I've seen a question

"Have you cried while watching a movie?"

Should I answer it with past tense if I want to name a specific movie?

"I cried during Titanic"


"I have cried during Titanic"

  • Yes, use past tense here. You'd only use past perfect if there was some other event involved. Ex: "I have cried during Titanic but only after washing smelly socks." Jul 12, 2021 at 17:25
  • No, I cried during the Titanic. Why? Because you saw it on that occasion, which is over and in the past.
    – Lambie
    Feb 1, 2022 at 18:05

2 Answers 2


I would use present perfect. The question asks if you have ever cried during a movie and you answer: "Yes, I have, I have cried during Titanic. It is an example of the "experience" use of the present perfect. Past simple is more common in AE.

  • why the downvote?
    – anouk
    Oct 3, 2021 at 15:55

You should answer present perfect questions about experiences with simple past stories.

It may seem wrong because the tenses are different, but the deep meaning of "I cried during Titanic" is:

"Yes, I have cried while watching a movie: I cried during Titanic."

Because of the context of the question, the person asking the question understands that "I cried during Titanic" is an example of a story that indirectly answers the question.

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