Considering what you guys have done, you guys should have gotten punished.


Considering what you guys have done, you guys should get punished.

Whats the Difference ?


I have played a lot of football in school.


I played a lot of football in school.

Situation :- a 35 yr old man explaining to his son how he is so good at football. Well, football that he had learnt in school, still has its connection with the present (he is still good at it) so I think we should use Present Perfect, but he left school way before, so I also think we should use simple past. Which one's correct ?

Please explain


In your first examples, the question is whether the misbehaviour of the guys involved might still be punishable.

If, for example, two brothers were telling an uncle about something bad they had done in school some years earlier, the uncle would reply that they should have been (gotten) punished; that's to say, at the time they deserved to be punished.

But if the events had only taken place recently, the uncle might reply that they should get punished.

In many countries there is a time limit to the period after an offence has been committed, when it may be prosecuted - sometimes known as the statute of limitations. Depending on whether the limit had or had not expired, you would choose should have gotten or should get.

With regard to your second question:

To use the present perfect tense: have played a lot of football in school implies that you are still in school and probably still playing football.

To used the past tense: played a lot of football in school implies that you are no longer in school, whether or not you are still playing football.

  • But in school we were always taught use present perfect when an incident has sone connection to present or when specific time of occurance of event has not been mentioned. For eg- I've bought this guitar for $800. Or. I bought this guitar for $800. (PS- i bought the instrument 8 yrs ago but here i am not mentioning the exact time of purchase) so would it be valid to use present perfect here ? – Subrat Bavarian Bastola Jan 5 '18 at 14:52
  • @SubratBavarianBastola Here you are not talking about an incident but a sporting activity that has taken place (or took place) over a number of years at the school. In neither example is it explicit whether the person is still playing football. What is implied is that this person is either still at school (present perfect) or has left the school (past). – Ronald Sole Jan 5 '18 at 14:59
  • @SubratBavarianBastola Regarding your guitar purchase. There is no exact point at which to change from present perfect to past. It's a matter of what comes naturally in the context. Immediately after buying the guitar (same day, same week) you would say: I have bought. After that you would probably just say I bought, whether or not you said when you bought it. – Ronald Sole Jan 5 '18 at 15:04
  • Let me trouble you one last time sir,haha... An actor invites a journalist to his house and shows him all the awards that he has won, pointing at one of the shelves what should he say- This front row of awards that you're seeing right here are the ones that I won for XYZ film(provided that it was years ago and he has done way more films after that) or The This front row of awards that you're seeing right here are the ones that I won for my XYZ film?!? (Talking about something that happened in the past and it's effect-the awards without mentioning exact time ) – Subrat Bavarian Bastola Jan 5 '18 at 15:07
  • Thanks for your time, I appreciate it. Cons of being a non native english speaker I would say, my head is full of doubts. Lol ! – Subrat Bavarian Bastola Jan 5 '18 at 15:09

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