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I am not a native English speaker, and the sentence in the title came up yesterday when I was talking with my friend (who is a native English speaker) about English grammar.

Consider the sentence

I have ridden a rollercoaster and now I am dizzy.

(where the intended meaning is that I'm dizzy because of the rollercoaster). In my understanding of present perfect tense, it's use is justified here because I am relating an event of riding a rollercoaster by implying it is the reason I am dizzy right now. However, my friend has said for him this situation is a perfect example of when past simple tense should be used.

I would like to just take his word on that, but I don't see why present perfect is being misused in this sentence. Could anyone clarify why past simple should be used here?

PS. This friend has also mentioned this might be a matter of difference between BrE and AmE (he is American). If this is so, could someone briefly explain how the two are different when it comes to present perfect/past simple distinction?

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I have ridden a rollercoaster and now I am dizzy.

The only things wrong with your example sentence is that roller coaster is two words, and there should be a comma after them. This is to separate the two independent clauses. Otherwise, the grammar is fine.

Contextually, most folks would connect the two clauses as cause and effect. That is not the best way to word it, though. Potentially the only time you have ever ridden a roller coaster was 15 years ago, and you found yourself sidetracked mid-sentence (by your dizziness, perhaps). To force the interpretation you want, it would be better to say something like:

I just rode the roller coaster, and now I am dizzy.

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    Some dictionaries recognize rollercoaster as a single word. – J.R. Feb 9 '17 at 16:31
  • @J.R. thank you. I did check, but it was obviously insufficient. I'm glad I know about the onelook.com site now. You can do some interesting things there. It found 7 general dictionary instances of rollercoaster but 34 of toast. – RichF Feb 9 '17 at 16:40
  • Whether rollercoaster is one or two words is a question of style more than substance. The movie Rollercoaster would agree, as would Rollercoaster magazine. – user8356 Mar 24 '17 at 15:43
  • What if I use present perfect with "just" I have just ridden a rollercoaster and I am feeling dizzy? Does it convey the meaning that I want it to convey? – kuldeep sharma Jun 20 at 6:52
  • @kuldeepsharma Yes, I believe it does convey the meaning you want. It sounds somewhat odd to my ears, though. I think it would have a stronger connection (rollercoaster caused dizziness) if the second clause included "now" or "hence". Also, the present perfect with "just" seems wordy and unusual. // I don't believe comments to this old question will bring it to the top, so very few people will see it. If really interested, you might consider asking a new question, with a link to this one. You could ask specifically about the difference between "just rode" and "have just ridden". – RichF Jun 20 at 15:51

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