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Preterite vs. Present Perfect

 

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  #1  
Old January 04, 2014, 08:38 AM
puccini puccini is offline
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Preterite vs. Present Perfect

hi.
Explain , please, the difference in the meaning between the two tenses , Preterite and Present Perfect ?

Example:
--------

Preterite: Ya te hablé de eso.

Present Perfect: Ya te he hablado de eso.

Thanks !
Puccini

P.S. I'm a new Spanish student and thus, not at all familiar with this wonderful language !
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  #2  
Old January 04, 2014, 08:46 AM
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Rusty Rusty is offline
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I already spoke to you about that.
versus
I have already spoken to you about that.

The present perfect is comprised of two parts - a conjugated helping verb (haber), followed by a past participle.

haber hablado = to have spoken
he hablado = I have spoken
has hablado = you have spoken (tú)
ha hablado = he/she/it/you have spoken
etc.

The preterit is not a compound verb (it's not comprised of two parts). It is a simple verb.
All verbs have both a simple form and a compound form.

hablar = to speak
hablo = I speak / I'm speaking
hablas = you speak / you're speaking (tú)
habla = he/she/it speaks / you speak
etc.

hablé = I spoke
hablaste = you spoke
habló = he/she/it/you spoke
etc.
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Old January 04, 2014, 10:05 AM
puccini puccini is offline
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Preterite vs. Present Perfect

Thanks Rusty,but my problem is to understand the difference in meaning , not in the form of the conjugation .
Suppose somebody speaks to me in Spanish and will utter one of the two sentences I gave as an example in my previous post.

The speaker will chose one of these sentences in function of what he
intends to communicate .
To put it so, the two sentences, having the same denotations, (at least for me !), could have different connotations for a Spanish speaker ,agree ?
But for poor me, Preterite or Present Perfect sounds the same, I wouldn't be able ever, to say the difference in their respective meanings !
Can you make me to see the difference between the implied connotations ?

Thanks,
Puccini
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  #4  
Old January 04, 2014, 10:28 AM
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AngelicaDeAlquezar AngelicaDeAlquezar is offline
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Usage may depend on the region. As a notion of a past action, present perfect is more frequently used in Spain and preterite is more commonly used in American countries.

Someone from Spain may naturally say "he comido sopa con pan" to talk about their lunch earlier today. But someone from Mexico would rather say "comí sopa con pan".
Without any context, only regional use can determine which conjugation is more appropriate for your listeners.
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Old January 04, 2014, 12:52 PM
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What Angelica wrote is also true when it comes to British English versus American English. An American will use the first sentence - "I already spoke to you about that" - where a Briton would use the second sentence - "I have already spoken to you about that."

Regional difference, in both languages.
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Old January 05, 2014, 11:43 AM
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For the example proposed by Angelica (may I call you so ?) , I guess that eating my soup with bread ,will not create, whatever tense I use , a commotion to anybody , .
In this case,indeed, I can understand now , selecting a tense, is like giving the local hour .Look first in a world map !

But if I declare to somebody,for instance, that I thought of him (or her), there could be, to this ,also simple ,fact , many implied meanings in the inter-relational context Or, as people in language studies use to say, many connotations.

So, for a Spanish deaf person that I am, the problem of selecting a tense so as not generate a diplomatic conflict , remains !

I have to apologize for complicating things and, if somebody can help to make them simple and me more Spanish-relaxed , I'll be grateful !

Thanks for efforts !
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Old January 05, 2014, 04:18 PM
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It sounds to me like you're worried about something you shouldn't worry about. Period.
You'll not cause a diplomatic conflict.
Relax.
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Old January 17, 2017, 11:41 AM
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Last year whilst on holiday in Spain, I had a conversation with a Spanish person who teaches English.
She quoted, as has been described in the previous thread, that the Spanish would normally use the ‘Present Perfect’ for occurrences on the day and the Imperfect/Preterit for yesterday and beyond.
I have therefore tried to set myself some rules.
As ‘Señor Speedy’ has said previously about not causing a diplomatic conflict, I understand you need to make mistakes to learn.
As my Spanish studies improve I hopefully will increase my knowledge and the use of tenses and context but would any of the simple following sentences raise any eyebrows?
e.g. Mixing up ‘ser’/‘estar’ and the Present Perfect/Imperfect/Preterit tenses.

I have been to the market this morning
Yo he estado al mercado esta manana
I have gone to the market this morning
Yo he ido al mercado esta mañana
I have visited the market this morning
Yo he visitado al mercado esta mañana
I have been to the market yesterday
Yo he estado al mercado ayer
I have gone to the market yesterday
Yo he ido al mercado ayer
I have visited the market yesterday
Yo he visitado al mercado ayer

I was at the market this morning
Yo estuve al mercado esta mañana
I went to the market this morning
Yo fui al mercado esta mañana
I was at the market yesterday
Yo estuve al mercado ayer
I went to the market yesterday
Yo fui al mercado ayer

I was (used to be) at the market each morning
Yo estaba al mercado cada mañana
I went (used to go) to the market each morning
Yo iba al mercado cada mañana


I have been here on holiday three months (ago) previous
Yo he estado aqui en vacaciones tres meses previamente
I was here on holiday three months (ago) previous
Yo fui aqui en vacaciones tres meses previamente
I was here on holiday three months (ago) previous
Yo estuve aqui en vacaciones tres meses previamente
I was here on holiday three months (ago) previous
Yo estaba aqui en vacaciones tres meses previamente

It was a struggle
Fue una lucha
Estaba una lucha

--------------------------------

The team will be in the stadium at 17:00
El equipo será en el estadio a las 17:00

I believe that ‘ser’ is used in this case as it is an ‘event’. i.e. ‘something is taking place’.

But If I was to say: ‘El equipo estará en el estadio a las 17:00’.
I may get corrected but would I get strange looks?

Thank you
AndyP
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