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Are all the following sentences correct:

1) I haven't seen him in the last five minutes.

2) I haven't heard from her in the last five years. 

Is 'didn't' in place of 'haven't' possible? As far as I know it's incorrect to say "I didn't see him in the last five minutes" since last five minutes is connecting the the past to the present. 

Original Post

Are all the following sentences correct:

1) I haven't seen him in the last five minutes.

2) I haven't heard from her in the last five years.

Yes, Ashraful, they are.

@Ashraful Haque posted:

Is 'didn't' in place of 'haven't' possible?

No. With "in the last five minutes," you need to use the present perfect. As you say, "the last five minutes" connects the past with the present.

You could use "I didn't see him in five minutes" to indicate that it was not the case that you saw him again five minutes from some past point in time.

  • I didn't see him in five minutes. I saw him in ten minutes. During those ten minutes, I did not see him.

You could also say "I didn't see him for the next five minutes" if you wanted to indicate that five minutes elapsed between past periods of your seeing him.

  • I saw him at 8:05. I didn't see him for the next five minutes. The next time I saw him was at 8:10.
Last edited by David, Moderator

Yes, Ashraful, they are.

No. With "in the last five minutes," you need to use the present perfect. As you say, "the last five minutes" connects the past with the present.

You could use "I didn't see him in five minutes" to indicate that it was not the case that you saw him again five minutes from some past point in time.

  • I didn't see him in five minutes. I saw him in ten minutes. During those ten minutes, I did not see him.

You could also say "I didn't see him for the next five minutes" if you wanted to indicate that five minutes elapsed between past periods of your seeing him.

  • I saw him at 8:05. I didn't see him for the next five minutes. The next time I saw him was at 8:10.

Thank you very much for the answer.  Specially for the example sentences. 

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