General Writing and Grammar Help/Within this past month

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Question
Dear Ted:

Should I use the simple past or the present perfect with the time expression "within this past month"?

Would you please give me some examples that contain the time expression above?

BTW, is it correct to define "within this past month" a time expression?

Thank you very much for your kind help.

Paolo

P.S. Ted, is the question

"BTW, is it correct to define 'within this past month' a time expression?" correct

or should I have written,

"BTW, is it correct to define 'within this past month' AS a time expression?"

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Should I use the simple past or the present perfect with the time expression
"within this past month"?

Would you please give me some examples that contain the time expression above?

**** You can use the simple past, if you are indicating that something is now over.

EXAMPLES:  Within this past month, John TRAVELED to Rome on three separate occasions.

Within this past month, Jack's grades greatly improved:  He earned an A in every subject.

*** If you want to suggest that some action HAS OCCURRED and MAY CONTINUE, then you use the present perfect tense.

EXAMPLES:  I HAVE READ twenty-two books within this past month. [The month is not over, so I will read more books.]

Within this past month, we HAVE HAD more rain than we did in the first six months of the year combined. [Explanation:  At the time of speaking [July 25], my statement is accurate.  However, since there are seven days remaining in this month, there is a possibility of MORE rain.]

BTW, is it correct to define "within this past month" a time expression?

Thank you very much for your kind help.

*** "Within this past month" is a prepositional phrase that answers the question WHEN. It does express time, but I've never heard it called a "time expression."  

Paolo

P.S. Ted, is the question

"BTW, is it correct to define 'within this past month' a time expression?"
correct

*** No, this version is NOT correct.

or should I have written,

"BTW, is it correct to define 'within this past month' AS a time expression?"

*** This version is correct.


Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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