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When would one say "she has found her keys" as opposed to "she found her keys"? Are they equivalent, or at least partially equivalent? I'm not a native speaker and have been unable to find a pattern regarding the use of "have" in this context.

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Simple past "she found her keys" relates an event in the past. Present perfect "she has found her keys" describes an event in the past with an impact on the present (now she can drive...). Past perfect "she had found her keys" an event in the past that impacted on a later event in the past (then she could drive...). This may be more suited to ELL. –  Jon Hanna Feb 12 '13 at 16:46
    
meta question for @JonHanna -- why did you write this as a comment instead of an answer? Seems pretty answery to me. –  Alex Chaffee Feb 12 '13 at 19:57
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@AlexChaffee it was going to be just a suggestion that it'd be better suited to ELL, and my helper instincts kicked in. –  Jon Hanna Feb 12 '13 at 20:26
    
"helper instincts" -- perfectly understandable. I'm still getting the hang of etiquette here. –  Alex Chaffee Feb 12 '13 at 21:14
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marked as duplicate by Jon Hanna, Barrie England, MετάEd, Noah, Kristina Lopez Feb 12 '13 at 18:49

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She has found her keys means that she needed them and was actively looking for them. Maybe she couldn't have got into her apartment, etc. There's a past action with a present result. In the second one, it means that she lost her keys sometimes in the past and wasn't really looking for them in an active way. So she found them, maybe yesterday maybe last week; and the action doesn't really matter in the present or maybe it does, but there's no active connection with the present.

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There is nothing indicating intent in either choice. Either form could refer equally to tearing her house apart in a frantic search, finding them by chance after giving up hope for them, and so on. –  Jon Hanna Feb 12 '13 at 17:31
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