Must I use 'have searched' instead of just 'searched'?


"I searched a word in a dictionary and got a strange definition."


Must I use 'have searched' instead of just 'searched'? If yes, must I also put another 'have' before 'got'?

asked Apr 25 '11 at 22:48 coraliecinq Contributor

1 answer


You should use the present perfect when you are referring to something that started and ended in the past, but that is important for the present.  


For example: 


'Have you been to Germany?'  'Yes, I've been to Germany. It's lovely.'


(We are talking about a visit to Germany which started and ended in the past, but since we are talking about it now, it is relevant.)


Another example:


'I have played many different guitars, but this one is my favourite.'


(In the past, this person used many different guitars, but we use 'have played' because this fact is important for the conversation he is having NOW about THIS guitar.)


OVERALL, you do not need to use 'have searched' unless the word you looked up is important for the conversation or situation you are in now.  


For example:


"What is the meaning of the word 'stellar'?"

"I have searched for this word in a dictionary and found a strange definition."


(You don't need to use 'have' twice -- 'have searched' and 'have found/got'

link answered Apr 27 '11 at 13:44 Kimberly Expert

Most helpful! Thank you so much! coraliecinqApr 29 '11 at 13:41

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