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Inspired by a lang-8 text I've been proofreading:

In the last post I have written about my first summer internship.

I know that it is a no-no to use the Present Perfect with a specific time expression:

On 12 May 2014 I have written about.. (ERROR: must use "I wrote")

Do constructions like "the last letter" or "the last post" qualify as something akin to specific time expressions? I mean, do they unequivocally put the event in the "completed past"? Should we always substitute for:

In the last post I wrote (not "I have written"!) about my first summer internship.

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    I don't know if it has to do with "time expressions" but it's definitely "I wrote". – Catija Jul 7 '15 at 21:05
  • @Catija - thanks for the comment, I've expanded my question to clarify my idea. – CowperKettle Jul 7 '15 at 21:09
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    Maybe if you think of it as the same thing as "last week"... which is a specific time and follows a more similar structure as "in the last post"? Both of these constructions would require "I wrote". – Catija Jul 7 '15 at 21:10
  • @Catija - yes. I thought "in the last post" implies some specific and "completed" time period in the past. – CowperKettle Jul 7 '15 at 21:14
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    A single post is indeed a discrete, completed event. In my last letter.... But one could say In my latest posts, I've been asking about.... – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jul 8 '15 at 11:38
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In the last post or in the last letter is indeed a completed action in the past as in last week, and for this reason we cannot use the present perfect.

In this case the use of simple past is required.

  • +1. I removed "the" before "as in <strike>the</strike> last week" just to avoid confusion. "In the last week, I have received four calls from telemarketers at dinner time." "Last week" is discrete and complete; "in the last week" is a span that is proximate to the present. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jul 8 '15 at 12:15
  • Much obliged @TRomano!-:) – Lucian Sava Jul 8 '15 at 12:17

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