Is this possible to write

At the beginning I have bought some records from him. Then one day I asked for a record he did not have ,he answered to me that he was OK to let me use his address and since then I have used his address. All records bought in the USA are delivered to him.

In the first sentence what puzzles me is that I use "at the beginning "with present perfect because the beginning of this action began a long time ago .But it is still true at the time of writing . I still buy records from him so I think present perfect is fine.

  • 1
    Some time adverbials are mainly used with the past simple. At the beginning means at a certain time in the past. Therefore I'd use the past simple and not present perfect. At the beginning I bought some records…
    – re_nez
    Commented Jan 30, 2019 at 14:00
  • even all through the years I have kept buying records from him until today
    – Yves Lefol
    Commented Jan 30, 2019 at 15:14
  • Yes, because at the beginning means at a specific time in the past. I think you need to change the time expression if you want to convey that it has happened in a time period that started in the past and goes up to now.
    – re_nez
    Commented Jan 30, 2019 at 16:30

1 Answer 1


To me, the difference is not how long ago, but whether there is a specified time at all. Examples:

At the beginning, I bought some records from him.

I'd consider this to be the correct version of your sentence. This sentence refers to a specific instance of you buying records. Instead, you could say:

In the past, I have bought some records from him.

This is similar, but inherently different. This sentence does not refer to a specific instance, or even how many times you've done this. It only says that you have bought records from this person before. It doesn't even say that you still are buying records.

A final alternate:

I have been buying records from him for a long time.

This sentence both states that you have bought records at some point in the past, and that you are still buying records from him in the present.

  • but present perfect is up to now so I thought i have bought was up to now and if I choose the final alternate, for me but I'm surely wrong it means that i continuously have bought some records which is not true because sometimes i did not buy records for a month and the next month i bought 4 or 5 my orders were not regular
    – Yves Lefol
    Commented Jan 30, 2019 at 21:51
  • None of those makes any claims about regularity. You could buy 6 records, then go a year without buying any, then buy 1 every month for 3 months, then stop for a month, then buy another group of 4. The final alternate works as long as you are still currently buying records and you have bought them at some point in the past as well. Commented Jan 31, 2019 at 13:05

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