I have heard people say: "I booked a room" when coming to the place they stay or "I have booked a room". "Have booked" seems to be more common though.

I don´t understand why. It should both work, shouldn´t it?

Also, when you say "I made a reservation." it seems that it is always used with the simple past.

The same is true of some verbs like "forgot" or "remember".

I forgot to buy some milk. I have forgotten...

I remembered to call my friend up. I have remembered...

It´s kind of confusing and again the problem is where to use the present perfect or not!?

1 Answer 1


Both forms are very common, but should imply different things.

  • "I booked a room." Simple past tense. The room was booked in the past. That's all.

  • "I have booked a room." Present perfect tense. The room was booked in the past and (hopefully) the room is still booked.

This same is true of reservation and you will commonly hear it used with and without the "have".

Here is a link to the British Council's Learn English page on Present Perfect tense

Update: You must have changed your question. The same is true for these verbs:

  • "I forgot to buy the milk." you did not remember to buy milk in the past. Nothing else implied.
  • "I have forgotten to buy milk." You forgot to buy the milk and you still are not aware of it.

Present perfect simply implies that the verb action is still ongoing until the preset.
Do not use it for things that finished in the past: "Yesterday, I have forgotten the milk." doesn't really make sense.

  • Thanks but what about the other examples? Mar 31, 2018 at 0:39
  • I see. But how can one not be aware of forgetting something? Doesn´t that rule out the present perfect completely? Mar 31, 2018 at 9:47
  • @MarcinNowak It's actually quite easy, but the mechanism may be better left to be answered by other StackExchange groups. Consider encountering someone you were introduced to weeks ago. He approaches you and greets you by name. In a panic, only then realizing you do not recall his name, you state "I'm sorry, I have forgotten your name".
    – m_a_s
    Mar 31, 2018 at 12:14
  • True. That make´s sense! Mar 31, 2018 at 18:42

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