Translation:We read about cheese yesterday.
this is one of several examples of the present perfect construction being translated as simple past tense - if i wanted to say "i read about cheese yesterday" how would i know whether to use the past tense or the present perfect - or does it make a difference?
It doesn't make a difference in Dutch. If you want to say "I read about cheese yesterday", you could say "Ik heb gisteren over kaas gelezen", but you can also say "Ik las gisteren over kaas". The Dutch don't make a difference between these two sentences.
Does this mean that "We have yesterday read about cheese" should be a valid answer? It currently isn't.
The present perfect is only used in two cases: to refer to an unspecified time before now, and to express a duration in time until now. See here: http://www.englishpage.com/verbpage/presentperfect.html
Wow, this is a really subtle difference in English. "We have read about cheese before now." => perfectly idiomatic. "We have read about cheese yesterday." => still sounds fine to my American ear. Perhaps because a whole day is not specific enough to require the simple past. "We have read about cheese at 10pm." => doesn't sound right to me.
We have read about cheese yesterday doesn't sounds right to me as a native American English speaker. We have went to the mall yesterday, we have ate some cheese an hour ago even seems wrong. Could be dialects, though.
This is because many of us were taught to use the present perfect for the recent past and "yesterday" does sound recent enough and perhaps a bit vague enough to some of us, but the rules also specify that a specific time requires the simple past. Many grammar sites cite "yesterday" as an example to use the simple past though.https://www.ego4u.com/en/cram-up/grammar/simpas-preper
Some people refer to "yesterday" as a point in time, so I think it has to do with some of us viewing "yesterday" as a recent but not too specific time frame.
I wonder if this rule will change over time.
The fact is though that if we use the present perfect now we know that this has probably happened recently (or not so recently but affects the present) so it is probably no longer necessary to say "yesterday".
On the other hand, what if we want to express that it affects the present, but that it also took place yesterday? With the simple present, we don't get the importance that it affects the present.
Actually, that is a sentence that is understandable, but sounds like a second language speaker translating directly from their mother tongue. This is one of the areas where there isn't necessarily a one on one correspondence between Dutch and English.
the English perfect (aka simple past) expresses the aspect of a completely finished action e.g. "I ate the whole thing!". If there is a time expression, then the perfect is mandatory. So "last year I went to Amsterdam", "At 8pm, the camel exploded" and "Yesterday, we read about cheese".
OK if the dutch don't make a difference between these two sentences., why don't take the present perfect tense as the answer instead. "We have learned about cheese yesterday"
We have read about cheese yesterday not ok ??? It says
Wij HEBBEN over kaas gelezenand not
Wij lazen over kaas.
Because it's wrong/not idiomatic in English. The action started and finished at a specific point in the past, namely "yesterday", and therefore the 'past simple tense' (we read about cheese yesterday) is used instead of the 'present perfect tense' (we have read about cheese yesterday).
Probably Willem Elsschot's satirical novel 'Kaas', written in 1933: a modern classic.
Well, if you title the chapter "present perefect" use present perfect not simple past. I know that it's Dutch for English speakers but for gods sake non-English use it too. Such a nuances are rather not familiar for many I think, so the English base should be less restrictive
It's present perfect in Dutch, which uses it a little differently than we do in English. This sentence shows us that the present perfect in Dutch sometimes should be translated into simple past in English (when specific time words are used) and allowing a translation such as "we have read about cheese yesterday" would not clearly point that out. Besides, non-English speakers who think that's an acceptable construction could use a little bonus improvement of their English, unless they assume (as some I've met do) that they speak better than the natives do.
I translated this as "We have read about cheese yesterday" and got it wrong! why???? As per English lang this is the correct present perfect sentence translation.
It isn`t. You can also say:
Gisteren lazen wij over kaas Where
lazen is the simple past of
Wij hebben gisteren over kaas gelezen = Wij lazen gisteren over kaas Both are correct.
So there is no difference between past tense and present perfect tense in Dutch?
I answered this with,
"Yesterday we have read about cheese"
It is perfectly acceptable to start an English sentence with a time aspect, e.g. Yesterday. Duolingo however claims that my answer is incorrect.