I have given the documents another look-over, but still didn't find any glaring errors.

Why is this sentence possible I don't understand why the past simple is right here?

Past simple corresponds to a precise moment in the past like the first action (to give).

The choice of using present perfect implies that it has a relevance to the present so we can think this action was done recently so if the first action was done recently, the second should be also done recently so the tenses chosen should be the same.

What is wrong with my way of thinking?

1 Answer 1


The present perfect is not required when talking about the recent past. In this case, the second verb is talking about a specific time in the past, namely the second time the documents were reviewed, and recency has already been implied by the first verb.

Moreover, without context, it is not clear that the present perfect was used to establish recency of completion. It may instead have been used to emphasize completion itself, and, if so, “still” provides parallel emphasis for the second verb.

So there is nothing grammatically wrong with the sentence as written. Some might, as a matter of style, prefer to have parallelism of tenses, but that is a matter of personal choice.

I did give the documents another look-over, but still didn’t find any glaring errors


I have given the documents another look-over, but still haven’t found any glaring errors

are perhaps more stylistically pleasing, but they are not required.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .