Let's suppose my manager asks (via email) me to talk to our vendor representative and sort out some issues:

  • Please, contact him and try to sort the issues out.

After scheduling a meeting with the vendor representative (the meeting will be on Monday), I want to make my manager informed about this (via email):

  • OK, I scheduled a meeting with him for Monday.
  • OK, I have scheduled a meeting with him for Monday.

I know that the present perfect should be used, not the simple past (See my previous question). But I'd like to know what is the difference?

As a native American English or a native British English speaker, can you explain the difference?

  • I do not think anyone can tell you why it is wrong because it is in fact correct. The different usages with the two tenses and the choice of for or on are explained in the answer and comments to your previous question. – mdewey Nov 26 '20 at 14:13
  • @mdewey I've reworded the question – Daniel Nov 26 '20 at 14:21
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    I don't think posting a new question would necessarily get an answer for you. You must be patient. Why not try editing your previous question to highlight your main concern! – Dhanishtha Ghosh Nov 26 '20 at 15:00

As usual the difference is in how you (the writer) are choosing to present the temporal relationships. If you use the perfect, you are presenting a present relevance (which might have different meanings). If you do not, you are not asserting that relevance, but are choosing to treat the scheduling as a finished act with no particular relevance to now.

As a BrE speaker, I would certainly use the perfect, as the present relevance is that you are telling your boss what you have just done; but there is nothing wrong with the simple past.

  • But I used the present perfect tense to focus my boss's attention on the fact that meeting is scheduled, i.e. we have a result - the meeting is scheduled. No matter when I scheduled it, the important thing is that it's now scheduled. Is this also a valide kind of relevance in this context? – Daniel Nov 26 '20 at 18:45
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    I often find it difficult to be precise about which form I would use if I'm presented with multiple alternatives that are all at least "acceptable". But in this specific case I think it would largely depend on the reason I was interacting with the boss in the first place. If it was a "neutral, general-purpose" meeting / conversation, I'd probably use Simple Past - Present Perfect would only really become the default choice if me updating him (or him asking) about progress re sorting out that vendor's problems was the sole or main reason we were even talking together at all. – FumbleFingers Nov 26 '20 at 19:49

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