I am studying the present perfect tense and I'm trying to do the following exercise:

Complete the sentence with the verbs: didn't go, hasn't gone.
He --------- to the reunion because he was sick.

According to my professor, the correct verb to fill in that sentence is didn't go. Why is it not possible to fill in the other (hasn't gone)?

2 Answers 2


Because you are talking about two actions that happened in the past, which is finished.

He didn't go to the reunion because he was sick.

If you want to refer to these actions in the present (the reunion is not yet over), you can say:

He hasn't gone to the reunion because he is sick.

  • Well, I'm sure it was present perfect tense that the original poster was talking about.
    – Caroffrey
    Jul 23, 2015 at 12:55

The correct one would be:

He hasn't gone to the reunion because he was sick.

You can refer this for the same. And I'm sure you can ask your professor to do the same.

  • 4
    How did you come up with that answer? "He hasn't gone to the reunion because he was sick." is certainly not correct. "Hasn't gone" implies a continuous action up the present. I.e. "He hasn't gone to school for the past week because he is sick." But a reunion is a single point in the past which has already happened and is over and done with as is his sickness. You could also say "He hasn't come to school for some time since he has been sick." Both of these continue to the present. If you postulate "he was sick" that tends to impliy that he got better since.
    – DRF
    Jul 23, 2015 at 12:57
  • 1
    You can actually use "was" even for things which have not finished but you tend to need a special construction. For example, "I was against this idea on Monday, I was against it on Tuesday and I'm still against it now." Where you use the tenses to make a point (usually to get someone to understand your position or situation).
    – DRF
    Jul 23, 2015 at 13:00
  • Which part of the page you linked makes you feel that "hasn't gone" is correct?
    – ColleenV
    Jul 23, 2015 at 14:59

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