1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Greek
  4. >
  5. "Πότε έχεις έρθει;"

"Πότε έχεις έρθει;"

Translation:When have you come?

December 24, 2016



With the present perfct in English (have come) there should be no indicator of fixed time, like When. So this sentence doesn't work in English, even if its purpose is to used the present perfect in Greek!


Example of "when" with both tenses, "When did you sing this song?" When have you sung this song?"


Doesn't work with 'come'.


When did you arrive?


Πότε έφθασες;



When have you come ?? What does this mean ??


Same question as Diana. When would a Greek speaker choose the present perfect option rather than the past simple? (as that's a very rare case in English as other people have pointed out).

  • 62

An example would be:
- Δε θα έρθω σε αυτό το πάρτυ. (I'll not go to that party - even though Greek uses to come as in to join you there in this case :)
- Και πότε έχεις έρθει; (i.e. I'm not surprised, this is typical behaviour.)
Either the present perfect or the simple past would work in Greek in this case.


Thank you. That makes sense. Would you say that Πότε ήρθες would be the more common way to ask the simple question, "When did you come?" without the specific connotation in your example, or can the simple past and present perfect be used interchangeably?

  • 62

Πότε ήρθες is the standard "When did you come?"/ "When did you arrive?". The present perfect does not make much sense without specific context.


Could 'when did you come?' be OK, because it's idiomatic in English and has the same sense, I think?


Why is "When did you come," wrong ? I don't know how it works in Greek. In French you could use the present perfect (Passé composé) "Quand es tu arrivé ?" But when I learned English at school (ages ago) I was taught that when there was an indicator of time in the past (or asked a question about the moment when the action took place) you should not use the "present perfect" but the "simple past". For example, you shouldn't say "I have come yesterday" but "I came yesterday" and it should be the same in a question with "When".

  • 321

This is the Skill where we teach Present Perfect...so this sentences uses Present Perfect to help you learn it.

Yes, in English we could also say..."When did you come here? but that would change the meaning slightly and it wouldn't help teach Present Perfect.

Yes, again, in English we would not use Present Perfect if the time was clear...which it is not in this sentence.

These are exercises to help you learn various ways of expressing ideas in Greek.


Έρχομαι means both "to come" and "to go" in ancient greek. What made it mean just one of them in this context?

  • 231

The fact that in modern Greek it only means "come". :)


Great. I think we're sorted now. Perhaps we don't need to try using the present perfect tense in this context until we are more advanced speakers and can understand connotations better. In about 5 years time at my rate of learning...


"When have you arrived?" is not correct? Thanks :)




To me "When have you arrived" is a perfectly normal, but perhaps slightly more formal, variant in English for "When have you come", and it means the same. "Come" sounds a bit odd to me in this sentence, although perfectly acceptable in "Why have you come". Stating that that Arrive=φτάνω does not help me. Perhaps in English we say "arrive" when in Greek you say "come"?

  • 321

Yes, I agree, if there's anything to complain about is that it's too much of a word for word translation of the Greek. But there has to be some leeway.


Πότε έχεις φτάσει = When have you arrived?? Is it ok now? Thanks a lot :)


Yes, but both phrases sound awkward not because what you wrote was wrong, but rather because the provided exercise should be in the Past Simple tense.

When did you come?=Πότε ήρθες;

When did you arrive=Πότε έφτασες;

Learn Greek in just 5 minutes a day. For free.