Questions tagged [past-vs-present-perfect]

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

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PAST SIMPLE vs PRESENT PERFECT for past achievements

Why do we use the past simple instead of the present perfect in the last sentence (WAS AWARDED)? When the Beijing Olympic pool was first built, it was called the water cube due to its extraordinary ...
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tense (past or perfect) with the word "before" or "earlier"

Could you tell me if I am correct? My friend has got new clothes and I say "why haven't you worn these before" (because I discover the new clothes in the present) I have just seen a good ...
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have done(experience) / did(specific time)

Could you tell me if I am wrong: I can say "The maximum I have done is 20km" because it's experience. And I should say "The maximum I did was 20km but because the ground was flat" ...
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money I lent/ have lent [duplicate]

I've read somewhere that: "I want you to pay back the money I lent you", refers to one occasion of lending money and "I want you to pay back the money I've lent you" refers to ...
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Question in present perfect, but answer in past simple. Why not a past simple question?

From the English workbook "access 2", page 48: Finish the dialogue with verb forms in the present perfect or simple past. Dan: Have you ever been to Dartmoor, Amira? Amira: Yes, I have. I ...
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"you have bought" vs "you bought"

The Dark Knight (2008) "Oh, and by the way, the suit? It wasn't cheap. You ought to know, you bought it." This is Joker's phrase and could he say "you have bought it" in this ...
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Present Perfect or Simple Past for hypothetical situations?

I wonder what verb tense I should use when I'm making hypothetical sentences. For instance: Imagine you're writing a book with an intention in mind, and when people read your work, they get a ...
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"I haven't" "I hadn't" "I didn't" Which one is the best in the context?

Please imagine you liked Super Mario when you were a kid and that you are going to play it for the first time in a decade or two. Before playing it, you'd say "Oh, I haven't played Super Mario ...
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Reporting loss of a bag at a police station - which is more appropriate, "I lost my bag" or "I have lost my bag"?

I learned that we should use present perfect while talking about things which happened in the past, but which still hold. However, it sounds weird when I think about using "I have lost my bag&...
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Why is the present perfect used instead of simple past?

In an article about whether it is safe for pregnant women to cycle, a woman who is no longer pregnant ( she has recently given birth to her second child) says: "I have cycled during both ...
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"When I've pulled up your hat I've seen your braids" or should I use the past simple?

Let's say I have just seen my daughter's braids under her hat. Should I say to her: Baby when I've pulled up your hat I've seen your braids or Baby when I pulled up your hat I saw your braids The ...
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Which option is correct?

I started cooking I have started cooking I don't quite understand the difference between the two options. Are both correct? Is okay to use two verbs in the same sentence, one following the other in ...
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I { have been/went} to New York in 2015

Which one is right? I have been to New York in 2015. and I went to New York in 2015. I think the first one is wrong and the second one is right. but still, I am not sure if we can use 'in time' in ...
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Are both "didn't" and "haven't" correct in "I'm not sure.I ___(not check)it carefully."?

Are there any mistakes in your homework,Jim? I'm not sure.I ______(not check)it carefully. The answer to this question is 'didn't check', can I say 'haven't checked'? Why?
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Past tense vs Present perfect vs Past Perfect tense difference in usage

He worked for me for eight years He ** has worked** for me for eight years He had worked for me for eight years What is the difference in meaning between these three sentences?
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Is the tense usage in "Bob has tried to help but can't crack the code" correct?

Context: Alice has some issues with an app. She talks to Bob who is familiar with the app, but he couldn't fix it and refers her to some experts group. Alice initiates a conversation with the experts ...
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1 answer
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Past tense and Present perfect tense

I am totally confused where to use which. We were told in university and at school that past tense is used for repeated actions in the past while present perfect is for a just completed action. But ...
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Grammar Past Tenses

Which one of the following is correct: Have you remembered to bring home your football bag? OR Did you remember to bring home your football bag? Many thanks.
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What verb tense should I use?

-------Just for the context------- Imagine yourself sitting on a couch, with your friend in crime, in an empty motel room, talking with each other about this enormous diamond you stole 2 days ago from ...
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3 answers
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Present perfect with "from"

I was wondering if it was better to say "I learned" or "I have learned to play the guitar from an early age"?
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Is my English tutor mistaken? Perfect tenses seem incorrect in this sentence

This was a question given to me by an English tutor. I was asked to choose between the Present Perfect Simple, or the Present Perfect Continuous for of the verb. -> "We ____________ on the next ...
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I want to make witty comments, but I don't know if I used the tenses correctly or not

Should I use present perfect or simple past in the sentences below? Every man wants sex. If he doesn't, he just experienced it. Every man wants sex. If he doesn't, he has just experienced it. ...
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"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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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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3 answers
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"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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what is the most important in this sentence the present relevance or the fact that this event belongs to the past?

http://fluencyspace.com/exercises/mixed-past-tenses/ It is great to tell people that I have seen (see) the tallest building in the world! I know the answer is present prefect but I think the"...
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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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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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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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3 answers
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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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1 answer
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'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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1 vote
2 answers
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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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6 votes
3 answers
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"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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3 votes
2 answers
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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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Present Perfect or Past SImple Paradox [duplicate]

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 ...
3 votes
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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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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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
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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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1 vote
1 answer
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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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3 votes
2 answers
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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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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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
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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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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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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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1 answer
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(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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1 answer
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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?
2 votes
1 answer
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Difference between Present Perfect and Past Simple ( I am not a beginner )

I have been learning English for 7 years now, and I have read so many grammar books with rules, telling the difference between Present Perfect and Past Simple and I still find it hard to distinguish ...
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"was" vs "has been"

There is the sentence "The group was upgraded to a super-group", and it's weird because the message will be showed for me when I decide to upgrade my conference to super-group: I've clicked on "...
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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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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 ...