I wanted to check with you if I have translated the following correctly:

"I moved to Italy 5 years ago and I have opened a restaurant there"

From the text, I understand the subject still owns a restaurant there so it makes sense to use present perfect in the second part of the sentence. The thing is, this school exercise is about past tense, so I wanted to be sure I have a valid point :-) Thanks

  • 2
    I wanted to check with you if I have translated the following correctly: without seeing the original and its full context, it is impossible to say how appropriate the sentence is. However, there is no prohibition on using mixed tenses in a sentence "I have bought a car and will be able to visit historical sites that were built 1000 years ago." -- In your sentence the default understanding is that your restaurant is still open.
    – user81561
    Dec 11, 2021 at 11:36
  • 4
    I'd have expected ...and I've opened a restaurant here, given the circumstances. But syntactically, your version is fine. Dec 11, 2021 at 11:37
  • 1
    @FumbleFingers: depends where the speaker is located when he/she says this.
    – cruthers
    Dec 11, 2021 at 23:04
  • Maybe it's just because I'm American, but the present perfect just sounds weird to me there. We don't really do that. We'd say "... and I opened a restaurant there [a couple of years ago]." That formulation doesn't really suggest one way or another whether the restaurant is still open or not, so you'd need to make that further point clear (if desired) some other way.
    – cruthers
    Dec 11, 2021 at 23:16

1 Answer 1


"I moved to Italy 5 years ago and opened a restaurant there."

If the opening of the restaurant coincided with moving to Italy, the simple past is appropriate as the act of opening that restaurant cannot be repeated. Although it is possible that the restaurant has since closed, the listener will assume it is still running unless the speaker clarifies.

If the restaurant was opened more recently:

"I moved to Italy 5 years ago and I've [just] opened a restaurant there"

The listener will understand that the speaker is the current owner of a restaurant in Italy. The act of opening a business occurred at an unspecified point in time in the past whose effects continue into the present. In other words, the speaker's focus of attention is on the present.

  • Don't we use present perfect comparing two sentences one coming after another? As I know the one with the present perfect happens before the other in timeline when we use two sentences. Dec 13, 2021 at 8:53
  • @over_twenty_five You can mix tenses in the same sentence. The action in the simple past is completed while the action in the PP can be completed but its effects carry onto the present. E.g Sorry, I can't play on Saturday, I've broken my leg (I cannot play football with my friends). I broke my leg in November (It's healed, which means I can play football) but I've been really busy lately. Can we meet up on Sunday?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Dec 13, 2021 at 13:28
  • 1
    @over_twenty_five You are confusing this with: simple past and past perfect. It is only with past perfect that something occurs before it.
    – Lambie
    Dec 13, 2021 at 20:01
  • I was going to say the grammar by itself doesn't tell you the order in which events happened, but after turning this over in my head a few times, I've come to the conclusion that simple past + present perfect almost always implies the perfect happened after the simple (because if it was the other way around, you would use past perfect instead of present perfect).
    – Kevin
    Dec 31, 2021 at 22:06

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .