+1
Hi,
what should I say? I got confused... I don't know what verb tense to use with "last" anymore. I'm having these doubts all of a sudden!

What's the last movie you've seen?
What's the last movie you saw?
What was the last movie you've seen?
What was the last movie you saw?

Thank you Emotion: smile

EDIT: I just tried to remember... and after googling, it looks like the best is the last one. Yeah, on second thought, "What was the last movie you saw?" is what I would say.
1 2 3 4
Comments  
LOL! I am also in confusion about these.

I'd bet on numbers 1,2 and 4. They all seem correct to me, not sure about possible differences...

EDIT: And don't forget that «what's» may mean «what was»...
Hi Koyeen

You may not appreciate my opinion a lot as I'm a native speaker of Finnish but I see nothing wrong with any one of your suggestions.

CB
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KooyeenHi,
what should I say? I got confused... I don't know what verb tense to use with "last" anymore. I'm having these doubts all of a sudden!

What's the last movie you've seen?
What's the last movie you saw?
What was the last movie you've seen?
What was the last movie you saw?

Thank you Emotion: smile

EDIT: I just tried to remember... and after googling, it looks like the best is the last one. Yeah, on second thought, "What was the last movie you saw?" is what I would say.

Kooyeen,

You may not trust my answers but I'll bet you a bowl of Chioppino that only 2 and 4 are the correct answers.

Last- do not mix well with present perfect. Just remember that!
Only the third one is rough on the ear! It has a main clause establishing the past point of view. Then, without any reason for it, the subordinate clause goes into the present point of view.

CJ

Ant: 's cannot represent was. was is never contracted. Ever.

CJ
Hello everybody,
First, I’ve learned that there are basically three uses for present perfect tense:

1. experience – I have seen that movie.
The action or state in the past; but in my head, I have a memory now

2. change – I have bought a house
Last week I did not have a house; now I do.

3. Continuous situation – I have known her since …
The situation started in the past and continued up to now (potentially continues in the future).

Second, I have also learned that truth / ever-lasting fact could be stated with present tense; thus, I can ask, “what is the name of the last person we both met at … ?” Even though the meeting was in the past, but the name of the person does not change.

So if I combine the second instruction with the ‘experience’ of the first one, I believe we can say, “what is the last movie you’ve seen? (i.e., what is the title of the last movie you have seen?)

Moreover, in this case, ‘is’ seems to emphasize the need to know about the movie.

When the asker uses ‘was’ instead of ‘is’ in the sentence (i.e., what was the last movie you’ve seen?) , I think it is okay too. In this case, the asker seems to add timing stress.

How about “what was the last movie you saw?” This question just asks for a fact (i.e., no stress on experience – emotionally neutral).

Finally, “what is the last movie you saw?” – this one troubles me a bit. However, I can take the same approach as I did with the first one and ask, “what is the name of the last man we both met at …? / the title of the last movie you saw?” I feel at ease.

In short, I think all four are okay.

Thanks,
Hoa Thai
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I understand perfectly. Thank you all. Emotion: smile
Hi Hoa Thai,

Obviously, we have different views in the specific use present perfect. To me "what was the last movie [you have seen]" just sounds unnatural. If the context is about a movie, I would just simple say "what was the last movie you saw?". If you had seen it, it already took place. No need to express it in present perfect in my opinion. It is like asking "when was the last time you have visited London"? If you had been to London, the visting is already in the a past. Present perfect can not be used with past events.

410 Grammar: The Present Perfect Tense and the Simple Past Tense

The present perfect is used when the time period has NOT finished: ... I saw three movies last week. (Last week has finished.) ...
web2.uvcs.uvic.ca/elc/studyzone/410/grammar/ppvpast.htm - 7k - Cached - Similar pages

Present Perfect Tense: Simple Past vs Present Perfect vs Present ...

Present perfect is used to talk about a present situation which is a ... Therefore we do not use specific time expression such as yesterday, last week, etc. ...
www.uazone.org/friends/esl4rus/presentperf.html - 14k - Cached - Similar pages
Dear Goodman,

I can see your argument. Emotion: smile

Your example is about 'time', which could be either specific (simple past) or non-specified time in the past (present perfect).
However, the movie's title is ever-lasting. Could that make a little different? Emotion: smile Do you mean we must go with #4 only ?

Thanks,
Hoa Thai
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