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Could the present perfect be used as a RT for another earlier event?

"What you have just written about the time line and the interruptions of the past perfect, I had already made it into a chart"

If not, I mean if the above sentence is incorrect, would this be fine?

"What you have just written about the time line and the interruptions of the past perfect, I already made it into a chart"

Finally, I think I could write the first sentence as follow:

"What you have just written about the time line and the interruptions of the past perfect, I had already made it into a chart before you brought it up"

The RT in the last example is "brought it up" but I would like to know if I could use the first example as it is written above.

From the quick Google search I did using "present perfect as reference time", I think the answer is probably wrong because I got nothing! But who knows, it might be a matter of wording.

The question came up on this page: Alluding to already Narrated Past Simple events in Past Perfect

Update: The first time I wanted to write to DT I wrote it like below but then the questions above arose. What do you think of it too? Thanks DT for your comments below.

"What you have just written about the time line and the interruptions of the past perfect, I have already made it into a chart"

Update 2 I'll check StoneyB's link when I get some time. Currently I'm busy with studying Conditionals. However, meanwhile I am leaving the conversation & the text below for future reference.

NEAL-CONAN: Mark, how's it going?

MARK: Things have been going much better now since I have gotten off active duty. My wife and I have actually had a son, and I think we're better now than we were. Well, I know we're better than we were. So it's - we did a complete 180, and, you know, I couldn't be happier with it.

NEAL-CONAN: Thanks very much for the call, glad to hear it.

MARK: Thank you.

Source: Cycle Of Deployment Strains Military Marriage 2012, NPR_TalkNat via COCA Corpus

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source: here

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    According to what I understand, (1) is incorrect because you have no reference point in the past. (2) is okay, but I think I've already made it into a chart is also possible. (3) is curious, not for the part had already made ... brought it up, but the part have just written. I will wait and see native speakers' opinion to see if they will treat them as consecutive events on the same time line, or they will allow multiple time lines (have just written has nothing to do with brought it up). – Damkerng T. Dec 30 '13 at 21:14
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    I’m uncomfortable with the use of “it” in your second and third examples. Your sentence structure seems to be that of “The dog, it is hungry” or “The apple, I ate it.” – Scott Dec 30 '13 at 22:56
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    Events do not have Reference Time; RT is a property of clauses and sentences. See this. – StoneyB Dec 31 '13 at 1:47
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"What you have just written about the time line and the interruptions of the past perfect, I have already made it into a chart"

Doesn't mean what you want. "Already" here is relative to "now". "Just" won't help.

Even before you had written about the timeline I had already done it myself.

or, in most cases, better:

Even before you wrote about the timeline I had already done it myself.

The problem is, that the Present Perfect only says that the thing is done, the result exists. Exists NOW. If we are talking about some moments in the past, and you MUST to, if you want to tie something to the moment when the result appeared, you should use the Past Perfect Tense.

On the other hand, in the oral speech and in the dialogues, of course, the verb forms are simplified. And you can happily use present perfect instead of the past one. Only tie the clauses by conjunctions correctly.

Before you have written about the timeline I have done it myself. (informal)

But if you don't need to specially notice, that you have done it before the result of you colleague's activity, but after he had started, the variant with "wrote" is enough and is better.

  • If you could provide maybe some everyday or common examples that would be great. I'll probably come back to check on some posts tomorrow as I've been busy since yesterday. – learner Jan 8 '14 at 9:49
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What you just wrote about the timeline and the interruptions of the past perfect, I had already made into a chart.

You can't use present perfect here because you're connecting the action not with the present but to an event farther into the past. I know ESL classes tell you that you have to use present perfect with "just" and "already", but that's completely wrong for American English, and it's more of a guideline than an absolute rule for British English; I'm fairly sure that it doesn't apply to this case.

  • I have some criticism about the ESL/ELL business; in many ways, they are still prescriptivists; they don't teach you real English. At least they should give hints and pointers for the eager ones. You don't have to give full treatment of everything but you can make learners aware. Maybe the advanced student should break out of this business as soon as they can. I'm personally beginning to read stuff not meant for ESL. This site has contributed to this change. – learner Jan 9 '14 at 19:35
  • The scenarios they give are pretty easy and that's fine for starters but not enough. If you want how, compare between their treatment of present perfect and past simple. The learner is left with so many questions in the present perfect. – learner Jan 9 '14 at 19:49

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