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Old January 28, 2017, 05:35 AM
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Perikles Perikles is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Tenerife
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Disastrous mistake in English

I just wanted to share this anecdote which amused me and shows how tricky English can be:

I have just returned to Tenerife after two weeks in Germany. The flight was over 4 hours, and when there was about a half an hour to go, the pilot made an announcement in German which made total sense, but which was then repeated in English:

"Ladies and gentlemen, we almost made it".

What he meant was of course "we are almost there/we have almost arrived" and what he should have said was "We have almost made it".

But what he actually said was "We tried to get to Tenerife, and we almost succeeded, but we failed". That's the difference a simple past and a perfect tense can make. That's a scary thing to hear from a pilot.

I'm not sure whether this difference would be heard in American English
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