1

What is the difference between these sentences?

I have often observed that when she is anxious she doesn't talk much.

I often observe that when she is anxious she doesn't talk much.

Being a non-native english speaker it is difficult to me to understand the difference between the present perfect and present simple in those sentences. Is there any?

2

I have often eaten fish.

I have eaten fish on many occasions.

I often eat fish.

Fish is a regular part of my diet.

There's no difference in the total amount of fish. It's simply a way of presenting the fact, as something that happened often in your life up to the present, or as something which happens often in your life and unless something changes, will probably continue to happen.

0

I have often observed that when she is anxious, she doesn't talk much.

a past tense for a general statement when the particular time (last month, yesterday, this week, June 1940, for example) is not given. When specific times are mentioned the simple past is used. Also, the statement is true up to the time of speaking in the present.

Compare: I often observed last year that when she is anxious, she doesn't talk much.

I often observe that when she is anxious she doesn't talk much.

[present tense for a general statement]

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.