unfinished time + present perfect/past tense

Akatsukis170

Senior Member
Japanese
Hi all. I've often seen people using both the present perfect and the past tense with unfinished times like today, now, this weekend, etc., like the following example.

I've been to the gym today.
I went to the gym today.

So, what is the difference between these two sentences.
 
  • tunaafi

    Senior Member
    English - British (Southern England)
    In the first, the speaker is seeing the visit to the gym as part of the whole day's activities. In the second, s/he is seeing it as a past event, something that happened earlier in the day.

    There is no significant difference in meaning in these two particular questions.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    There is no significant difference in meaning in these two particular questions.
    I would not say that. There is a difference in meaning, but there is no difference in the facts being referred to.
    In the first, the speaker is seeing the visit to the gym as part of the whole day's activities. In the second, s/he is seeing it as a past event, something that happened earlier in the day..
    That is the difference in meaning.
    In each case, the facts are the same.
     

    tunaafi

    Senior Member
    English - British (Southern England)
    I would not say that. There is a difference in meaning, but there is no difference in the facts being referred to. [...]
    That is the difference in meaning.
    I said "There is no significant difference", and that is what I meant. In most contexts that I can think of, the speaker could say either, without intending any significantly different meaning.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    I said "There is no significant difference", and that is what I meant.
    Yes, I know. I said I would not say that.
    In most contexts that I can think of, the speaker could say either, without intending any significantly different meaning.
    The fact that we have the two different tenses and that they are used with a consistency which can be explained and learned does show, I think, that there is a difference worth attending to.
     
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