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We're making sentences with present perfect and I wonder if "I haven't seen the college in a year" sounds natural to native English speakers.

The idea is due to covid, I haven't been to college in a year.

Also, the college means the one I go to.

Thanks

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In the current context, I find the phrasing "I haven't seen the college in a year." to be natural and idiomatic.

There are other phrasings that are also possible, consider "I last saw the college a year ago".

There are some dialect differences in the use of the present perfect, and perhaps AmE speakers might prefer "I didn't see the college in a year." but as a BrE speaker, I prefer the present perfect in this structure.

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Q. We're making sentences with present perfect and I wonder if "I haven't seen the college in a year" sounds natural to native English speakers.


It sounds weird to me. Surely, technically it must be OK? "I haven't seen her in ages" is a common enough expression. However "I haven't been to the college in a year" sounds natural. Which also includes all that would include Seeing, smelling etc.

"I haven't seen the college in a year" sounds like the writer is recovering from serious eye surgery or something. But it is just my opinion. However this may have been influenced by the fact you have specified a time: try "I haven't seen the college in ages", now that sounds better.

The important thing to remember about the present perfect is that you can’t use it when you are being specific about when it happened.


Ref Grammarly

The present perfect tense refers to an action or state that either occurred at an indefinite time in the past (e.g., we have talked before) or began in the past and continued to the present time (e.g., he has grown impatient over the last hour). This tense is formed by have/has + the past participle.

The construction of this verb tense is straightforward. The first element is have or has, depending on the subject the verb is conjugated with. The second element is the past participle of the verb, which is usually formed by adding -ed or -d to the verb’s root (e.g., walked, cleaned, typed, perambulated, jumped, laughed, sautéed) although English does have quite a few verbs that have irregular past participles (e.g., done, said, gone, known, won, thought, felt, eaten).

The important thing to remember about the present perfect is that you can’t use it when you are being specific about when it happened.

  • CORRECT....I have put away all the laundry. -- INCORRECT....I have put away all the laundry this morning.*

You can use the present perfect to talk about the duration of something that started in the past is still happening.

She has had the chickenpox since Tuesday.

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  • “I haven’t seen the college building in a year”, I think this one sounds natural, right? – Ayden Ferguson Mar 31 at 5:44
  • That sounds like you have not seen the college being built in the last year. “I haven’t seen the college building for a year or so” would be fine – Brad Mar 31 at 6:02
  • @Ayden Ferguson The point is if you put a specific time on something it then reverts it to the past tense. "I did not see the college for a year" ........>The present perfect tense refers to an action or state that either occurred at an indefinite time in the past (e.g., we have talked before) or began in the past and continued to the present time (e.g., he has grown impatient over the last hour). – Brad Mar 31 at 6:09
  • We usually speak of 'not having seen' a person rather than a place. Been to, visited, gone in to would be much more natural in this context. – Kate Bunting Mar 31 at 7:42

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