Are both of these correct? What is the difference? (the word "enjoyed" is not specific, any verb could be used) My thoughts are that both of these wording are correct and mean the same thing, "have" is just unnecessary. I need your help, please respond.

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    I hope you enjoyed the movie yesterday. I hope you have enjoyed your stay here. They are not the same thing and your choice depends on the circumstances.
    – JayHook
    Feb 6, 2015 at 23:34

2 Answers 2


They are both correct, and for practical purposes they are almost always interchangeable, but they are not exactly identical. In the first phrase, "enjoyed" is the simple past tense of the verb "enjoy". In the second, "have enjoyed" is the present perfect tense of "enjoy".

Both tenses refer to an event that occurred in the past (the enjoyment of whatever is being referred to). However, the first construction focuses more on what happened at the time, whereas the second focuses on the effect of what happened. In other words, the hope being expressed in the first phrase is that the listener enjoyed (whatever is being referred to) at the time it was happening. In the second, the hope is that the listener is currently in a state of having enjoyed whatever is being referred to. The events that would lead to either condition are identical, but the focus is (slightly) different.

In this case, I think the difference is so subtle that the two can be treated as interchangeable, and would be taken by the listener in the same way. In other cases, the shift in emphasis may be important. For instance, "I have eaten" and "I ate" both describe the same event. However, if the purpose of the sentence were to indicate that the speaker has no desire to eat at the present time, "I have eaten" would probably be preferable, because the focus is the speaker's current state (as a result of the past event), as opposed to the past event itself.

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    Actually JayHook's comment on the question (I don't have the rep to directly respond) raises a good point about interchangeability. The perfect doesn't work as well when applied to an event at a named time in the past. You could use either construction to say "I hope you (have) enjoyed the movie", but I don't think you could use the perfect to say "I hope you have enjoyed yesterday's movie". I'm not absolutely sure that that's incorrect, but it certainly feels unnatural. You could however say "I hope you have enjoyed today's movie". The exact rule in this case is beyond me.
    – Matthew W
    Feb 7, 2015 at 0:03
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    Also worth looking at is this excellent post: ell.stackexchange.com/questions/13255/…
    – Matthew W
    Feb 7, 2015 at 0:41

You cannot use the present perfect with words or phrases like "last month", "on Monday" , "yesterday", "when" or when talking about a specific event that happened in the past and it is clear (an somehow matters) when it tool place... The PRESENT perfect always has a reference to the PRESENT, to NOW.

I've cleaned my shoes. => They are clean NOW. (It doesn't matter when the speaker actually did the job.

I have never been to Italy. (But maybe/hopefully I'll go one day.) I was never in Italy. (Looking back on my long life, this is among the few things I regret. Now I'm 97, so it's too late.)

The simple PAST always refers to something in the past. The effect on the present is not in the focus.

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