I have done VS I did

Peter Thompson

Senior Member
Malaysian
Hi. I have a problem trying to figure out which of the sentences is correct below :
1. I have done what I had to do
2. I did what I had to do

If either sentence is correct, I would like to know why is the other one incorrect ?

Thank you!
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Both are perfectly “correct”, as I’m sure you already know.

    But which you might choose to use depends on the context, on exactly what it is you want to express. Do you want to describe the current situation (as in 1), or report something you did in the past (as in 2)?
     

    Peter Thompson

    Senior Member
    Malaysian
    Both are perfectly “correct”, as I’m sure you already know.

    But which you might choose to use depends on the context, on exactly what it is you want to express. Do you want to describe the current situation (as in 1), or report something you did in the past (as in 2)?
    I see, thank you!
    I'm asking this because if we use "when" we can't combine the present perfect and the past simple, as in "I have done that when you were there". But in "I have done what I had to do" I can combine them.
    Thank you!
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I suggest you start a thread to ask about this rule.
    I'm asking this because if we use "when" we can't combine the present perfect and the past simple, as in "I have done that when you were there".
    That construction may be acceptable in some contexts but discussing that in this thread would be off topic.
     
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