Could you explain to me please what is the difference between these. It is meant to express that I will let him know AFTER I picked/have picked a car.

I'll let you know which one I picked

I'll let you know which one I've picked

The present perfect, its because its shifted from future present?

3 Answers 3


Neither of the above is really fluent. The most natural sentence is actually:

I'll let you know which one I pick.

As you noted, the main clause is in the future tense. Subordinate clauses which are occurring at the same time as a future-tense main clause generally use the simple present.

They'll go inside when it rains.

The birds will migrate when winter comes.

You will need a jacket if it snows.

  • Thanks, however this is rerefing to past - when I have picked a car, I will let my friend know.
    – Pietro
    May 9, 2012 at 13:58
  • I don't think the two example sentences are "not fluent". I think it just depends on how the speaker thinks of the action. If they think of the picking as being a future event then they'd say "which one I pick" or "which one I will pick". But if they think of it as being a past event at the point in time that the telling occurs, (which it will be), then it makes sense to use one of the two example sentences. May 9, 2012 at 14:01
  • Exactly, I added comment to the original question because it should refer to past (picking is finished)
    – Pietro
    May 9, 2012 at 14:03
  • Have you already picked the car at the time that you say this? If so, you can use your first variant. If both the picking and the telling lie in the future, however, use the variant I recommended. May 9, 2012 at 14:05
  • @Pietro: the past is implied here, because with "I'll let you know which one I pick", you need to have picked before you can let your friend know. But if you want to make the past tense explicit (which might be necessary for similar sentences), "I'll let you know which one I've picked" is better. May 9, 2012 at 14:06

This question keeps changing!

In its present form, both are acceptable depending on the circumstances.

If your choice of car is relevant now, if somebody is buying it for you for example, "I'll let you know which one I've picked" is the better choice.

If your choice of car is not really relevant, you are just passing the information to keep a friend informed, then "I'll let you know which one I picked" is okay.


They have similar meanings, but are used in different circumstances. Given your clarification that the picking has already taken place, I'll let you know which one I picked means that at some time in the past I picked one and that at some time in the future I’ll let you know which one it was. The second construction would be used in a situation in which whatever I picked was a current topic of conversation, concern or interest.

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