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Yesterday I sent my friend a useful gift in online game. Today I can see he has not accepted it yet. Which sentence is grammatically correct and most natural in American English?

  1. "You didn't use the Gift I gave you!"
  2. "You didn't use the Gift I had given you!"
  3. "You haven't used the Gift I gave you!"
  4. "You haven't used the Gift I had given you!"

Somehow option 1 seems most natural, and yet is the least consistent with what I remember from English classes. Option 4 should be grammatically correct, but 2 perfect tenses in one sentence seem a bit odd.

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1 and 3 sounds ok to me - and 4 should likely be You didn't use the gift I have given you –  mplungjan Jan 22 '13 at 9:24
    
Related: When will “Present Perfect vs. Past Tense” cases be affected by culture? and the questions linked from there. –  RegDwigнt Jan 22 '13 at 16:38
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1 Answer

up vote 6 down vote accepted

You didn't use the gift I gave you.

could imply that you thought the other party was supposed to use the gift at a specific point of time (or when a certain event occurred), and they have lost the opportunity.

You haven't used the gift I gave you.

implies that so far the other party has not used the gift, but there's a chance they still will.

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