The English winter has been very wet. It did not snow, and I don't think it will now, as spring is coming very soon.

I used the present perfect because winter has not finished, but I used past simple because it should have snowed before. Now, it is too late for snowing.

Is the past simple a good choice, or should I have written it as has not snowed?

  • 1
    What exactly is your question? – Jacob Mar 5 '16 at 16:48
  • winter has been very wet = it's still very wet; winter was very wet = it's no longer wet; it didn't snow = it didn't happen and it's not going to; it hasn't snowed = not yet but it will eventually occur – Alejandro Mar 5 '16 at 16:50
  • 1
    @Ustanak ...but may eventually occur. – wizzwizz4 Mar 5 '16 at 19:34
  • @Ustanak: winter was very wet = it is no longer winter; spring may be wet :) – Tᴚoɯɐuo Mar 5 '16 at 20:52
  • Does "As in England" mean "Like in England"? When I read this part, I get "As/like in England, winter has been very wet." Then a comma should be used. However I wonder if you meant "Since in England winter has been very wet..." but that wouldn't be a complete sentence. – user3169 Mar 5 '16 at 21:22

As in England winter has been very wet. It did not snow and I think it will not now as spring is coming very soon .

"I used present perfect because winter has not finished but I used past simple because it should have snowed before now it is too late for snowing, is past simple a good choice or should have written it has not snowed."

If winter is not quite over, as you say, your reason for choosing present perfect has been wet is good.

If it is now too late for snow, then your reason for choosing simple past it did not snow is also good. The part of the year when snow is possible is completely behind us.

But if there is still a chance that the "snowy season" is not quite finished, then you could say "it has not snowed". That choice indicates that you consider snow still a possibility.

The choice of tenses reveals our thinking when we speak.

| improve this answer | |
  • I would not use just "It did not snow" because it does not have a specific time reference (it could refer to any time before present). I would prefer using "It did not snow yet". – user3169 Mar 5 '16 at 21:25
  • @user3169. There is no need for an explicit time reference. The past tense would indicate that the speaker believes the time for snow has passed. Adding yet would indicate just the opposite. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Mar 5 '16 at 21:56
  • The statement made in April could mean "it did not snow (in January)" when January is the primary month when it snows (but then there was some snow in Feb. and March). Maybe I am picking at this though. – user3169 Mar 5 '16 at 22:01
  • @user3169 : It did not snow yet is marginal|ungrammatical. Grammatical would be It has not snowed yet or It had not snowed yet. The word yet attaches the statement to the speaker's Present, their temporal "origo". If their origo is in the present, we'd use present perfect; if that origo is a point-of-reference in the past, in relation to an earlier past, then we'd use the past perfect. – Tᴚoɯɐuo May 17 '17 at 10:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.