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So I've been wondering whether I can use Present Perfect to describe an action that happened in the past, especially when it happened many times in the past. Please have a look at the following sentence:

Those people I've invited never used their accounts after the first week or so, and now those accounts have been deleted.

The action that is repeated here is: Inviting, as in I've invited those people to the site many times.

And therefore, if I just only invited 1 person at a single time, should it be this?

The person I invited never used their accounts after the first week or so, and now that account has been deleted.

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Present perfect is used when talking about a situation that started in the past, is still in effect and will possibly continue into the future.

If you have continued inviting people until the present day, despite their failure to use their accounts, you should use the present perfect:

The people that I have invited never used their accounts after the first week or so, and now those accounts have been deleted.

If you stopped inviting people some time ago (because they didn't use their accounts or for some other reason), you should use the past simple

The people that I invited never used their accounts after the first week or so, and now those accounts have been deleted.

As you say, if you only ever invited one person, the invitation is in the past, so you can use the past simple.

Bear in mind that if you invited somebody for dinner tomorrow, the invitation is still in force today (and will be tomorrow), so you can say

I have invited Ahmed for dinner tomorrow

but if he refused the invitation, it's not in force, so you would say

I invited Ahmed for dinner tomorrow, but he can't make it.

  • Thank you! It really helps me clear up the doubts in my mind! – johnchae Mar 19 '16 at 5:02

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