if somebody hasn't answered my question, what will be the difference of these two response in meaning?

"You haven't answered my question!" "You didn't answer my question!"



Although both may be used, one might prefer one over the other depending on the context and/or what the speaker wants to emphasize.

For example, one might use the simple past in this case ("You didn't answer my question!") because they might be upset or want to express urgency. The simple past is used for specific time, therefore, in this case, the person's chance to answer the question is either over and/or the speaker might feel a sense of urgency to get the listener to answer immediately.

Because the present perfect is a tense of experience, it is used when someone still has the chance to have this experience (which is why it isn't used to talk about someone who is dead - they no longer have the opportunity to have experiences). So, when someone says, "You haven't answered my question!", they could be emphasizing that the listener still has a chance to answer. However, this doesn't necessarily mean the speaker does not also feel a sense of urgency to get an answer, which is why I mentioned that both may be used.



Used for referring to an event which has happened in the recent past (some time today, yesterday or day before yesterday)


Used for referring to an event which has happened very much long ago (may be days/months/years).

This and this give good insights with examples.

  • 1
    This is not how have and did work in English. And it's not even what your two links say. Jun 28 '16 at 11:00

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