Lv 4
San asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 2 months ago

Is "have just" British?

A. We've just finished eating lunch.

B. We just finished eating lunch.

Is A more British and B more American?


8 Answers

  • Pontus
    Lv 7
    2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    The present perfect is used for:  the indefinite past - where no specific time period is mentioned, which can include just listing having had the experience, and the recent past (which can include times when the result is still true).  

    British or American speakers can both use A.

    Americans, however, often replace the past perfect with the simple past, especially when the past perfect meaning is clear. In that example, "just" clearly indicates the very recent past.  So, many Americans would use B. 

    The simple past is traditionally used for:  the definite past (a specific time period), the remote past, or whenever the result is no longer true.

    As previously mentioned, Americans have use the simple past as a substitute or default past tense, whenever other past tenses (not just the present perfect are clearly implied.  

    It's interesting to note that standard German has two basic past tenses, a one word tense (simple - in grammatical terms) and a compound tense.  Although they originally indicated different kinds of past tense, they now both indicate all basic past tense ideas.  The difference is that the simple one is used for helping verbs and modal verbs (which in German are full fledged verbs), and the compound one for most other verbs.  Although there are variations among German dialects.  There is a still a past perfect tense, but it is avoided when the meaning is clear. 

    English is a Germanic language.  American English might be going the path of German, and eventually go to mostly one past tense.

    we've vs we have -- can be either dialectal or personal preference. 

    Source(s): studied linguistics; 4 foreign languages; native English speaker; American
  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    We say both in USA.

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  • 2 months ago

    The simple fact is that very few British people would say 'We just finished eating', while almost all of us would say 'We've just finished eating'.

    It may be that in the US more educated people say 'We've just finished' but my observation over some 50 years has shown me beyond doubt that 'We just finished' occurs far, far more often in an American context.

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  • 2 months ago

    There's nothing British or American about either one.  A is used more often by educated people.  That's the only difference.

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    "...have just ______" is English, full stop.  When it comes to grammar, there is no "British English" versus "American English". English grammar is universal.

    Your examples are both correct.  "finished" is the simple past tense, while "have finished" is the present perfect (it's the past tense too, so I don't know why it's called "present", nor do I know what's "perfect" about it). You must learn the difference between the two tenses, and when to use which.

    That said, Americans sometimes have a tendency to use the simple past (ex:  finished) where the pp is required. But that doesn't make it correct, it just means that they don't speak English well. 

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  • Cei
    Lv 5
    2 months ago

    I'd say A

    However I wouldn't normally say "we've". I'd say "we have"

    Source(s): I am British
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  • 2 months ago

    A. more British

    More American would be something more like: We're just fixin' to get ready to eat lunch.

    Ya'll be careful out there.

  • 2 months ago

    Neither, really. I'm American and I would say "We've just finished eating lunch." It's probably more dependent on education level. 

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