Present perfect in a past-tense context

Presently I heard Pilot bark far below, out of his distant kennel in the courtyard: hope revived. Nor was it unwarranted: in five minutes more the grating key, the yielding lock, warned me my watch was relieved. It could not have lasted more than two hours: many a week has seemed shorter. Mr. Rochester entered, … Read more

past tense or present perfect at the time of speaking

My friend asked me about a person I never met in my life. Should I say “I have never met him in my life.” or “I never met him in my life.”? Answer In this case, the past and the present perfect express basically the same thing, so semantically it doesn’t really matter which you … Read more

At the time of speaking, no relation to present

My friend asked me, “Have you ever paid the money as a penalty?” I paid some money as a penalty, but that was long ago; it won’t effect the present. What should I say? I have paid. I had paid. I paid. Answer Let’s make up some details, so the difference between these sentences will … Read more

Should I always use the perfect present, when the sentence uses “never”?

In my English classes, I was taught that never should not be used with past forms, only with present perfect forms; this is also what I read in a grammar book I bought some years ago. (I bought the book in the USA; I guess the book is about American English grammar, but I don’t … Read more