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I have the following sentence. All of the actions described I've performed today.

I've paid a visit, played chess, drank an espresso and bought a couple of souvenirs.

My first tense is present perfect:

I've paid a visit

But I have other actions in the sentence. Now they are simple past. Is it correct? What tenses should I use?

I've read this question already "Visit" vs "pay a visit to"

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  • paid a visit usually includes TO WHERE in English....
    – Lambie
    Apr 24, 2021 at 0:07
  • I've visited someone, played chess, drunk an expresso and bought x.
    – Lambie
    May 12, 2022 at 21:13

1 Answer 1

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You can drop the modal after its first and retain the sense if you concatenate verbs in the same clause.

On Sunday I will finish my homework and visit Sally.

Both verbs are in the simple future and mean exactly the the same as

On Sunday, I will finish my homework and will visit Sally.

The second "will" may be dropped.

Unfortunately, in the case of your sentence, it is not clear why it should be in the present perfect. Moreover, if you do want the verbs to be in the present perfect, "drank" needs to be "drunk."

That is,

I've paid a visit, played chess, drunk an espresso, and bought a couple of souvenirs

means the same thing as

I've paid a visit, have played chess, have drunk an espresso, and have bought a couple of souvenirs

I will admit, however, that only the most careful speakers are likely to catch that "drunk" is technically correct when the modal indicating the present perfect is dropped. One reason for that is that is that the use of the present perfect seems odd in this case.

EDIT: The OP has asked a question about the use of the present perfect based on my questioning why it was used in the original question.

The use of the present perfect in English is complex. With respect to verbs that may have a continuous aspect as a result of their meaning, the present perfect can represent something that started in the past in the past and continues to this day.

I have loved her since the day I met her

means that I still love her.

I loved her

implies that I no longer do.

The present perfect may be used to describe a completed past action that is connected to a present situation

I can't pay you right now because I have lost my wallet.

The present perfect may also be used to emphasize that an action has been completed.

I have done my homework

stresses that it is complete.

The present perfect may also be used to represent actions completed in the recent past. But recent is relative.

I have graduated from college

may mean last week or last month or maybe even last year. It depends on context. In this case, graduation is a major event, a rite of passage, and so recent is defined in the context of the life of an adult. With respect to actions of less import, recent may reduce to minutes or even seconds.

I finally kissed her

may refer to something that happened within the last 15 minutes.

There is no rule that rigidly defines recent in terms of a calendar or a clock.

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  • > the use of the present perfect seems odd in this case But why? The day is still going on and I have done (finished) these actions already today. I have always been taught that I have to use PP when I explain actions in such a time period. What tense do you suggest is more reasonable here?
    – Green
    Feb 21, 2020 at 10:33
  • See EDIT to answer Feb 21, 2020 at 14:34

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