5.2. The time representation of the past forms
Both of the past tense and the present perfect form (PrPF) express the past event, but the form meanings are not the same, therefore, they are properly used in English.
The reason why PrPF can not be co-occurred with the past time adverbials is because the speaker does not have them in mind. If s/he has them, the past tense is used.
They are often co-occurred with the past tense because they are shown into the context from the speaker's mind. See the following examples.
a. I went home early yesterday.
b. I told you to call me last night.
The past time adverbials are parallel to M. See the following figure.
Even if the past time adverbials are not co-occurred, M is put at the past. See the following examples.
a. I went home early.
b. I told you to call me.
When the above is used, they are in another context or the speaker implicates them. See the interrogative examples.
a. Did you ever see the Eiffel Tower?
b. Have you ever seen the Eiffel Tower?
Both of them can be used. The choice of them depends on the speaker's mind, that is, if the speaker has the definite past in mind, the past tense is used, if not, PrPF is used.
the speaker's mental state + time point put in mind = selection of forms
The above is the diagram representing the form selection.
Now, we have to use the past tense even if the recent past is co-occurred. See the following examples.
a. I was singing karaoke last night.
b. I saw him a few minutes ago.
Especially, "a few minutes ago" might be considered as the recent past, and it will be thought PrPF can be used as the Perfective and Resultative usage.
But "ago" itself is the definite past and it means the speaker treats the event as the past.
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