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

Questions about Present Perfect vs. Simple Past

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
186 votes
7 answers
79k views

How do the tens­es and as­pects in English cor­re­spond tem­po­ral­ly to one an­oth­er?

Non-na­tive speak­ers of­ten get con­fused about what the var­i­ous tens­es and as­pects mean in English. With in­put from some of the folk here I've put to­geth­er a di­a­gram that I hope will pro­...
Robusto's user avatar
  • 151k
55 votes
3 answers
395k views

Simple Past vs. Present Perfect: "was" vs. "has been" [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Did it close” vs “Has it closed”? As a English non-native speaker it is difficult for me to understand when I must use present perfect or past simple ...
utxeee's user avatar
  • 2,415
22 votes
6 answers
21k views

When will "Present Perfect vs. Past Tense" cases be affected by culture?

Regarding actions taken in the past, besides the differences those two tenses have semantically, my teacher shared that it could be a British vs American English case. When talking about past action,...
Threl's user avatar
  • 397
20 votes
1 answer
118k views

Which is correct: "has died" or "died"?

To me, using Present Perfect form means the event can occur again. So, saying someone has died may not be grammatically correct. Also, I noticed (it might be just coincidence): passed away ...
Igor Turman's user avatar
18 votes
6 answers
71k views

"I have never said" versus "I never said"

I have never said this. I never said this. Is the usage of have in the first sentence justified or grammatically correct? What is the difference in meaning? When should I use one form over the ...
user5847's user avatar
  • 181
16 votes
8 answers
4k views

Must present perfect tense be used if the action takes place more than once?

I was told that if an action is completed once in the past, the simple past is used. Ex: I saw that movie. If the action is completed more than once, the present perfect tense must be used. Ex: I ...
Pat's user avatar
  • 177
16 votes
6 answers
19k views

When is the present perfect tense used instead of the past tense?

When is the present perfect tense used instead of the past tense? I know that the present perfect tense is used when some adverbs (e.g., never, ever) are present in the sentence; the same is true ...
apaderno's user avatar
  • 59.1k
15 votes
3 answers
113k views

"…didn't finish…yet" versus "…haven't finished…yet"

If I worked on something yesterday but it was not finished, which tense should I use? I didn't finish it yet or I haven't finished it yet
Sarawut Positwinyu's user avatar
13 votes
4 answers
22k views

Mixing past tenses in the same sentence

I have a question about violating verb tenses. I was taught that you can't use present perfect (or continuous) and past simple within a sentence. You either have to use present perfects (or continuous)...
jess's user avatar
  • 239
12 votes
3 answers
230k views

Difference between 'haven't ...yet' and 'didn't.... yet'

I was wondering what the difference was between a sentence with have and one with do. For example this one: They haven't started yet. They didn't start yet. Is there a difference?  ...
user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
62k views

Is it correct to say "I found the map" or "I have found the map"? [closed]

Is it correct to say "I found the map" or "I have found the map"?
user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
65k 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 ...
Mari-Lou A's user avatar
  • 90.9k
10 votes
2 answers
91k 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 ...
Luke's user avatar
  • 469
9 votes
2 answers
49k views

“Has been” vs. “was”

Should one use has been or was in the following sentence, and why? For many years the USA has been a British colony. For many years the USA was a British colony.
misho's user avatar
  • 952
8 votes
3 answers
56k views

"I just ate them" and "I've just eaten them" — What's the difference in American and in British?

I know there are differences between American and British English in this area. So when answering, please specify whether you speak American or British English.
brilliant's user avatar
  • 8,970
7 votes
2 answers
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 ...
Pete's user avatar
  • 89
5 votes
3 answers
7k views

Why is the present perfect used in headlines? [duplicate]

In news reports, we often read or hear events introduced with the present perfect, and then the past simple like this: The film star Jim Cooper has died of cancer. He was 68 and lived in Texas. ...
T.N's user avatar
  • 129
5 votes
2 answers
24k views

Is there any difference between "has gone" and "went" in this context?

Is there any difference between these two sentences? Mirek went to Europe on business. Mirek has gone to Europe on business.
Paul's user avatar
  • 685
5 votes
3 answers
110k views

"I’ve just arrived" vs. "I just arrived": Are they both correct? Do they mean the same thing? [duplicate]

My grammar book suggests that when using words like just, that you should “always” use present perfect. So the correct form should be I've just arrived according to my book. Is this true? I ask ...
Emiliano's user avatar
  • 335
5 votes
1 answer
105k 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 ...
Gogog's user avatar
  • 53
5 votes
2 answers
2k views

Using Present Perfect for past experiences

Today I saw this quote from Michael Jordan, and the usage of Present Perfect in all of his past failed experiences got my attention: I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost ...
utxeee's user avatar
  • 2,415
4 votes
2 answers
2k views

Between Present Perfect and Simple Past, which tense indicates a finished action?

When one uses simple past tense for some action, does it imply that the action is complete? For instance, when you say “I wrote my article yesterday,” does this imply that at this moment you have a ...
Max's user avatar
  • 1,277
4 votes
3 answers
60k 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 ...
hfatahi's user avatar
  • 434
4 votes
3 answers
11k 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 ...
Ithilel's user avatar
  • 402
4 votes
2 answers
101k 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 ...
Dark lord's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
2k views

Should I reply in the past simple or in the present perfect? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Present perfect for past action with present effect Is this sentence correct? What exactly does it mean? Person 1: Where did you hide my keys? Person 2: I put them on the table. ...
rafal's user avatar
  • 41
3 votes
2 answers
34k views

"Your message was deleted" vs. "your message has been deleted" [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do the tenses in English correspond temporally to one another? I don't know which form is better to use, when telling a user that his message was/has been deleted (in the ...
Derfder's user avatar
  • 1,020
3 votes
1 answer
377 views

Present Simple instead of Present Perfect in colloquial speech

I was recently watching " The Last of Us" series and was pretty perplexed when Ellie asked Joel "You ever play this one?" pointing to the old Mortal Combat arcade. It was so ...
Sogawa-sps's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
8k views

Why present perfect in "How many points have you scored this season"? [duplicate]

Normally we use the past simple instead of present perfect when an action happened at a specific time in the past and is not linked with the present. Why is this sentence grammatically correct? ...
Part Timer's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

American native speaker and perfect tenses

Yesterday I sent my friend a useful gift in online game. Today I can see he has not accepted it yet. Which sentence is grammatically correct and most natural in American English? "You didn't use ...
JockX's user avatar
  • 169
3 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
user326251's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
24k 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 ...
Superangel's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

Can the present perfect construction be used with the adverb "earlier"?

I would like to know if the present perfect construction can be used in the two following sentences that employ the adverb earlier: As I have said earlier, I don't like her at all. I have been to ...
Chien Te Lu's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
10k 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, ...
Ranjith Suranga's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
3k views

Simple past or present perfect? [duplicate]

Which is preferable, simple past or present perfect, in situations like this one: I had a conversation with my friend and we planned to do something; shortly afterwards I call him back to announce the ...
midnight's user avatar
  • 231
3 votes
3 answers
2k 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 ...
Giselle Trajano's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
91k views

"Asked" vs. "have asked" [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When is the present perfect tense used instead of the past tense? When will “Present Perfect vs. Past Tense” cases be affected by culture? I feel like I often misuse Simple ...
user3871's user avatar
  • 405
2 votes
6 answers
46k 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 ...
Jake's user avatar
  • 123
2 votes
2 answers
5k views

Is "I just spent all my money" grammatically incorrect? [duplicate]

Lyircs of Free by Natalia Kills: I'm free I just spent all my money but I rocked that like it don't cost a thing Shouldn't it be "I've just spent all my money"? As far as I remember, ...
user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
1k views

Past simple vs present perfect in this example

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'...
Pietro's user avatar
  • 1,387
2 votes
2 answers
690 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 ...
Dunno's user avatar
  • 639
2 votes
3 answers
6k views

When do I use present perfect tense instead of the simple past? [duplicate]

I've finished my work. I finished my work. When do I use one or the other?
J82's user avatar
  • 207
2 votes
2 answers
1k 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: ...
curious-proofreader's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
11k 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?
li li's user avatar
  • 23
2 votes
1 answer
66 views

"How did you get in here? Security!" vs "How have you gotten in here? Security!" [closed]

I have been doing some exercises on Past Simple vs Present Perfect as that's the topic that gives me the most troubles... and I can't comprehend why this sentence is correct? "How did you get in ...
Celebes's user avatar
  • 143
1 vote
4 answers
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 ...
Superuser's user avatar
  • 331
1 vote
4 answers
2k views

If a statement is in the present perfect, should the tense be repeated in the next question?

Here's a conversation: Speaker 1: I have already seen this film. Speaker 2: When have you seen it? [OR] When did you see it? Speaker 1: Last month. The two questions uttered by Speaker 2 ...
hassan's user avatar
  • 21
1 vote
3 answers
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" ...
Vinay's user avatar
  • 55
1 vote
1 answer
403 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 ...
Patrick's user avatar
  • 1,538
1 vote
1 answer
5k views

Is "I asked many questions that I had before" correct? [closed]

I would like to ask whether this sentence is grammatically correct or not: I asked her many questions that I had before. I think it sounds better if I say "I asked her many questions that I have ...
Part Timer's user avatar