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Ashley promised herself that she won't talk to her cousins unless she gets the scholarship.

Vs

Ashley promised herself that she won't talk to her cousins unless she has gotten the scholarship.

Also

Please call me after you reach the office.

Vs

Please call me after you've reached the office.

What difference does the use of present perfect or present simple make in the meaning of the sentence in the above examples. And which one sounds more natural ?

  • She promised herself that she wouldn't talk to her cousins. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Oct 16 '18 at 17:01
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There is little difference if any. The perfect tenses are often simply affectations of a particular dialect, or personal style. Perfect tenses can sound a little more formal, and consequently make the speaker sound slightly more educated or "posh".

I, personally, like using the perfect tenses, but I have never liked "gotten", and try not to use it. Where possible, I substitute "received".

... unless she's received the scholarship

Still, in these kind of situations, there are times when I use the simple present, and other times when I use the present perfect. Unfortunately I can't tell you my thought process behind this, other than one sounds better in that context.

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I would say:

Please call me when you reach the office.

Please call me when | after you've reached the office.

I wouldn't say:

Please call me after you reach the office.

But many native speakers would do so.

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