6

I understand that the sentence "I never get tired of this movie no matter how many times I see it"(present tense) is perfectly acceptable.

My question is whether or not I can use present perfect as follows:

"I never get tired of this movie no matter how many times I have seen it."

Is this not natural or acceptable? If this is not OK, please let me know why.

  • 1
    A good question. To me, the simple present sounds more natural, but I think present perfect sounds OK too. But I'm not sure if there's any kind of formal rule for it. – stangdon Dec 21 '17 at 22:07
  • For me, I would shorten I have to I've so that the v sound is soft. That way it sounds like both at once. I personally also prefer present perfect here, but both are fine. – Michael Dorgan Dec 21 '17 at 22:24
  • In a question, "How many times have you seen the movie?" is correct, I suppose. Then, why in this "no matter how many times ~" sentence, is simple present usually used? I can't understand the difference. – an English learner Dec 21 '17 at 22:50
4

When you use the present tense for repeating actions, it implies that you've done it in the past and you anticipate it will not change, as in "I go to work every day." So if I say:

I never get tired of this movie, no matter how many times I see it.

It's stronger than if you put it in the present perfect, because it emphasizes that it is not likely to change. In the present perfect:

I've never gotten tired of this movie, no matter how many times I've seen it.

It leaves the possibility open that while that has been true until now, it could all change tomorrow.

The strongest assertion of all is the version using the future:

I will never get tired of this movie, no matter how many times I see it.

The answer to your question in the comments about why you can't ask a question like "how many times have you seen the movie" in the present tense is logical, not grammatical. The question is asking for a specific count (as opposed to "no matter how many times" which is specifically saying the count doesn't matter). You could ask "how many times do you see this movie each month" or something like that, though. You just need to specify some kind of boundary for the counting.

7

You need to conform the tenses so they agree:

I never get tired of this movie no matter how many times I see it.

or

I've never gotten tired of this movie no matter how many times I've seen it.

or

I had never gotten tired of this movie no matter how many times I'd seen it.

and note one that may look like disagreement at first but really isn't:

I will never get tired of this movie no matter how many times I see it.

In this one the simple present can be used to agree with the imperfect future.

  • Little usage note: "gotten" as the past participle of "got" is more common in American English; British English speakers tend to just use "got" outside of set phrases. – Muzer Dec 22 '17 at 10:00
  • @Muzer: I'm aware of that. – Robusto Dec 22 '17 at 11:20
  • I know you probably were, just leaving the comment there for the benefit of anyone who might have been wondering about it :) – Muzer Dec 22 '17 at 11:42

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