1) Have you tried the pills I got you?

2) Did you try the pills I got you?

Is it more common to use the first sentence if it's pills taken daily for a long term effect, or would the sentences be used interchangeably?

  • If the pills have been taken daily over a period I would use "Have you been taking the pills i got you?" to convey repetition over a period of time. "Have you tried" to me doesn't express that. – anouk May 17 '20 at 11:34
  • If he gave him the pills a week ago, what should I use? – triat123 May 17 '20 at 11:37
  • If he has been taking the pills for a week, use present perfect continuous. If he stopped taking them, use past simple. If you want to know about the effects of the pills on his present condition use present perfect. – anouk May 17 '20 at 11:49

We use both the present perfect simple (have or has + past participle) and the present perfect continuous (have or has + been + -ing form) to talk about past actions or states which are still connected to the present.

Have you tried the pills I got you?

Here, the present perfect simple implies that the patient started taking the pills recently and the result is still felt now.

Did you try the pills I got you?

Here, the past simple implies that the patient tried the pills at a specific time in the past and stopped thereafter. It's a completed action in the past.

Have you been trying the pills I got you?

Here, the past perfect continuous implies that the patient started taking the pills in the past and is still continuing to take the pills. It expresses the repetition of the action over a period of time till now.


It is about the time interval.

First, you use the former when you are trying to emphasize " Have you tried the pills? (considering any earlier period up to this moment; thus, giving us the connection with the present time (e.g. her/his condition) - a possible meaning: Are you feeling some effects now? )".

Second, you should use the latter with the meaning "earlier than the current time (some [unspecified] time/period in the past - it doesn't necessarily imply a possible present meaning, but it could)". You should have a look at the difference between the present perfect and the past simple usage in your favorite grammar. Given that AmE is still used widely, both of the aforementioned can be used interchangeably without much noticeable difference in meaning. In order to emphasize a remedy given by a doctor and the habitual repetition of one's action, you would say:

Have you been taking the pill that I got [for] you?


Have you been trying out the pill that I got [for] you?

Speaking of BrE or to British ears, the past sample refers to the past itself, whereas the present perfect considers some present connection to the action of "taking pills", as opposed to a terminated period on the timescale.

  • 1
    To me as a Br E speaker, have you tried carries the implication that the patient started taking the pills recently and would be expected to be feeling the effects now. Did you try could (but doesn't necessarily) refer to an occasion further back in the past – Kate Bunting May 17 '20 at 11:58

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