simple past/present perfect

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haseli22

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Persian
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Iran
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Dear native speakers,
Would you please tell me what difference you will understand when either simple past or present perfect is used like the following sentences?

1) I have left my wallet in the car. I'm going to get it.
2) I left my wallet in the car. I'm going to get it.

Thanks.
 

5jj

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There is no real difference in meaning in that particular sentence. A speaker of BrE is more likely to use the present perfect.
 

haseli22

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Joined
May 1, 2005
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English Teacher
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Persian
Home Country
Iran
Current Location
Iran
Thanks for the reply, but is the difference only in being BrE or AmE?
Could the difference be in the time reference? For instance, when present perfect is used, there is a close relationship between the present and the past. But when simple past is used, there is a time lapse between the past and present. Am I right?
 

5jj

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Joined
Oct 14, 2010
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English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
Czech Republic
Current Location
Czech Republic
Thanks for the reply, but is the difference only in being BrE or AmE?
Could the difference be in the time reference? For instance, when present perfect is used, there is a close relationship between the present and the past. But when simple past is used, there is a time lapse between the past and present. Am I right?
To an extent. It depends on the context. If a British speaker discovered the slip a few seconds after locking the car, s/he would almost certainly use the present perfect. If s/he discovered it an hour later, s/he might use either. It depends on whether s/he is concerned about not having the wallet or remembering that s/he did not bring it at the time of getting out of the car.

It all depends on the way the speaker's mind is working. There are no fixed rules for such situations.
 
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