A recent exchange between a student and I:
ME: I have found a technique for doing ….
HER: How have you found it?
Why not ask, “How have you found it?” Why is the simple past tense correct, and not the present perfect tense? It seems to me that, as a general rule, a statement and response use the same tense. Why not in this case? I realize that this is something that happened in the past, and so the simple past tense makes sense for the question. Maybe then, I should ask why the simple past tense would be used for the statement.
On a broader note, where can I learn about nuanced details of the use of tenses? I often know my own thoughts and feelings about how I’d use this tense or that tense in any given situation. But what I’d like to know is why native speakers in general would use tenses in one way or another - reasons that are not found in textbooks. For example, someone recently answered a question I posed about tense. The answer was that ‘native speakers generally prefer to ….’ This isn’t something you’ll find in a textbook, and, this answer never occurred to me. This is the sort of thing that I want to be able to say when a student confounds me with a question about tenses. Maybe there’s no such book because it’d be impossible to compile such information.