When someone says "I got my car back" in an informal setting, does it mean (1) or (2)?
- I have got my car back. (Where "have" can be dropped in spoken English.)
- I got my car back. (As the past tense of "I get my car back".)
I do understand that they mean virtually the same thing, but (1) is in the present tense, whereas (2) the past tense. When you make it a question, the syntactic difference is clear:
- Have I got my car back?
- Did I get my car back?