P.P or P.S

Avatar do usuário gabrielock 885 1 15
I was doing some exercises abou Present perfect when I found this dialogue:

-______ you _______ your exams at school? (finish)
-Yes, I ________ them last week. (finish)

I first completed the gaps with Did/do and finished, but then my teacher told me that the correct tense of the question would be the P.P : Have tou finished your exams?, but the answer would still be the same. I'd like to know: shouldn't the tense of the question match to the tense of the answer? in this case as in the answer it has a defined time I should use P.S, so shouldn't the question also be in this tense? In case the question was given using the P.P SHOULDN't the answer be given also in this tense? (although it could't happen because of "last week", whereas if it were "this week" I guess I could use the P.P)

Thanks in advance!

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Avatar do usuário Juliana Rios 18450 19 92 382
Hi Gabriel,

Shouldn't the tense of the question match to the tense of the answer?

Not necessarily. The assumption that the verb tense used in an answer is required to match the verb tense used in the question is a mistaken one. The person asking the question doesn't know when the exams took place. Such lack of a prespecified or previously known time reference allows for the justifiable use of the Present Perfect.

The answer, on the other hand, establishes when the exams took place. The person in question chose to include that piece of unsolicited information in their answer. Such specification calls for the use of the Simple Past.

You are correct in assuming that using the time expression "this week" would warrant the use of the Present Perfect.

There's a more intuitive scenario where the tenses used in a question and its respective answer must match: short answers. For instance:

Have you finished your exam?
Yes, I have. ("Yes, I did" would be utterly ungrammatical).

The same applies in:

Did you finish you exam?
Yes, I did. (Not "Yes, I have").

I hope this helps.
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Clique aqui e saiba como baixar!
Avatar do usuário Cinnamon 13700 14 35 301
Hi Gabriel!

I totally agree with JulianaRios, the question allows you to answer like that.
Your teacher is right. If you ask me:
Have you ever been to the USA? (se já tive a esperiência)
I went to the USA last year on business, but I never left the hotel. :oops:

As I understand it is not correct to mix auxiliaries in the same structure, example if you say.
I will can = in Portuguese "eu vou enlatar" because in this structure can cannot be an auxiliary.
In the context the auxiliaries are used to give the tense (tempo verbal), they can be flexible though.
They exist to make English dynamic. My opinion OK? 8-)

Asking again: Have you ever been to the USA?
I would like to, but I can't afford.
I will next year to celebrate my 10th anniversary. (I've been married for 9 years :lol: )
Never, but my wife has been there since she was fifteen.
I go to L.A. every summer. (simple present because it is a routine)

As PPaulo usually says "don't sweat it". Your question is interesting, all of us made the same question once, maybe twice...

See you around!