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Playing with past tenses: Beckham baby Part II

I have used several different past tenses in this article. Can you feel/understand the difference between the different uses? Don’t worry if you can’t, because there is a simple explanation of the past tenses at the end of the blog.

 

After a week of speculation, David Beckham has finally revealed the true reasons for the unusual name of his new daughter, Harper Seven. The author of To Kill a Mocking Bird, Harper Lee, was the inspiration behind the name. This is despite the widely held belief that Victoria has never read a book in her life. However, in an interview some years ago, Posh claimed that she had started books, but hadn’t had a chance to finish them due to her busy working life. David also claimed that his wife has always liked the name Harper because of its Olde English heritage.

Beckham also admitted that he has loved the number seven, ever since he played for Manchester United and England with that as his shirt number: “A lot of people have assumed it’s just because of my shirt number that I wore for many years and part of it is because I had so much luck around wearing that number... but that wasn’t the main reason. The other reason behind Seven was because it symbolises spiritual perfection, the Seven Wonders of the World, the seven colours of the rainbow and in many cultures it’s considered to be a lucky number.”

Victoria had tweeted about her joy at becoming a mother again the day before David revealed the reasons for the naming of their baby. She wrote, “Baby Harper is the most beautiful baby girl I have ever seen. I have fallen in love all over again!!!”

PRESENT PERFECT

- have & past participle (e.g. arrived, said, known)

There are different ways that we can use the present perfect, but they all connect the past up to now (the present) in some way.

He has finally revealed the reasons for the name

...she has never read a book in her life

...she has always loved the name

...he has loved the number 7 since he...

...a lot of people have assumed it’s because of my shirt number

...the most beautiful girl I have ever seen I have fallen in love again

PAST SIMPLE

Regular verbs have –ed endings (e.g. wanted, called, started)

Irregular verbs do NOT have –ed endings (e.g. think – thought, see – saw, knew – know, say – said). Look in the back of any English textbook for a list.

We use the past simple for lots of types of past actions (short or long or repeated events) that are definitely finished... i.e. they do NOT have a connection to the present (like with the present perfect)

Harper Lee was the inspiration for the name.

He claimed that...

He admitted that...

...he played for Manchester United

...my shirt number that I wore for many years

...I had so much luck wearing that number

...he revealed the reasons

...she wrote that...  

PAST PERFECT

had & past participle (e.g. been, finished, thought)

When we are telling a story about the past (e.g  June 2011) and then we want to talk about things that happened before this time (e.g. May 2011), then we use the past perfect

She had tweeted about her joy at... .

..she had started books, but hadn’t had a chance to finish them...

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