Tense: Yesterday was the 1. day when he learned his lesson

Before, one friend of mine has ever learned his lesson. But yesterday, he did that. So, I will say (1) or (2)?What is the difference in menaing btw (1) and (2)?:

1.Yesterday was the first day [color=red]when he learned his lesson.
2.Yesterday was the first day [color=red]when he has learned his lesson.


PS: When used here (as in: I’ll never forget the day when I met you (3)) is correct? If not, please explain me why when in (3) is correct but when in either (1) or (2) is incorrect?

Hi Quoc

There are a couple of things here:

Do you mean (as I think you do): "Before yesterday/ Upto yesterday/ Previously, a friend of mine never learned his lessons/ never studied/ never did his school work.
The expression “to learn his lesson” means to “realise the error of his ways”, to “understand that what he was doing was wrong, a why he was punished for it”.

But yesterday he began to work/ or to study/ to do his lessons.

You don’t need to say “when”.

You can say:
“Yesterday is the first day he studied at school” or
“Yesterday is the first day he has studied at school since he started going there”.

Remember “lessons” should be plural. It isn’t just one lesson.

Thanks Sir,

In my mentioned situation:
Before yesterday,upto yesterday, previously have the same meaning?

never learned his lessons,never studied, never did his school work have the same meaning?

If not, please tell me the difference.



You asked which of these two is correct:

Let’s follow the time through the sentence. Yesterday (past idea) was (past idea) learned (past idea). If you choose has learned, you are creating a clash of different times: then and up till then.

Let’s simplify the sentence and convey the same idea: He did it yesterday for the first time/Yesterday he did it for the first time.


Hi Quoc,

Yes, those phrases do have the same meaning.