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I have done or I did?

Updated: Nov 1, 2023

This blog post looks at when we use the present perfect (I have done)

or the past simple (I did).

It is raining and I cannot find my umbrella.

I have lost my umbrella.

This means I don't have my umbrella now.

5 minutes later....

I have found my umbrella! (present perfect)

I lost my umbrella this morning. (past simple)

Now I have found it.

This means it is not lost any more.

The key thing to remember about the present perfect (I have done) is that there has to be a connection to the present, in other words the here and now.

George Washington was the first president of the USA.

Not, George Washington has been the first president of the USA. There is no connection with now because George Washington is no longer alive.

My grandparents got married in Glasgow.

Not, my grandparents have got married in Glasgow. Although they may still be alive, there is no connection to now since the act of them getting married is a singe event which happened in the past.

Hopefully this blog post will have helped you to answer the following question:

Which sentence is correct?

Answer: it all depends on whether you have now found them again!

I've lost my keys....they are still lost and so there is a connection to now.

I lost my keys....this morning, but then I found them in my bag. They are no longer lost, so there is no connection to now.

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