When someone says I have decided to do something does that mean they haven't done the thing as opposed when they say I decided to do something? For example:

Kate has decided to go to the US

Kate decided to go to the US.

Does the first sentence mean that Kate hasn't gone to the US yet, but rather she has made the decision to go there? And the second one mean she actully has gone there, am I right?

  • 2
    It's ambiguous in both cases as to whether Kate as or has not already gone to the US. You would need more context.
    – puppetsock
    Mar 13, 2020 at 14:13
  • If someone has decided to do something it says nothing about whether they have done it.,it just means they have made the decision.
    – anouk
    Mar 13, 2020 at 20:49

1 Answer 1


Yes, the first form--at least in everyday usage--would imply that Kate hasn't gone yet; at most she might be en route. Crucially, her travel has not yet concluded. That's certainly how I'd interpret it at first reading.

But it's not so clear with the second form. It certainly is one I might choose for when her travel is done, but it doesn't necessarily imply that. So, I might well have something like this:

Kate decided to go to the US. These days, she spends her time between New York and LA, working in PR.

But I could also envisage something like this:

Kate decided to go to the US. As she lifted the pen to sign the job offer, the growing feeling of certainty felt good. "Here I come, Boston", she thought, with a gorgeous tingle of fear-enhanced excitement.

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