I spilled coffee on my shirt…(not have spilled)

Dear readers, a member asked how to say “Derramei café na minha camisa,” in English. If you just now spilled coffee on your shirt, then you would say I spilled coffee on my shirt(because it is happening at one point in time, not over an extended period of time).


Tire suas dúvidas sobre os tempos verbais, baixe um guia grátis da Englishtown: Guia de Tempos Verbais em Inglês. Ele contém um resumo bem estruturado para revisar os conceitos que você aprendeu na escola. Clique aqui e saiba como baixar!

I have spilled coffee on my shirt many times.
I have spilled coffee on my shirt before.

I hope you like it!

Mary Ziller from USA

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Mary Ziller

I'm Mary Ziller. I tutor ESL at the IHM Lteracy Center in Philadelphia. I lived a year in Brazil where I became certified to teach English as a Foreign language.

5 comentários

  • 20/03/08  
    Itamar diz: 1

    Dear Mary,

    I have a english grammar book written by Raymond Murphy and it says that we often use the present perfect to give new informatoin or to announce a recent happening. For example: Ow! I’ve cut my finger.

    My question is why do I can say “I’ve cut my finger” and I can’t say “I’ve spilled coffe on my shirt”. Are they diferent situations?

    Thanks a lot

  • 22/03/08  
    Valmir diz: 2

    Hy Itamar,
    How’re you doing?
    Well, I’ve seeing that you wrote ” I have a english grammar book”
    In my humble opinion the write is “I have an english grammar book” do you agree with me?

  • 23/03/08  
    Itamar diz: 3

    Hi Valmir,

    I totally agree !!!! I saw this mistake but I had already posted it.

    You wrote “I’ve seeing…”. In my opinion the correct grammar is “I’ve seen…” Do you agree with me?

  • 24/03/08  
    Mary diz: 4

    Hi Itamar,

    The Grammar is not wrong, but it is referring to British English.

  • 11/08/09  
    João Ghizoni diz: 5

    I know this post was put here long ago, but even so I’ll try to ask something about it. I find it strange that the author says we don’t say “I’ve spilled (coffee on my shirt)” because the action happened “at one point in time, not over an extended period”. I think this explanation should be reviewed, since we DO say “I’ve lost my keys” though the action DID happen “at a specific point in time and not over an expanded period”. The fact in both cases is the CONSEQUENCE OF THAT FACT AT THE PRESENT MOMENT.