunning images of the planets taken by the Hubble
Space Telescope comes Uranus as it has never been seen before [but it is being seen now M.H.]
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/193983.stm
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Hi, Marius Hancu. I agree with your opinion. And you answer is just my point: "If you're NOT in England now, you should say:
I have never been in England. " So i mean that's a kind of common sense in some english speaker's thought. You would hardly to accpet that If you are in England now, you say: I have never been to England. It would be weird. So i think a sentence which is sort of typical in present perfect tense do not have different meanings under different contexts.
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How about using had on this occasion??

Suppose:

I'm in England now, and I want to say this is the first time for me to be in England. I would say:

I had never been here before.
MapleHow about using had on this occasion??

Suppose:

I'm in England now, and I want to say this is the first time for me to be in England. I would say:

I had never been here before.

No. In the examples provided by the original poster, the reference moment is now, not some moment in past time, for which you could've used had, as in:

The Woodlanders by Hardy, Thomas - Chapter 44
After this there was confidence between them--such confidence as
there had never been before.

Daniel Deronda by Eliot, George - Chapter 52
... susceptibility in her, and made her alive as she had never been before to the relations Deronda must have with that society which she herself was ...


Maybe I've mixed it up with "That had happened long before"

I'll think it over.Emotion: smile

Thank you MH!Emotion: star
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MapleHow about using had on this occasion??

Suppose:

I'm in England now, and I want to say this is the first time for me to be in England. I would say:

I had never been here before.

Maple,Emotion: smile

You can say “I had never been to before until my parents took me there on vacation two years ago”. The rule of thumb in using past perfect is that one must use a little logic to analyze the sequence of events. The structure must have 2 events which took place in the past and one must precede the other, and these events are no longer ongoing.

Here, aample structure is: 1) I had never gone to all my life. (until) 2) my parent took me there two years ago. Please note, Often in reporting style writing, the writer presumes that the readers understand the contexts and omits the second event.

Example: If I were talking to someone about my past, I could say “I had never learned English as a Child. Omitted and presumed understood: when I lived in .

I hope I am not confusing you
Hi, GoodmanEmotion: smile

I'm sorry I still have a confusionEmotion: embarrassed

How about using had on this occasion??

Suppose:

I'm in England now, and I want to say this is the first time for me to be in England. I would say:

I had never been here before.

According to the implicit "second event" rule (Let me call it a rule for a moment)

"I had never been here before." is right, because it can be read as "I had never been here before the day (you know) I arrived here.

In my opinion:
I had never been here before yesterday
. Correct.
I had never been here before this time/now. Incorrect, one must use present perfect ("have been") here.
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