At the end of a movie, the main character kills the mean people and another person replies "she did it".

Why did he use past simple? I would have used "she has done it* because the action is important to the present.


1 Answer 1


Both are acceptable:

She did it!

She has done it!

I think there might be a difference in usage depending on the version of English. In American English, I believe we tend to use the simple past more often, where it might be more common to use the present perfect in British English. I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong about that.

  • 1
    The simple past IS past simple. Did you mean Brits use present perfect?
    – gotube
    Commented Jul 12, 2022 at 6:42
  • 1
    You're right, except it's only Americans who use simple past in these situations. Canadians, Australians, South Africans etc. all prefer present perfect in situations like these.
    – gotube
    Commented Jul 12, 2022 at 6:45
  • She has done it emphasises the completion of the action. She did it identifies her as the perpetrator, which is presumably the intention here. Commented Jul 12, 2022 at 7:35
  • I dunno, @Kate, you may be right (à la “The butler did it.”) But without context we can’t tell if what the character said/meant was “She did it!” as in “Yay, she achieved the goal!” as a young child might exclaim after having tied their shoes for the first time. Commented Aug 18, 2023 at 13:14
  • I'm sorry but if one character (person) kills another one would say: She did it. because she has done it. implies they were discussing this at an earlier point.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jan 15 at 17:11

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