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Please help my friend with this question. Thanks!
I have written a letter yesterday. (wrong!)
I have written a letter at 7 o'clock. (wrong!)
I have written a letter last Monday. (wrong!)
I have written a letter several weeks ago. (wrong!)

exact time expressions are not used with the perfect. this is a rule
stated in most grammar textbooks. but michael swan's practical eng usage suggests
that although most textbooks treat this as a rule, it's actually not wrong
to use those expressions with the perfect. then he gave some examples. i dont
know the reason, do you?
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Comments  
Those sentences with "wrong!" at the end are from one of my posts.
Does anyone know what Swan's counterexamples are?

CJ
I've just e-mailed my friend for clarification.

PS. I was the one who e-mailed him the link to your sentences. He e-mailed me back with his question.
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I'd like to have the section reference. The only mention I can find is section 419.6, which states:

"Grammars sometimes state that the present perfect is not used with expressions referring to 'definite time'. This is confusing-- the present perfect is not often used with finished time expressions, but it actually is very common with definite time expresssions:

I've lived here for exactly three years, seven months and two days....

Note also that the choice between present perfect and simple past does not depend on whether we are talking about finished actions, as learners' grammars sometimes suggest (although it has a lot to do with whether we are talking of finished time periods). Compare:

That cat has eaten your supper. (finished action, present perfect)
I ate the last of the eggs this morning. (finished action, simple past)."

I have an idea that your friend has misinterpreted Swan's remarks. I consider his 4 sentences quite odd and wrong, though no doubt we could dredge up some googled examples of same.
Thanks, Mr. M. I forwarded your comments to my friend. Emotion: smile
E-mail back from my friend:
I got a Swan at hand (1995 ed) now and it should be the
same as your friend’s. Ask him to read 419.3:

Grammars usually say that the present perfect tenses cannot be used
together
with expressions of finished time – we can say “I have seen him” or
“I saw
him yesterday”, but not “I have seen him yesterday”. In fact, such
structures are unusual but not impossible (though learners should avoid
them).
Here are some real examples taken from news broadcasts, newspaper
articles,
advertisements, letters and conversations.

France has detonated a Hiroshima-sized nuclear bomb on Mururoa Atoll in
the
South Pacific at 17.02 GMT on Wednesday.

Police have arrested more than 900 suspected drugs traffickers in raids
throughout the country on Friday and Saturday.

…a runner who’s beaten Linford Christie earlier this year.

A 24-year-old soldier has been killed in a road accident while on
patrol last night.
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Yes, I now see that section, Julie. This is the first time I have ever felt at issue with Swan. He is right of course-- the usage does appear in print. The examples seem to be all from the press, however. Journalistic reporting in particular attempts to make past events more immediate by casting them in the present perfect, and these are perfect examples.

Your friend's original question was 'i dont know the reason, do you?'-- I think the answer may be that these could be classified as a very restricted usage. And I think the key point is 'learners should avoid them'. I certainly would.
Mister MicawberYes, I now see that section, Julie. This is the first time I have ever felt at issue with Swan. He is right of course-- the usage does appear in print. The examples seem to be all from the press, however.
That's the point, they are from the press/news.

Even there, he mentions that:
----
Note that after using the present perfect to announce a piece of news, we usually change to simple past or progressive past tense to give the details.

There has been a plan crash new Bristol. Witnesses say that there was an explosion as the aircraft was taking off.

Swan, Practical English Usage
418-4
past time: the simple present perfect tense
finished events: news
p. 420
------

Even more, he mentions AE/BrE differences:
------
In AmE the simple past is often use to give news.

Did you hear? Switzerland declared/has declared war on Mongolia!
(
BrE Have you heard? Switzerland has declared war ....)

p. 423
------
Mister MicawberYes, I now see that section, Julie. This is the first time I have ever felt at issue with Swan. He is right of course-- the usage does appear in print. The examples seem to be all from the press, however. Journalistic reporting in particular attempts to make past events more immediate by casting them in the present perfect, and these are perfect examples.

Your friend's original question was 'i dont know the reason, do you?'-- I think the answer may be that these could be classified as a very restricted usage. And I think the key point is 'learners should avoid them'. I certainly would.

Thanks for the speedy answer, Mr. M. I've passed that on to my friend.
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