Questions tagged [present-perfect-vs-simple-past]

Questions about Present Perfect vs. Simple Past

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What is the correct way to ask about something that happened some time ago?

When I took one test I had to choose between four options: a) Did you hear that he has been assigned to a new project last week? b) Have you heard that he has been assigned to a new project last week? ...
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2answers
42 views

Present perfect - indefinite time

I’ve a question about the use of present perfect. I know the present perfect can be used when we want to say that something happened but we don’t know or we don’t care when. For example: I’ve made ...
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41 views

Present Perfect and Past Simple together

I just wonder if i have a possibility to mix these tenses in this way. For example, i say about things happened in the past. Can i use present perfect to show result of this sentences in present? I ...
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1answer
84 views

Is it correct to say “I've been to the World Trade Center”?

I've heard that you can't use the present perfect to talk about something which is not possible anymore. In this case, since the World Trade Center no longer exists and you can't visit there anymore, ...
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1answer
327 views

What's the difference between has entered and entered?

My uncle has entered many sailing boat races. -In the past but I don't say when. My uncle entered a sailing boat race in 2014 and won. -In the past but I say when. What's the difference between has ...
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3answers
64 views

Past perfect instead of past simple in fiction

I read web fiction a lot and sometimes I notice sentences that, while being written in past perfect tense, might have been written in past simple tense as well. For example: He’d broken his ...
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1answer
213 views

How is the present perfect “connected” with the present?

Practical English Usage and the Cambridge Grammar of English say that the present perfect “is connected in some way with the present.” Neither book explains this, and this is why I’m asking for you ...
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1answer
45 views

Past and when should i use what? [duplicate]

English grammar has been confusing me for a long time, so I want to ask some questions about the past and how you use it. I'm more interested in information about British English. When and how do you ...
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1answer
128 views

What's the difference between “you wasted” and “you've wasted” [duplicate]

I've got a question about this topic. So, about the context. I've just watched a video and in the end, the author said thank you as follows: Thank you for all the time you wasted on this video. I ...
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1answer
597 views

Double present perfect in a compound sentence [closed]

I have two questions concerning the use of the present perfect tense twice in a compound sentence: a. He has accused John of the crime and provided evidence for it. b. He has accused John of ...
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1answer
475 views

Might be OR Might have been [closed]

The sentence: Had the doctor been more careful, my cousin might still have been alive. In this construction, the two fragments of the sentence are more parallel with their use of been. Had he ...
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1answer
3k views

I have gone shopping or I went shopping

It says that we use present perfect for actions in the past that have a result now. No matter how much I try to figure out this, sometimes it is pretty hard. I have also read the followings as well, ...
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1answer
66 views

Simple past of present perfect?

I wonder which one is correct: David has made a decision to quit his job in spite of good salary. David made a decision to quit his job in spite of good salary. I think that 1 is correct, ...
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1answer
210 views

Simple Past vs. Present Perfect for recently completed actions [duplicate]

In the following dialogue: A: Look! I have bought a new hat. B: Nice! Where did you buy it? or C. Nice! Where have you bought it? Which is correct, b or c? Or both?
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1answer
208 views

past simple vs present perfect for dead people

Which tense to use when mentioning someone who is dead, but the institution or country that he founded still exists, as in the sentences below: Atatürk has founded Turkey. Atatürk founded ...
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0answers
53 views

English confuses me sometimes [duplicate]

I posted something online and someone said it was wrong so... I said : I just changed my phone number. That person said that i should have said : I have just changed my phone number. Which one was ...
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1answer
9k views

“Have helped” or “helped”? [duplicate]

you have helped me (Present Perfect) you helped me (Past Simple) Which one is correct and why?
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1answer
13k views

“I bought (or) have bought all their records after the concert” [duplicate]

I have bought all their records after the concert. I bought all their records after the concert. Which one is correct? I understand when we use the present perfect and when the past simple, I just ...
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2answers
1k views

Present Perfect vs. Simple Past: Are the solutions supplied by an English website correct?

I am a native English speaker who has just begun to tutor ESL students. I have found some exercise sheets on the internet and I disagree with some of the answers, I would appreciate some other ...
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1answer
127 views

Should the sentence be in the present perfect or simple past with “last week”? [closed]

When I was studying English Grammar, I was asked to spot the error I've submitted my documents last week. Vs. I submitted my documents last week. What is wrong/the difference between both ...
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1answer
7k views

What's the difference between “(Had he not made / If he didn't make) a good impression, he wouldn't be a star today”?

How should I complete this sentence? (Only with the options given) He wouldn't be the star he is today ________ a good impression in his early life A. Had he not made B. If he didn't make So, B is ...
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1answer
2k views

Present perfect or simple past with “for the last twenty minutes”?

My teacher give me a question You know she (stand)______ looking at that picture for the last twenty minutes. and my job is complete this sentence with any verb tense provided it makes sense. My ...
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1answer
7k views

Are “Why did you do that” and “Why have you done that” interchangeable?

As I know, both Simple Past and Present Perfect can be used for an action that happened in the past. However, S.Past is used for an action which has a definite period of time whereas P.Perfect is used ...
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1answer
96 views

Past simple and present perfect: “They didn't” vs “They haven't”

Please explain what differences are implied by using two different negative forms Two years ago today, the guns were supposed to fall silent. They didn't. Two years ago, Russian fighters ...
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2answers
2k views

“Scarcely did/had she put down the phone when it rang again”

Which is correct: Scarcely did she put down the phone when it rang again. Scarcely had she put down the phone when it rang again. My own take is that both are correct, but that "had she" ...
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2answers
42k views

What is difference between ‘I did not…’ and ‘I have not…’? [closed]

What is the difference between following two sentences? When should we use did and have? Am not sure that the following sentences are right. I did not answered I have not answered.
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1answer
378 views

Simple Past vs Present Perfect to express experience in the past [closed]

At least in American English it is common to say Did you watch that movie? When I would expect people to say Have you watched that movie? The later sounds correct to me because it's the ...
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1answer
7k views

“Have you washed it” vs “Did you wash it”? [duplicate]

What's the difference between these two questions? Speaker A: Your car looks very clean. Have you washed it? Did you wash it?
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3answers
1k views

“I burned the toast” vs. “I've burned the toast”

I have a question about a sentence I read in the comic strip Garfield. Garfield's owner, Jon, brings him a burnt piece of toast saying, I burned the toast. Well, once there's no time specified ...
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0answers
526 views

Is using “since” and “ago” with the present perfect correct? [duplicate]

I just found this in a Cambridge Grammar Book and I am so confused. When I learnt English in school, the teacher said I cannot put Since and Ago together in present perfect sentence. However, in this ...
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3answers
4k views

In the past year [duplicate]

I went to Australia last year. I have gone to Australia in the past year. I know it is perfectly alright to use past simple for the first sentence. But why do you use present perfect "have gone" ...
10
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2answers
78k views

I've just bought vs. I just bought vs. I bought [duplicate]

I bought an English grammar book 3 weeks ago. Is it correct to use any of the following sentences interchangeably to tell my friend that I bought the book, or is there a difference in meaning between ...
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4answers
781 views

Why is the Present Perfect used in: “I've returned every spring for the last four years”?

I have read this text about a man who has spent a terrible holiday (in the island of Thassos) due to the disorganisation of the travel company. In fact the text consists in the complaint letter that ...
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1answer
75k views

“Have you seen…” or “Did you see…?”

In the US, when people work together, they may look for a colleague or any person to say something or for any other reason, asking colleagues or other people this type of question: Have you ...
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2answers
677 views

Why is the present perfect used for a past action? [duplicate]

I know I've been asking a lot of questions lately about tenses. But please bear with me here. NASA scientists have decided to delay the space shuttle's launch in order to determine whether recently ...
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2answers
5k views

What's the difference between “… you have completed the task” and “… you completed the task”? [closed]

Is there any difference in the meaning of the following sentences? Or do they mean the exact same thing? By doing both, you have completed the task. By doing both, you completed the task.
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2answers
82k views

What’s the difference: “I didn’t do anything” vs “I haven’t done anything”

Imagine the following scenario: I looked at a girl and gave her a smile. My friend next to me has put a serious look on his face and is staring at me. I turn to my friend and figured that I'd say one ...
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4answers
3k views

Does the present perfect imply an action finished in the past? [duplicate]

reading passage: Ten Taiwanese film directors, producers and screenwriters have been invited to participate in a two-day workshop in Paris next week, to seek co-production opportunities with their ...
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3answers
48k views

Use didn't leave yet, or haven't left yet? Can we use ''YET'' in past tense or not? [closed]

My knowledge of English grammar is very basic. I learned English mostly from movies and a lot of times I choose a specific way to say something in English based on intuition or the feeling that it ...
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1answer
4k views

Usage of “since” and “for” in the present perfect and simple past tense [duplicate]

Can we use since and for with past tense? If we can use them, then what is difference between: I have learnt English for 3 months I learnt English for 3 months
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1answer
809 views

“Has changed since March 1” vs “Changed on March 1”

My address has changed since March 1. The new address is now 123 Mapple Street. Is the verb tense in “has changed” correct in this case? If the action is completed, it seems like it should be: ...
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0answers
32 views

I copied or I have copied? [duplicate]

As I speak, I noticed that I use the word "have" a lot! Also, I was wondering whether this over-usage is right. For instance, I have copied the file to your computer where I could've used ...
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4answers
54k views

“Have you heard?” vs “Did you hear?” and “Sally broke/has broken her leg”

Earlier today I had a private lesson with an Italian student—intermediate level, who has been studying the present perfect vs. past simple tense. His teacher had given him an exercise where a list of ...
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1answer
49k views

“How long have you stayed there?” vs “How long did you stay there?” [duplicate]

I have a doubt about the difference between those two questions. Could you guys give me an appropriate examples and explanation? Thanks in advance!
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6answers
34k views

Present Perfect with the word “ago”?

First, I check that my native language is not English, and the problem described below met on one of the exams. With this sentence: "The most important news is that my parents [...] a new ...
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1answer
21k views

“have found” vs. “found”

In the song, you can hear how she pours her heart out with such intense emotions in her clear, powerful voice, complaining why everything in her life has gone so wrong. Please just listen to her ...
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1answer
4k views

When to use “have”/“has” and when not to use “have”/“has” in a sentence [duplicate]

I heard about it. I have heard about it. I knew him. I have known him. He has played really well. He played really well.
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1answer
241k views

Difference between “I reached home” and “I have reached home” [duplicate]

I often confuse these two things: "I reached home" and "I have reached home". Once my friend asked me, "Where are you? " I messaged him: "I have reached home". He told me not to use "have reached "......
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2answers
602 views

Present Perfect or Past Simple to express duration in the past?

Have you ever danced? This is kind of a usual question. What if I want to ask someone about his experience and find out how long it lasted. Can I say Have you ever danced for 5 hours? (and ...
3
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2answers
22k views

'have been' vs. 'went' with time words

Sometimes I see the following in ESL learners' writing: I have been to America two years ago. Am I correct in saying that it should be: I have been to America. I went to America two years ago. My ...