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Which tense is more appropriate here, you have found them or you found them?

3 Answers 3


I would say "You've found them!" Most educated British English speakers would too. Most American English speakers would say "You found them!" The appropriate tense is a matter of dialect, not grammar. Most native speakers don't know how to choose tenses based on the sequence of tenses published in grammar books. They rely on what they learned to say at their mother's knee.

All of us do that most of the time because we speak almost automatically and usually without thinking too much about how we say it: that's the hallmark of fluency. Having to think hard about what to say and how to say it annoys listeners. That's one of the major complaints Obama supporters and detractors made about him right before and right after the first election in 2008: he wasn't glib when he answered questions.

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    Quite so. In this particular case, though I'd say You've found them, it would come out youvoundem 'cause the v/f boundary would disappear. Commented Apr 14, 2013 at 13:02

To my American brain "You found them!" is more emphatic. When I read "You have found them!" there is a connotation that this is more ordinary and perhaps accidental than the first construction.


I would say "You found it." and I think most Americans would say that. British English uses the present perfect tense in cases where American English would use the simple past tense.

The difference between "You found it." and "You have found it." is the same difference there is between "Mario arrived home." and "Mario has arrived home." If I say "Mario arrived home." I am not saying where Mario is in this moment, while when I say "Mario has arrived home." I am saying "Mario arrived home; he is still at home."

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