French L1 speaker here.

I have a few questions related to the use of the present perfect and the simple past in this song. Would someone be so kind as to explain why certain verbs are in the simple past?

1) I've done my sentence But committed no crime.

Q1. Why isn't it "but I've committed no crime?" After all, the time is unspecified. What am I missing?

2) I've had my share of sand kicked in my face

Q2. Same question here. Why not "I've had my share of sand that has been kicked in my face?"

3) You brought me fame and fortune, and everything that goes with it.

Q3. Why not "You've brought me fame and fortune?". Here, I'm guessing it's because the individuals aren't going to bring him fame and fortune anymore. (finished action) Am I correct?

4) Unrelated Bonus question

And we'll keep on fighting 'til the end.

Q. Why not "And we're gonna keep on fighting 'til the end?" After all, "going to" is used for plans related to the future. While "will" is for when someone makes a decision on the spot.

Thank you for helping me better understand.

1 Answer 1

  1. There is no requirement to repeat the auxiliary verb when the verb phrase contains more than one lexical verb joined as these verbs are by and.

I've tidied my room and [I've] washed the windows.

  1. kicked in my face is a participle clause. kicked is not tensed but expresses a state or condition of sand.


I like food cooked in oil and food cooked on a grill

Another way of understanding kicked in my face is that it is a special kind of complement modifying the object of the verb had:

I have had [I have experienced] sand object {kicked in my face}.

But it's really no different from:

I have eaten food cooked on a grill.

But in either analysis kicked is not tensed. The phrase pertains either to sand alone or to sand as object of the verb.

  1. You brought me fame.

I have never looked at the lyrics of that song carefully, but I would suppose that this sentence is describing something that happened in the past, not the current status of the speaker. Although the fame might persist to the present moment, the becoming-famous, the being-made-famous, happened in the past.

  1. Your understanding of will is too rigid and limited.
    We're gonna is an approximation of how "we're going to" is pronounced in normal colloquial speech where the speaker is not trying to articulate the words according to how they're spelled. We're going to and we will are two equally viable ways of forming a statement about an intention to do something in the future.
  • Your explanation is quite clear for question one. However, you are using and. Would this also be true for but as is the case in the song? Mar 18, 2018 at 15:17
  • Although this would not be ungrammatical: I've tidied my room but not washed the windows. it would be more common to hear (at least in my experience as a speaker of AmE): I've tidied my room but haven't washed the windows.
    – TimR
    Mar 18, 2018 at 15:23
  • I see. So, the equivalent for the lyrics using standard grammar would be "I've done my sentence but not committed any crime." As per your prior explanation, this would be grammatical but not your favorite structure to use. Am I understanding this correctly? Mar 18, 2018 at 15:43
  • Further to differences involving the and / but choice, I like food cooked in oil and on a grill (eliding implicitly repeated cooked) sounds awkward to me, but I've no quarrel with I like food cooked in oil or on a grill. Mar 18, 2018 at 15:43
  • First, a couple of caveats: favorite isn't the appropriate term as these choices are not deliberate ones; it would be better to refer to the choice as "most likely to be used"; second, judging song lyrics by the grammatical rules that apply to formal writing or even to informal conversation is always dubious. In my neck of the woods, we would say, in conversation, "I've done my sentence but didn't commit any crime." or I've done my sentence but haven't committed any crime. Not likely to be heard is I've done my sentence but not committed any crime.
    – TimR
    Mar 18, 2018 at 16:07

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