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    #1

    Past vs Present Perfect

    Hello, I'm a bit confused because of using a present perfect vs past tense. I have read many books, and articles about their differences, but I have still many problems.

    I have a simple example which I hope you can help me with.

    Can you tell me what's the difference between 'Did you try ... ?' and 'Have you tried ...'?

    I appreciate any help you can provide me.

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    #2

    Re: Past vs Present Perfect

    Quote Originally Posted by VicoS View Post
    Hello, I'm a bit confused because of using a present perfect vs past tense. I have read many books, and articles about their differences, but I have still many problems.

    I have a simple example which I hope you can help me with.

    Can you tell me what's the difference between 'Did you try ... ?' and 'Have you tried ...'?

    I appreciate any help you can provide me.
    In your example, "Did you try....." suggests a reference to the recent past, whereas "Have you tried..." suggests a reference to anytime in the past.

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    #3

    Re: Past vs Present Perfect

    Thank you very much billmcd.

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    #4

    Re: Past vs Present Perfect

    'Did you try ... ?' and 'Have you tried ...'?

    'Did you try to call me?' and 'Have you tried to call me'?

    As an adverb use 'yesterday, last week, Tuesday, at 1 o'clock' = a specific time. Edit: But with today, it is ok. Not quite sure why yet. Probably because 'today' is the present, and have is Present Tense.

    'Did you try to call me yesterday?' and *'Have you tried to call me yesterday'? (bad)

    As an adverb use 'ever' = a non-specific time.

    'Did you ever try to call me?' and 'Have you ever tried to call me'? (An irate girlfriend speaking)

    As an adverb use 'at all' = a non-specific time.

    'Did you try to call me at all?' and 'Have you tried to call me at all'?

    Looks like you can't specify the time in the past exactly when using the Present Perfect.

    Using 'did try' the time can be specific, or vague.
    Last edited by Pedroski; 06-Sep-2010 at 05:26. Reason: brainstorm

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