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Why is the past simple used here? In the film "Matrix" Morpheus said to Neo: "You're here because you know something. What you know you can't explain. But you feel it. You felt it your entire life. There is something wrong with the world." Why he didn’t say "You have felt it your entire life"? I think it related to present, describing his life experience up until now, his life continues and the world still "wrong".
Sep 12, 2019 2:15 PM
Answers · 3
I agree that “you have felt” would be better from a strictly grammatical point of view. But this is a movie, and the dialog style needs to fit with the character who speaks it. The “feel” and cadence of the sentence is better (at least I think so) and more forceful without the extra syllable. Morpheus is a warrior, not a professor, and so he speaks in short, simple sentences without unnecessary words.
September 12, 2019
The movie is an American movie and American English accepts the past simple in situations where British English uses the present perfect. I ate breakfast already. (American) I have eaten breakfast already. (British or American) Of course, there are variations dues to region, age, education, and social group. More information here:
September 12, 2019
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