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Hi,

Please can you tell me the difference between

He hasn't come

and

He didn't come.

Thanks

Kumar
1 2
Comments  
Hello, kumar,
I've moved your post to this section (General English grammar questions), it should get more reads.

When you say "he hasn't come", it means that HE can still come, the possibility is open. You're in the present moment, it could be paraphrased by "he isn't here "

When you say "he didn't come", you are referring to the past, to some event where HE didn't come to at all. This is past, he cannot come anymore
Hi Pieanne and Kumar, nice to "meet you".

Does your example fit for:

a) I've read the book.
b) I read the book (I did read the book)

So, the a) means that I didn't finish to read the book?
Should I use "I'm reading the book"?

How about these below? What are their differences?

I've gone to the party.
I did go to the party.
I went to the party.

Now I'm confused. Can you help me on these?

Thanks.
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Pieanne wrote:

1. When you say "he hasn't come", it means that HE can still come, the possibility is open. You're in the present moment, it could be paraphrased by "he isn't here "

2. When you say "he didn't come", you are referring to the past, to some event where HE didn't come to at all. This is past, he cannot come anymore

JTT: This isn't exactly how it works, PA, though that's what grammar books have led folks to believe. BrE uses the PP for these types of situations on a more regular basis. NAmE [North American English] does not.

Simple past, as in, "he didn't come" is often used in situations as you described in 1. Present perfect seems to be used to add a degree of importance, say if the person is angry, excited, ie. if the past action has some degree of importance now.

I'll suggest that the normal neutral for BrE is the PP while for NAmE the normal neutral is the simple past. The PP is used when the speaker wants to add importance.



Lucato wrote:

Does your example fit for:

a) I've read the book.
b) I read the book (I did read the book)

So, the a) means that I didn't finish to read the book?
Should I use "I'm reading the book"?

JTT: No, both a) & b) mean that the person has read the book. You have to remember that the present perfect does more than one job. In some aspect it shows a continuation but here, in a), it shows completion, a finished action.

Lucano:
How about these below? What are their differences?

1. I've gone to the party.
2. I did go to the party.
3. I went to the party.

For NAmE, #1 shows that the speaker is adding importance. It could be a note written for someone, in essence it is saying that this actionhas some importance to the current situation, it is important to the person the note is addressed to.

In #2, this is also an emphatic past but it doesn't make the issue current. It's not an issue of NOW. It's ususally used to negate some statement someone has made.

A: He didn't go to the party.

B: I DID go to the party. You had already left. That's why you didn't see me.

#3 is the normal neutral statement about a past action, although it can certaintly have intonational emphasis added
Hello JTT

I think what you are saying depends on the context.

Suppose Jane, a young wife, gave birth to a baby in a hospital, say, yesterday's evening, and she and her friend Beth are talking.
Betty :"Has John come to the hospital?"
Jane : "Yes, he came this morning, but he wasn't with me at the very moment"
In this case, Jane is stressing her angry on the past tense 'wasn't'.

I think what an expression implies depends on the context. So we'd better not talk about grammar too much prescriptively. It's a humble opinion of an ESL student from Japan, though.

paco
Hello just the truth,

Is it true that in American English, there is a tendency to use the past tense instead of the present perfective, for example:

'Did you go there.' instead of 'Have you gone there'
or 'you told me already' for 'You have told me already' Thank you
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"present perfect", not "present perfective", by the way. We need to be careful about that term.
Many linguists use the term "perfective" in a different way -- in which our English simple past is "perfective" in aspect.
One big difference is that you can add information about the exact time of the event when you use "He didn't come", but not when you use "He hasn't come".

He didn't come to the party last night.
*He hasn't come to the party last night.

He didn't come to visit us last year.
*He hasn't come to visit us last year.

He didn't come to pick up the package yesterday, did he?
*He hasn't come to pick up the package yesterday, has he?

CJ

Present Perfect&Past Simple
Hello Calif Jim,

It seems that using 'perfect' and 'pluperfect' as tenses is based on using Latin Grammar as a model, but unlike Latin the verb does not get a separate ending, I don't know how to deal whit that, do you have any idea? Cheers
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