Past Simple / Present Perfect – The sushi restaurant example


sushi

A: There’s a sushi restaurant not far from here. Do you know it?

=> B1: Yes, but I didn’t try it.

=> B2: Yes, but I haven’t tried it.


I hear so many conversations on similar lines in the classroom and sometimes a discussion arises over which of the two answers – B1 or B2 – is correct. Actually, both are possible but there is a fine difference in meaning.

B1: I didn’t try it (past simple) implies that the speaker has no interest in trying the restaurant (maybe sushi isn’t their type of food) or that they don’t have the possibility of going there (maybe it’s their last day in Malta).

B2: I haven’t tried it (present perfect) implies that the speaker will try the restaurant if he/she gets the chance; the possibility is still there

There are countless situations when we have such a choice with our answer – films, holiday destinations, books, sports. It is important to use the correct tense to make sure there won’t be a misunderstanding with the person you’re speaking to.

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