My friend planned to visit my country for a week. Now it is his 3rd day he has been in my country. I want to know which places (did he visit)/(has he visited), so that I can recommend him other places to visit. Which question would be correct? I don't know which tense would be correct to use.

*Question: (Are 4 ways below correct to use?)

(1) Where did you visit?

(2) Where did you visit in the last few days?

(3) Where have you visited?

(4) Where have you visited since you came here?

*Answer: ( Are both ways below correct to use?)

(1) I visited X, Y, Z.

(2) I have visited X, Y,Z.

My friends tell me that we can even use the simple past here in the US. I would like to hear more about the US speaks’ opinions about this matter. And if the simple past is also correct to use, could you please explain the difference between them (the simple past and the present perfect)?

  • 1
    The perfect tense is always correct when the visit to the country is ongoing - "What places have you visited so far?". As a BrE speaker, I'm not sure whether Americans would find the simple past acceptable as well. Commented Apr 29, 2023 at 8:41
  • Yes, Thank you for your answer. I also would like to hear opinions from AmE speakers.
    – LE123
    Commented Apr 29, 2023 at 9:43
  • 1
    I'm Canadian, and we agree with the Brits on this. It's my experience with Americans that they frequently use simple past where I would only use present perfect, but I can't say for sure if this is one of those contexts.
    – gotube
    Commented Apr 29, 2023 at 20:51
  • thank you gotube and Kate. We have to wait for a US speaker's confirmation.
    – LE123
    Commented Apr 30, 2023 at 2:59

1 Answer 1


AmE. In terms of the questions, the perfect tense sounds correct:

  • What have you seen so far?
  • Where have you visited so far?

This implies an ongoing trip. "Did" would make more sense if the vacation had completed, and the visitor had returned home. Then you ask "What did you do there?"

Answers, during the ongoing visit:

  • Well, we went to the museum (in the morning).
  • We saw the Eiffel Tower (yesterday).

That's 'simple past'. It looks like the commenter who wrote "Americans frequently use simple past" may have some knowledge about the answer.

  • Hi Same, thank you for your answer. In this link, I posted a similar situation, but the answers from the natives recommended that I can use either. ell.stackexchange.com/questions/335421/…
    – LE123
    Commented May 1, 2023 at 2:45
  • "I (visited)/ (have visited) Thailand 2 times. It is a nice country. I think you should visit it once in your life." The action of visiting may still happen in the future if the speaker still has chance to go, then I can use either tense. But why in my example I can't use the simple past "where did you go?".
    – LE123
    Commented May 1, 2023 at 2:46
  • That is the reason I am confused, for repeated actions until now, when I can use either tense, when I can't.
    – LE123
    Commented May 1, 2023 at 2:48
  • You are asking: why can't you use the simple past such as ""where did you go?" If you phrase it "where did you go yesterday", or "what did you do this morning", then it's acceptable. That is, a specific time frame, which is now done and completed, then it can be simple past.
    – Sam
    Commented May 1, 2023 at 3:33
  • 1
    Presumably there are dozens of articles on the internet about these English verb tenses. You should read multiple sources of information. Whichever grammatical tense you pick, it will make sense to the listener, even if it's somewhat wrong. The problem with "did" (simple past) is you are implying they are done, finished. In the specific case of an ongoing current vacation, are they done? No. So, it's not the ideal choice. But it still makes sense. It just sounds slightly "off" (by that, I mean "wrong").
    – Sam
    Commented May 1, 2023 at 10:54

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