BE - What did you cook vs what have you cooked

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What's the difference in meaning?Could I use both when asking about something someone has done earlier today(finished cooking something and the meal is ready). Thanks
  • se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It is irrelevant whether the cooking is in the recent or distant past.

    "What did you cook?" is past tense. "What have you cooked?" is a present tense verb referring to a past event - which is why the tense is called "present perfect".

    The commonest use of the present perfect "What have you cooked" is as a synonym of a present tense question such as "WHAT IS THIS that you have cooked?" or "WHAT EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE of cooking?". Notice that both of these present tense synonyms refer to a present consequence of the past cooking: in the first case a cooked item that exists in the present time, in the second case a particular way of thinking that exists in the present time in a human mind.

    If you ask a question without context, you get a general, technical, and usually incomprehensible answer!
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