“We have done that in 2014.” (Maybe You Need A Verb Tense Chart)

Need a verb tense chart?
Do you confuse your verb tenses?

Why wrong:  Many francophones think that this statement means “Nous avons fait ça en 2014.”  Sorry but that’s not true! This verb tense is called the Present Perfect and, consequently, is a present tense, not a past one.  There is no equivalent tense in French.  Even if they look similar, the Passé composé is not the same thing as the Present Perfect.  Many people find that a Verb Tense Chart helps in writing and speaking, at least until it becomes more natural.

It is actually more precise to call this an “aspect” and not a tense.  For all of the tenses (Past, Present, and Future), there are four aspects in English, whereas in French there is only one.  The aspects are the Simple, the Progressive, the Perfect (the one used here) and the Present Progressive.  That means that English is much more precise in its use.

The Present Perfect tense, like a bridge, connects the past to the present. It demonstrates relative time, not specific (answering the question “When?”).  2014 does not include the present, so…

Correct it: use the Simple Past tense: “We did that in 2014.”  To communicate clearly, you must understand and use verb tenses correctly, both in writing and in speech.  The Present Perfect is generally considered to be the hardest verb tense for francophones to master because it is a concept of time that doesn’t exist in French.

Do you confuse your verb tenses?  Contact Roy. His Verb Tense Chart was voted one of the top four on the web and many of his students call it their “bible” and keep it close as a reference when writing.  Click here to see the review (it’s #4) and download the latest version for free here.

Here it is, Roy’s world-famous Verb Tense Chart!

“Did he saw her yesterday?”

IMG_2898Really?  If he did, I hope she survived!

Translation:  « Est-ce qu’il l’a découpé hier ? »

Why wrong:  It’s the first verb (auxiliary) that shows time.  Did  already indicates past, so the main verb see should be in its simple form (no –s, -ed or –ing endings). To be taken seriously…

Correct it: In Simple tenses (with did, do/does or will), time is already clear, so use the simple form afterwards.

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