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ESL forum > Ask for help > Present Perfect or Past simple?    

Present Perfect or Past simple?

Dina Lana

Present Perfect or Past simple?
 I need help with this sentence . You have to decide between Present Perfect or Past Simple.

A: What_________ ( happen)? Why is the room full of smoke?
B: I ____________( just / cook) dinner, dear.
A: Well, I ´m not that hungry.
 I have a problem with the first sentence. What should I use What has happened? Or What happened?
I need the answer as soon as possible.

Thank you !!! xoxo

11 Apr 2011      

Kate (kkcat)
Russian Federation

´What ´s happened ´ (s stands for HAS)
or if you prefer AmE go for ´WHat happened? ´ 

11 Apr 2011     

Dina Lana

Thank You!!!!

11 Apr 2011     

United States

With the first sentence both tenses will work: what has happened (PP) or what happened (PS). 
They are probably looking for the PP version though because it has a direct and significant influence on the present (the room is full of smoke).
for the second sentence PP (I have just cooked..) is correct

11 Apr 2011     


has happened is better because the smoke is the evidence for the action in the present perfect simple.

11 Apr 2011     


I agree with Isaveluchita. if there is smoke in the room it means the action has just happened. it is recent. So present perfect should be used.

11 Apr 2011     


I agree with Douglas. 

11 Apr 2011     


What happened

11 Apr 2011     

Mary Myr

i actually think that "i ´ve just been cooking dinner" suits better, but.. :) 

11 Apr 2011