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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Present perfect or past simple    

Present perfect or past simple



MJ_Misa
Czech Republic

Present perfect or past simple
 
Hello, dear colleagues.

I am sorry to bother you with (for some of you probably silly) question, but yesterday one of my sts asked me a question and I didn t know the answer. Which of these two sentences is right?

I have had my lunch today.

or 

I had my lunch today.

I think as I have already finished the meal, the action is over and I d use past simple. But am I right?

Thank you for your kind help and wish you a nice day.
Michaela

16 Nov 2011      





Olindalima ( F )
Portugal

Hi Michaela

I d go for the second one - it s past, it s over, finished in the past.

However, you could use the Present Perfect with "just", if you have finished a few minutes ago.
I ve just had my lunch.
or
I ve already had my lunch.

Linda

16 Nov 2011     



remymatta
Lebanon

Dear Colleague,
 
It s definitely "Had lunch today" not "have had" simply because the main difference between
these two is the presence of any time expression. In other words, when you have a word that shows specific time, it s definite that you should use the simple past . 

16 Nov 2011     



MJ_Misa
Czech Republic

Thanks for your answers, but I m still confused. What Petra says is right according to Callan book which I ve got. But I also have another book where they say that the action finished, so I can say I had dinner today.  I really don t know what to say to my student.

16 Nov 2011     



Jayho
Australia

What is the context MJ?  Personally, I tend to use the first option but then again I do use both interchangably in everyday speaking.

16 Nov 2011     



MJ_Misa
Czech Republic

Jayho, the st ment a situation when she comes home in the evening and says her mum she had (have had?) her lunch today (earlier in the afternoon). As she says that in the evening, the afternoon s gone I d use past simple even thought there is the word todayused.

16 Nov 2011     



Jayho
Australia

MuM at 4pm.  Did you eat your lunch
Std: Yes I had my lunch today
 
Its a definite past action even though it uses today.  The lunch period is finished.
 
 
MuM at 12.30pm.  Are you hungry?  Would you like me to make you some lunch?
DaD:  No thanks, I have had my lunch today
 
It has a connection to the present in that it is still the lunch period
 
 
Just my native speaker opinion - Im not really a grammar guru so you might like to hear what other NSs say
 
Cheers
 
Jayho
 
 

16 Nov 2011     



MJ_Misa
Czech Republic

Thank you all, I think it s much clearer now.

Have a nice day everybody.Smile

16 Nov 2011     



yanogator
United States

Jayho s last explanation is just what I would have said.

Bruce

16 Nov 2011