Today my teacher told me that when there are two girls having a conversation the only correct version is:

This guy is so hot! He even asked for my telephone number!

While I think that version

He has asked for my telephone number

is also correct, because they aren't talking about specified time - it happened, but it's not in the context of specified time, place etc.

Obviously, nobody would care in common conversation and everyday's language usage, the past simple version would be better in common usage, but I'm just curious if my teacher was right or not.

  • I wouldn't say the "has asked" version is ungrammatical, but that doesn't mean it's equally as good.
    – J.R.
    Oct 4, 2017 at 17:11
  • I think you might have misunderstood the "only correct" assertion. There are dozens or perhaps hundreds of ways to phrase this statement.
    – Andrew
    Oct 5, 2017 at 0:45

1 Answer 1


Both sentences, "He asked for my phone number" and "He has asked for my phone number", are grammatically valid sentences that make perfect sense in context.

The first is simple past: action happening at a specific time in the past. The second is past perfect: action happening at an unspecified time in the past. In this context, there isn't much difference: At some time in the past, he asked for her phone number. Simple past CAN be used with a specific time, like "Yesterday he asked for my phone number." You can't use a specific time with past perfect. It's often used to distinguish an unspecified time from a specific time. Like, "Did he ask you yesterday?" "No, but he has asked me."

  • 1
    The even asked version has more immediacy, which might have been the reason the teacher so strongly preferred it.
    – Lawrence
    Oct 4, 2017 at 14:22
  • @Lawrence Depends what the teacher actually said. If the teacher said, "This is a more effective sentence" -- true. If the OP is correctly quoting in the teacher in saying, "the only correct version is" -- no. Of course I don't suppose that an indirect, casual quote like that is the teacher's exact words.
    – Jay
    Oct 4, 2017 at 18:57

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