One of my friends asked me about my absence in class for the duration of the previos month.

Which one of these should I reply with?

  • I burnt my hand.

  • I had burnt my hand.

  • I have burnt my hand.

3 Answers 3


Since you burnt your hand one month ago, it's an event distant enough in the past that you'd use the first option (I burnt my hand). In general you'd always use the "simple past" in cases like this.

That addresses your main question, but just in case it helps, here is more info for how you could use the other options:

The second choice is used to show itself as a usually more distant past compared to another. So you'd say "I had burnt my hand before I moved".

The third choice is for something much more recent, like today or this week. It would be the answer to a question like "What happened?"

(Note that "burnt" vs "burned" is a question of British (1st) vs American (2nd) English, when you are talking about past tenses and participles)


Past Simple, that is "I burned my hand", is the best choice. You use it to speak about events that happened in the past.

"I had burned my hand ", that is Past Perfect, can be used to speak about the past that precedes another event or situation in the past.

The Present Perfect, that is " I have burned my hand", can be used to speak about actions shortly before the present that have a connection with the present or situations that happened just now at the moment of speaking.


I burnt (burned) my hand is the most appropriate for casual conversation.

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