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Hi,
this is probably the dumbest question, but maybe it's not... is it impossible to use the present perfect with "ago"? Take a look at these:

I've already seen that movie a couple of months ago.
I've just seen your sister a few minutes ago.

Comments? Thanks.
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Comments  (Page 2) 
WesternAmericanWhat does inadvertently mean?
I bet it's an adverb!
Yes, it's an adverb.
I've just checked it a few minutes ago. <------- This is ok, though.

No. Strictly speaking (i.e., prescriptively -- Please don't harm me!), no present perfect tenses together with a mention of a particular time, including ago expressions and when, after, before, and similar time clauses.
But: All of these combinations of present perfect with agoare heard from time to time. They sound fine to some people, strange to others. (I'm one of the strange ones! Emotion: smile ) Such combinations are clearly in the minority, and there's no reason to imitate them. Descriptively speaking, using them won't make you sound more authentically American.

CJ
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KooyeenHmmm, very interesting, thanks.
So would you think that...
I've already checked it a few minutes ago. <--- sometimes heard, but not good.
I already checked it a few minutes ago. <------ it's a little better than the above, but still not good.
I've just checked it a few minutes ago. <------- This is ok, though.
I just checked it a few minutes ago. <----------- This is ok too.


Thanks again Emotion: smile

Kooyeen,

This is what I've learned and my 2 cents:

I've already checked it a few minutes ago. <--- sometimes heard, but not good. Agreed!
I already checked it a few minutes ago. <------ it's a little better than the above, but still not good. Looks and sounds fine to me.
I've just checked it a few minutes ago. <------- This is ok, though. Strickly by the book, this is incorrect. But when people. repeat saying the same thing over and over again, it becomes the norm.
I just checked it a few minutes ago. <----------- This is ok too. - Agreed!


I am CJ. Sentences constructed in Present Perfect should not be stamped with past time.
I see, thank you very much. Emotion: smile
KooyeenSo would you think that...
1) I've already checked it a few minutes ago. <--- sometimes heard, but not good.
To me, this would be an inadvertent sentence (as Jim mentioned). In other words, this sounds like something that someone might end up saying when their original intention was only to say "I've already checked it" but then, in mid-sentence, the person decided to add the information that the check was just a few minutes ago.
2) I already checked it a few minutes ago. <------ it's a little better than the above, but still not good.
Yes, better, but still somewhat unusual.
3) I've just checked it a few minutes ago. <------- This is ok, though.
No, this would be the same sort of situation as in your first sentence.
4) I just checked it a few minutes ago. <----------- This is ok too.
Yes, this sounds natural in AmE.
Hi Kooyeen
I've added my two (descriptive) cents. Emotion: smile
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4) I just checked it a few minutes ago. <----------- This is ok too.
Yes, this sounds natural in AmE.

Oh, thank you Amy, I didn't understand that one was ok. Jim's comment was about the present perfect, he didn't mention the simple past.
Anyway it seems that even using the simple past, the only one that works is the one with "just", and "already" doesn't work in any case. How weird... Emotion: smile
Thank you all for your descriptiveness! Emotion: smile

Kooyeen,

I don’t know how others see it but to me there is no 100% rules in how and when to apply a certain word as in the case of “already”. Typically “already” is used with present perfect tense. But in certain context, “already” can be used with past tense. i.e.

A: Did you call Robert to remind him about the party on Saturday?

B: Yes, I already called him an hour ago.

I deeply believe that word use is driven by context.
Hi Kooyeen

With the words already and just, we tend to use the simple past tense quite often in AmE.

So, instead of "I've just called Jim." we'd usually say "I just called Jim". I'm really not sure if the use of the simple past tense in that sentence would sound at all odd to British ears, but I think the word 'just' is often used with the simple past tense in BE, too.

I think Goodman is right about context when using a time reference with 'already + simple past tense' (as in "I already called him an hour ago"). My feeling is that it might be used for emphasis, particularly when someone is a little annoyed or frustrated. So, taking Goodman's sentences as the example, the broader context might be that A has already asked B a number of times whether he called Robert. B may have even answered the question one or more times already. Possibly A was even present during B's phone call to Robert. Whatever the reason, B's response sounds more emphatic that usual and suggests annoyance to me. Or possibly B has interpretted A's question as "Please call Robert" -- in which case the word 'already' emphasizes the fact that a call is not necessary because 'it was already made an hour ago'.

Typical responses (with no particular emphasis) would be something like these:

A: Did you call Robert to remind him about the party on Saturday?
B: Yes./Yeah./Yup.
B: Yes, an hour ago.
B: Yes, I did.
B: Yup, called 'im an hour ago.

That's just my two-cent take on the usage. Emotion: smile
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Thanks Amy!
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