Questions tagged [past-vs-present-perfect]

For questions about contrasting uses of the simple past and the present perfect.

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45 views

“It's done.” or “It's been done.”

When I just finished some work, which one below, A or B, is better to say and why? A. It's done! B. It's been done! To me, A might sound simpler and more natural. But considering the grammar, I'm ...
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29 views

past tense vs present perfect vs past perfect

These are the words spoken by a cinema hero, about fight sequences in a newspaper interview But I have done riskier action scenes in my prime. Why "have done (present perfect format)" is used here?...
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55 views

forty years have passed vs forty years passed

Regarding the verb tense, are both the following sentences correct? If so, is there a difference in meaning between them? Forty years passed. Forty years have passed. Must the latter be chosen if ...
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3answers
46 views

“Have been to” and past events

I'm always having trouble to construct sentences with Present Perfect which ask about events in the past. I want to ask "During the time that you lived in Siberia did you ever pay a visit to the ...
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0answers
34 views

How do we know when to use present perfect simple, present perfect continuous or past simple?

I have read a lot about the three of them. There are certainly a lot of rules on their usages. However, what I'm concerned about the most is how I can determine when to use one over the others. So I ...
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1answer
50 views

congruence of tenses

A recent exchange between a student and I: ME: I have found a technique for doing …. HER: How have you found it? 
 Why not ask, “How have you found it?” Why is the simple past tense correct, ...
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47 views

Forgot vs have forgotten

I was watching the johnny cash movie the other day and towards the end, when he's about to sing in a prison, the warden tells him to sing songs that won't remind the inmates that they're in prison, ...
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2answers
286 views

Did I answer or Have I answered?

I was talking to a person on chat. Yesterday he asked me a question. Today I replied, then added: Did I answer your question? Now that I think about it I should have probably phrased it like so: ...
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1answer
74 views

never saw/have seen

I have recently read: I never saw this movie (instead of "I have never seen this movie") I believe that the Present Perfect is usually used with the adverb "never" because the event can still ...
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3answers
2k views

Current relevance: “She has broken her leg” vs. “She broke her leg yesterday”

I've been taught that the Present perfect tense is used when an action happened in the past and it is important now (or when it happened in the past and it is still ongoing). Though, look at these ...
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1answer
386 views

'I have been on vacation for two days' vs 'I was on vacation for two days'

I've been on vacation for two days. What does this sentence mean? I mean, it means that the action happened in the past and ended in the past but has no specific date. But it also means that I'm ...
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2answers
62 views

the present perfect tense with an incomplete period of time

I turned off the light before leaving this morning. If 'this morning' is not over yet, is 'have turned off' also OK? Because the present perfect tense is used to express actions happening in an ...
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3answers
3k views

“You've called the wrong number” or “You called the wrong number”

A while ago I wrote this sentence: Sorry to interrupt you, sir. But I think you called the wrong number. Something felt wrong so I Googled: I think you've called the wrong number. To my surprise, ...
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2answers
83 views

Present Perfect vs. Past Simple with unfinished time periods: this week

I ____ (read) six books this week. The correct answer is: I have read six books this week. Why are we using Present Perfect since we specify when we did the activity? Is it wrong to say (Past ...
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1answer
35 views

Present Perfect or Past SImple Paradox

We can say: I have done it today though the action itself coulp happen in the morning but we cover it with a longer peiod which hasn't ended yet. If it happened in the morning but now it's ...
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1answer
503 views

Last night I ____ (lost) my keys - can you help me look for them?

A) Last night I ____ (lost) my keys - I had to look for them. B) I ____ (lost) my keys - can you help me look for them? C) Last night I ____ (lost) my keys - can you help me look for them? I know ...
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1answer
119 views

When…+present perfect [closed]

Is Susan does not live here,When I first came here three years ago, she has moved to another city. Or Susan does not live here,When I first came here three years ago, she had moved to another ...
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2answers
66 views

Present perfect or Past tense? Which sentence is correct?

I'm confused. Which sentence is correct? "You have said you would buy a car if you got driver's licence" or "You said you would buy a car if you got driver's license" or "You have said you ...
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1answer
54 views

Different meanings in the use of “Past simple” and “Present perfect”

1) Show me the dress that you have made 2) It is very late, and trams have stopped running: we must find a taxi to get home. Can I use the past simple instead of present perfect and what the ...
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2answers
38 views

Why different tenses here?

Stumbled upon this phrase in a high profile game dialogue, which means it is supposed to be written professionally and not just a blunder: If this murder was intended to hurt me, it has succeeded. ...
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0answers
33 views

3 forms of Present-Perfect Tense? [duplicate]

So I am studying tenses and while going through Past-Perfect Tense I am stumped. My research shows that Past-Perfect can be used to show three kinds of timelines (don't know if this is the right word ...
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2answers
88 views

Why aren't all these verbs in the same tense?

We have decided to call it a day. We are thankful for everyone that has come to our shows, screamed at the top of their lungs, bought our music, wore our tee shirt and joined the spirit of the band ...
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1answer
5k views

had vs have difference? [closed]

What's the difference between : I have not sent this email. I had not sent this email. I usually get confused in had/have. And I might have used them incorrectly many times. Can someone ...
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2answers
651 views

Have ever had vs ever had

What's the right thing to say? "Best meal I have ever had" or "Best meal I ever had"
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1answer
51 views

(went vs. gone) deep enough

I wrote: I recognized issues that America's civilization has not went deep enough to them yet. One of the online grammar assistant tools suggests changing my sentence to "has not gone". Is my ...
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1answer
67 views

Past simple or present perfect for “I am aware of what I [did/have done]”?

Is the following correct: I am aware of what I did. Or, is it supposed to be: I am aware of what I've done. Can someone explain?
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1answer
37 views

Regarding present perfect appropriate use when spoken

If someone asks you Hey Indiver! Did you see Star Wars movie last week? Should I reply Yes, I saw the movie. It was quite interesting. Or Yes, I have seen the movie. It was quite ...
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1answer
134 views

The use of the Past Simple after the Present Perfect

Tell me please if I used the right tense in the following sentences. I have stumbled into the word that I cannot understand. I looked it up in a few dictionaries, but still have a hard time ...
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2answers
66 views

difference between “Have been” and “was”

can anyone please tell me the between "have been" and "was"? Suppose my friends calls me and I reply the following. Are they interchangeable in the following context? Hey, Paul I was/have been busy ...
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3answers
126 views

Present perfect or past simple when it is used with time adverb

I'm not a native speaker so to understand the difference between past simple and present perfect is giving me a headache sometimes. I have learned, that when it is used in a sentence a time adverb ...
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1answer
6k views

Did well or Have done well?

So I've been wondering which one sounds more natural if I want to compliment someone for something they have done? Do they have different meanings? Or perhaps they can be used interchangeably? ...
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1answer
79 views

past tense to report news in American English

I'd like to know whether the past tense can be used to report news in American English, as follows: I'm writing to inform you that your brother was promoted to sales manager. Is it necessary to use ...
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2answers
11k views

What have I said vs What did I say

"What did I say?" I come across this line generally. What is wrong with this line "What have I said?"
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1answer
87 views

Past tense or Present Perfect tense

Which tense would be appropriate for the below example, 20,000 dollars received as donation from January 2017 to till date 20,000 dollars has been received as donation from January 2017 to ...
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1answer
59 views

Should “The man has always needed religion and as profoundly as he has always needed food” use a simple tense instead?

Should this sentence's verbs indicate that the actions occurred in the past indirectly by using the compound present prefect construction: The man has always needed religion and as profoundly as he ...
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2answers
3k views

Usage of “have ever”

please correct my writing: Last week I visited a hotel named Taj near MumbaI. The surroundings of the hotel were very nice as well as its food. I tasted Biriyani there for the first time. That is/was ...
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1answer
79 views

Have I read the novel if I've forgotten the story?

Imagine the following scenario: I read a novel two years ago. Today I cannot remember the story of the novel any more, I've forgotten the story. Somebody asks me: Have you read the novel? ...
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1answer
75 views

“have met before” vs “met before” [closed]

I have a question about verb tense.
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2answers
8k views

“Have been waiting” vs “was waiting”

suppose my friend promises me that he will meet me at 1 p.m but he comes to me a few hours later. Can I say to him "Hey John, where were you? I was/have been ​waiting here for a long time?" "Was" or "...
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1answer
165 views

Present Perfect vs Past Simple double time marker

I need some explanation when to use present or past in such examples: In March this year he was seen or has been seen? This week 2 days ago he has done it or did it? 2 days ago this week he ...
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1answer
3k views

Differences between the questions: “he didn't tell you? / he hasn't told you?”

A= I'm so sorry Andy is moving away tomorrow. B= really? A= he didn't tell you /he hasn't told you? I have seen them both used in similar contexts but I was wondering is there a difference?
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1answer
5k views

I selected vs. I have selected

We got into a grammar discussion at the office. Given I have write-access to a page and I selected an option Given I have write-access to a page and I have selected an option Are both ...
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3answers
36k views

Haven't found or didn't find?

I was searching for something and I didn't find it. So I would say to my friend: I searched for it but I didn't find it. or I've searched but haven't found it. What is the difference ...
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2answers
2k views

Who (broke / has broken) the glass?

Suppose in a house there are two children. One day one of them broke a glass. Then their mother arrived in the house. If the mother wants to know who broke the glass, which question should she ask her ...
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1answer
51 views

Present perfect and past simple

I know that present perfect is used for talking about recent events "actions" that has a result in the present. So my question is what's meant by "recent events" is it actions the happened few hours ...
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1answer
5k views

I've recently read / I recently read

I've recently read that oxygen might be poisonous I recently read that oxygen might be poisonous It's a sentence I'd like to use in common conversation with a friend. Which one is correct ...
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3answers
26k views

Have forgotten or forgot?

I'm walking out of a bar and I'm putting my hand in my pocket, and I can't find my wallet. So it's better to say "I have forgotten my wallet" or "I forgot my wallet" ?
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2answers
2k views

“You haven't written any thing right” or “You didn't write…”?

If someone wrote something wrong and I want to tell him that all of what he wrote is wrong can I say: "You haven't even written any thing right" or should I use the past simple?
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1answer
5k views

Simple past and present perfect- “One hour has passed.” vs “One hour passed.”

If I'm downloading something and it should take 2 hours to be downloaded. So after one hour for example I would say, "One hour has passed." or "One hour passed." and why?
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3answers
2k views

Recent past “ something just happened ”

talking about recent past " some thing happened few seconds ago " is one of the uses of present perfect ? For example : I'm walking with my friend " Ooh, I have dropped my pen, can you help me to ...