-2

A: You ate this. Have you brushed your teeth?
B: You ate this. Did you brush your teeth?

Sentence A is in the Simple Past, while B is in the Present Perfect.
Which sentence is more natural?

closed as off-topic by Edwin Ashworth, RaceYouAnytime, Mari-Lou A, David, Spagirl Aug 8 '17 at 11:14

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Neither example. 'This' doesn't exist as such. It's been eaten. I suppose it works with certain prior contexts. // The question "Which sounds more natural: A. 'Have you brushed your teeth? B: Did you brush your teeth?"? may possibly be answered differently in general by people depending on which side of the Atlantic they are. // The questions in 'You ate all those sweets. Have you brushed ... / Did you brush ...? both sound idiomatic to me (a Brit). – Edwin Ashworth Aug 7 '17 at 18:42
  • 1
    @EdwinAshworth, couldn't "this" refer to a partially eaten cake or something? It works just fine in my mind with a construction like, "Did you eat this?" even if there's still some left, so I see no problem with using it here. Distinguishing between "all of this" and "some of this" seems a bit picky. – vpn Aug 7 '17 at 23:31
  • @vpn It is a recurring problem that 'Which sounds more natural?-style questions' don't use sentences that can sound natural. 'You ate this' doesn't sound at all natural to me. A simple change of example (as I suggest) helps focus on the real issue. – Edwin Ashworth Aug 7 '17 at 23:44
  • This duplicate {though poorly presented} question was closed for lack of research / better fit on ELL. – Edwin Ashworth Aug 7 '17 at 23:50
  • 1
1

To me, the two sentences are equally natural, but express somewhat different ideas. The first, in the present perfect, means "Have you brushed your teeth since you ate it [i.e., at any time between then and now]?". The second, in the simple past, means "Did you brush your teeth after you ate it [i.e., in the past, soon after you ate it]?".

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.