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There is someone knocking at the door.
It must be the computer repairman.
I ______ him to come to fix my computer.

The answer is "called". But why not "have called" ?

3 Answers 3

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By saying you "have called him" could be something that you have done and is not yet complete. As the sentence is set in the present with someone at the door it may be more appropriate to say "I called him" so therefore it must be him.

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  • "By saying you "have called him" could be something that you have done and is not yet complete" What can be undone in "I have called him" that can't be undone in "I called him"?
    – user1425
    Dec 26, 2022 at 14:14
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We use the present perfect tense for emphazing what's done in past. The one thing which seperates the simple past and past perfect tense is the past perfect adds different meaning to the sentence as ongoing time.

For example;

He've called him a second ago. (Incorrect)

The past perfect is used as ongoing time in this sentence, It's still going on. So grammaticality, it sounds meaningless.

He called him a second ago. (Correct)

Now the simple tense is used as finished time. It's not going on anymore.

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There is someone knocking at the door. -It must be the computer repairman. I called him to come to fix my computer.

You use this expression when talking the process to someone else.

There is someone knocking at the door. -It must be the computer repairman. I have called him to come to fix my computer.

You are doing that process, started, but continuing, not finished yet. To be fair @sapphiremoon's answer is correct.

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  • Do you mean that if I am on the phone calling the repairman right now, then I can say "I have called him....." to someone else ? is it equivalent to " I am calling him ..." ?
    – ming
    Jan 19, 2017 at 2:09
  • yes. it is equivalent to it. @ming Jan 19, 2017 at 6:13

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