Took and taken, part 2
Last week, we looked at using the past simple tense (e.g. I took) when we say exactly when something happened in the past. Now let’s look at how to use the present perfect tense (e.g. I have taken). Which of the following sentences is correct?
1. I took several computer courses this year.
2. I have taken several computer courses this year.
If you chose sentence two, “I have taken several computer courses this year,” you are correct!
Do you know why sentence one is incorrect? It is incorrect because we are discussing a time period that is not yet finished. It is only March, so there are still several months left in the year in which I can take some more computer courses. When discussing a time period not yet finished, we use the present perfect tense (I have taken).
Here are some further examples:
- I’ve had a lot of coffee to drink today.
- Ralph has lost quite a bit of money in stocks this year.
- I’ve read the newspaper every morning this week.
- It has rained a lot this month.
- Work has been very stressful today.