Past simple and Present Perfect

  1. (a)-Where’s your key? (b)-I don’t know. I............................................ (lose) it.
  2. I did German at school but I ............................................ (forget) most of it.
  3. I ............................................ (have) a headache earlier but I feel fine now.
  4. The police ............................................ (arrest) three people but later they let them go.
  5. Where’s my bike? I ....... (leave) it outside the house but now it ............ (disappear)!
  6. Oh, I ............................................ (cut) my finger! It’s bleeding.
  7. Your hair looks nice. ............................................ (you/have) a haircut?

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These are my answers:

  • have lost
  • have forgot
  • had
  • arrested
  • left- has disappeared
  • have cut
  • Have you had

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Original Post

Actually, with (6), I would go with the simple "cut".  "Have cut" is also acceptable, but "cut" is what a native speaker would be more likely to say.

As for (2), no educated English speaker would ever say "I did German at school".  Perhaps you mean to say "I studied German in high school" or "I learned German in college".

DocV

Ceedhanna,

My friend has informed me offline that the construct "I did German at school" is actually acceptable in British English.  I live in the United States and have never encountered this usage.  I apologize if I misspoke, or misinformed you.

Ahmed, thank you for sharing this information.  Can you provide a couple of examples (links, if possible) of this construct being used by educated native speakers of English as their first language?  (Please, no examples from Egyptian textbooks or workbooks!)

Thanks in advance for your consideration.

DocV

PS: Another common phrase used in the United States is "I took German in school".  It's not incorrect to say "at school" (and this is one that I have definitely heard in British English), but in the United States, "at" is more commonly used with the name of a specific school:

I took German at Columbia University.

At your command, DOC V.

LDOCE: https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/do

10 study[transitive] British English to study a particular subject in a school or university  I did French for five years.

Cambridge Dictionary:

https://dictionary.cambridge.o...mmar/common-verbs/do

We use do to talk about studying subjects:

A:

What did you do at university?

B:

I did economics.

All children have to do English in primary school.

Collins:

https://www.collinsdictionary....ictionary/english/do

If you do a subject, author, or book, you study them at school or college.
[spoken]
I'd like to do maths at university.[VERB noun]
'So you did 'Macbeth' in the first year?'—'No, in the first year we did 'Julius Caesar'.'

 

 

 

Thanks again, Ahmed.  These links are very helpful.

I especially appreciate the Collins link.  In my experience, "doing math" refers, not to taking a certain class or course of study, but working out a specific mathematical problem or set of problems.  Colloquially, we say "do the math" to mean "figure it out for yourself"; in other words, "don't take my word for it, but you have all of the facts, so put them together and let's see what you come up with".

We never write “maths” in the United States.  My spell checker actually flags it as wrong.  It’s always “math” here, although I’m aware that it’s normal to write it as “maths” in England.  Either way, it’s an abbreviation of “mathematics”.  The equivalent French word is also written as “maths”, being short for “mathématiques”.

I would normally associate clauses like “we did Macbeth” or “we did Julius Caesar” with a drama troupe, not a class.  To me they suggest “we performed these plays” rather than “we studied these plays”.  But again, this is my experience in this country.

 I will concede, though, that I’ve heard “do” in the context of a focus on a particular topic within a course.  For example:

 We’re doing matrices in my algebra class now.

 or:

 I’ve enrolled in the third-year Latin class.  I understand that we’ll be doing fourth-declension nouns for the first two weeks.

I am not an expert in BrE.  I’ve often wished that we had one on the official staff, but we’re not there right now.  Speaking for myself only, I welcome correction from members that have insight into BrE that I lack, as long as you are able to provide documentation, as Ahmed has.

Again, Ahmed, I thank you.

DocV

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