my question refers to quite a problematic distinction between tenses mentioned in the title of this post.
let's imagine that my sister's leg is broken.
Should I say ?:
She has broken her leg at school.
or maybe it is more appropriate to say:
She broke her leg at school.
Both sentences are correct. But:
She broke her leg at school. (American English)
She has broken her leg at school. (British English)
In British English, the use of Simple Past and Present Perfect is quite strict.
As soon as a time expression in the past is given, you have to use Simple Past.
If there are no signal words, you must decide if we just talk about an action in the past or if it's consequence in the present is important.
Note that the following explanations refer to British English only. In American English, you can normally use Simple Past
instead of Present Perfect.
All the Best.
Last edited by Nicky_K; 19-Feb-2009 at 22:56.