In Cyndi Lauper's song called Money Changes Everything she says:

I'm sorry, baby, I'm leaving you tonight.

I found someone new he's waitin' in the car outside.

Is it grammatically correct to use of I found instead of I've found in this context?

I think it would be correct to use I've found since the time (when she finds someone new) isn't specified.

Am I right?

  • 2
    I don't think we can transcribe those lyrics with any certainty. She could be singing "I've found..." In any case, tense choices can reflect the speaker's thought. Found could emphasize the fact that it's over between them: the finding of another lover is now a thing of the past, and can't be undone. The present perfect would emphasize its recency.
    – TimR
    Sep 11, 2016 at 15:29

2 Answers 2


Both of them are correct, they just mean slightly different things.

I've found, which is the present perfect, means "as of this moment, I found someone (in the past)"; the present perfect is used to indicate that an action happened some time in the past but is related to the present.

I found, which is the simple past, just means "In the past, I found someone".

Ordinarily I would say that the present perfect would be a slightly more natural choice, but either of them works here. Here's a good page from the British Council on talking about the past and why you might choose one tense or another.

But it's not a good idea to look too deeply into song lyrics for grammatical correctness. Songs are often written to sound good rather than to be strictly correct.


I'm not a native speaker of any variety of the English language.

I've listened to the lyrics of "Money changes everything" very carefully and, at least in this rendition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMVuRGw_a5A, the voiced dental fricative /v/ (from the reduced form of "have + past participle = present perfect") can be heard clearly and it is also neatly separated from /f/, its unvoiced counterpart, which is at the beginning of the word "found".

Though I agree that "I found" (past simple) is definitely possible to make it clear that there is no coming back (=relationship with the guy she's "singing" to definitely belongs to the past), the present perfect is more in line with the actual situation (context) since she's not hiding nor lying = "he is waiting in the car..." and you can SEE MY PROOF NOW if so you wish. And this is definitely one of the main functions of the present perfect: linking past to present (see answer above) whereas the past simple 'merely' says that the moment the action took place is buried in the past and consequently severed from the present.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .