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John
Should I use "simple present" or "present perfect" tense in the following sentence? 1. After I have taken(have) breakfast, I leave for work at 8.00. 2. After they have achieved(achieve) a goal, children should be rewarded by their parents. In this sentence, I'm just talking about my opinion in a general situation. which tense should I use here?
Oct 24, 2016 4:23 AM
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Answers · 7
You would not use "have taken" with a meal. "After I've had breakfast/After I have breakfast...either tense is correct for describing a daily routine. Same with second sentence, describing an opinion on a general situation.
October 24, 2016
My opinion is that it doesn't matter. The difference in meaning is not important. Your example is difficult because you have suggested "take" and "have" which are two different words. It is unusal to use "take" to mean eating breakfast. 1. After I have breakfast, I leave for work... 1. After I have had breakfast, I leave for work... 1. After I take breakfast, I leave for work 1. After I have taken breakfast, I leave for work. 2. After they achieve a goal, children should... 2. After they have achieved a goal, children... My advice is that you should not worry to much about the slight difference in meaning in these pairs of sentences. You can use either tense and be correct.
October 24, 2016
It is possible that in the UK, "taken" with a meal is possibly more common than in the US. However, in my experience, these days it is really only used with "tea", as in "taken tea" or "take tea". Even then, it sounds quite formal and to me a little "stuffy", as in only used by people who want to sound "posh". "Posh" is used to describe something typical of "upper class" individuals in the UK. To "take breakfast" or "take dinner" sounds quite odd to me, but I can imagine a rather "stuffy" person saying it, as in "Shall we take breakfast together?" I think that "After I eat breakfast, I leave for work" , is a little unnatural because "I" is used twice. I prefer "After eating breakfast, I leave for work". You could also say "Having eaten breakfast, I leave for work." For your second example, "After achieving a goal, children should be rewarded by their parents." sounds better to me. You could also say "Having achieved a goal, children should be rewarded by their parents."
October 24, 2016
Another problem with the second sentence is you switch to the passive voice when you said "children should be rewarded by their parents." Why do that? With a very few exceptions, the passive is a lousy writing style. Why not just say, "parents should reward their children once the children achieve their goals"?
October 24, 2016
"After I eat breakfast I go to work". Short and simple and probably what 99% of Americans and Canadians say. No one "takes" a meal in the US (unless you're literally picking up the plate and throwing it out the window or in the garbage can.) "once children achieve a goal their parents should reward them." Again, short, simple and easy. No need to over complicate things.
October 24, 2016
John
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English
Learning Language
English