I heard many people saying "he just left the room", but I read that just(recently) is used with present perfect. So are people just omitting has?

  • "I read that just(recently) is used with present perfect" - that's not correct. You can certainly use it with the simple past too. – stangdon Nov 10 '16 at 13:13

He just left the room.

He has just left the room.

Both the sentences are grammatical, without any difference in meaning.

The adverb just means very recently. In BrE, the usage of the present perfect for recent actions is dominant, whereas in AmE, the past simple and the present perfect are equally used.

  • 1
    The difference between the two tenses is that the simple past is for finished action and the present perfect is for unfinished actions or states or habits that started in the past and continue to the present. Would the following examples be correct way to distinguish the two tenses? John just left the room. He will be back in two hours. John has just left the room, but he'll be back because he forgot his car key. Can you give some examples to distinguish the use of simple past vs present perfect tense for a recent action? – English101 Nov 13 '16 at 22:45

You may say either.

He just left the room / He has just left the room.

She just ironed that shirt. / She has just ironed that shirt.

There is no real difference between these two forms. I expect there are some people who prefer one over the other, but both are natural English.

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