Which tense is correct here? Past Perfect or Present Perfect?

A: I went out. B: (surprised) Have you finished your homework?

A: I went out. B: (surprised) Had you finished your homework. It's about finishing the homework before going out. Can I use also Present Perfect? It sounds okay to me but I need natives' opinion.


As you state yourself, the distinction between the two tenses concerns the time when the homework was finished.

So, let us surmise that this conversation takes place at 19.00, that A went out at 18.00 and that A had started doing his/her homework at 17.00.

(Note the use of had to emphasise the sequence of events.)

In example 1, B asks A whether his/her homework is NOW (at 19.00) complete.

In example 2, B asks A whether his/her home WAS complete (by 18.00) when A went out.

Both constructions are correct. They just mean different things.

B might also have asked A:

Did you finish your homework

but this wouldn't make it clear whether the work had been completed before or after A went out.

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