English as a Second Language/word choice

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1. (follow-up)
I was looking for my key all night and haven’t found it yet.

(1.) In the sentence, may I say, “…and didn’t find it yet”? What is the difference? Here you have to use the Present Perfect (haven't found) as you are talking about an event or an action that happened at an unspecified time before now. You can't use the Past Tense as that would only be appropriate for an action that started and finished at a specific time in the past.


Here are my follow-up questions:

(1.) I wonder if the problem with the past tense (didn’t find it) is the use of the word “yet’. “Yet” shouldn’t be used here because the action of finding the key” is completed?

(2.)So, if I say “I was looking for my key all night and didn’t find it”, it doesn’t suggest whether the key has been found or not?

2. I consulted an online dictionary and found these two examples about the word “yet”.

I haven't received a letter from him yet.
I didn't receive a letter from him yet.

(1.) So, the second example provided in the dictionary is actually wrong? If not, how do I differentiate both usages?

(2.) I wonder if “yet” is not normally used in the past tense. Can you give me an example when “yet” is used in the past tense? Why does it work in that particular situation?

3.Stephen walked straight into the wall because he must not have been looking where he was going.

(1.)    May I replace “must not have been” with “couldn’t have been”? If so, what does it imply?

Julie was away last week, so she could not have heard the news.

(2.)  My grammar book indicates “could not have heard” here means “certainty in the past,” but I wonder if it actually means “impossibility in the past."

4.I didn’t go to the party because I felt sick.

(1.) Is it possible to replace “felt” with “feel” or “am feeling” in the sentence?

It was the first time the creative team had met since January, so there was a lot to discuss.

(2.)    In the first part of the sentence, may I say “The creative team met (or had met) for the first time since January, so there was…”?

Answer
1. (follow-up)
I was looking for my key all night and haven’t found it yet.

(1.) In the sentence, may I say, “…and didn’t find it yet”? What is the difference? Here you have to use the Present Perfect (haven't found) as you are talking about an event or an action that happened at an unspecified time before now. You can't use the Past Tense as that would only be appropriate for an action that started and finished at a specific time in the past.


Here are my follow-up questions:

(1.) I wonder if the problem with the past tense (didn’t find it) is the use of the word “yet’. “Yet” shouldn’t be used here because the action of finding the key” is completed?

That's the thing, the key hasn't been found yet!

(2.)So, if I say “I was looking for my key all night and didn’t find it”, it doesn’t suggest whether the key has been found or not? It's quite clear that the key hasn't been found: I didn't find it.

2. I consulted an online dictionary and found these two examples about the word “yet”.

I haven't received a letter from him yet.
I didn't receive a letter from him yet. - this would be incorrect in my opinion

(1.) So, the second example provided in the dictionary is actually wrong? If not, how do I differentiate both usages?

Could you please provide me with a link to the dictionary you used here, Wei.

(2.) I wonder if “yet” is not normally used in the past tense. Not that I know
Can you give me an example when “yet” is used in the past tense? No, because "yet" is used with the Present Perfect, not with the Past Tense
Why does it work in that particular situation? It shouldn't, and again, I'd like to take a look at the online source you have consulted.

When teaching the tenses, "yet" is one of the words that is used to tell the Present Perfect Tense apart from other verb tenses

3.Stephen walked straight into the wall because he must not have been looking where he was going.

(1.)   May I replace “must not have been” with “couldn’t have been”? No.
If so, what does it imply?
Must not have been looking = chances are he wasn't looking

Julie was away last week, so she could not have heard the news.

(2.)  My grammar book indicates “could not have heard” here means “certainty in the past,” but I wonder if it actually means “impossibility in the past." No, not in this example anyway. "Couldn't have" here means that it's certain that she didn't hear the news; there is no way she heard the news.  

4.I didn’t go to the party because I felt sick.

(1.) Is it possible to replace “felt” with “feel” or “am feeling” in the sentence? Yes, it's possible.

It was the first time the creative team had met since January, so there was a lot to discuss.

(2.)   In the first part of the sentence, may I say “The creative team met (or had met) for the first time since January, so there was…”? yes, that's correct.


Take a look at the pages below for more on the Past Tense and the Present Perfect:

http://www.englishpage.com/verbpage/presentperfect.html

http://www.englishpage.com/verbpage/simplepast.html


I hope this helps.

Looking forward to more of your interesting questions.

Cheers,  

English as a Second Language

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