"The baby just ate."
Translation:El bebé recién comió.
Why is recién before comió? In English it's equally valid to say "the baby ate recently" and "the baby recently ate". What's the rule about recién here?
The distinction between "The baby just ate" and "The baby has just eaten" is subtle without adding more to the sentence (e.g. "ten minutes ago" only fits with the first one). Is the distinction between "recién comió" and "acaba de comer" quite clear even on their own?
If there is no definite time expression, the use of present perfect is more adequate. If we say when (definite time) the action happened in the past, we use the simple past.
In Spanish something similar happens with the pretérito indefinido and the pretérito perfecto, at least in some countries. The difference between "recién comió" and "acaba de comer" is geographical. They mean the same.
I believe the distinction between "just ate" and "has just eaten" to also have a strong geographic component. The former is more common overall in published texts (cf. Google NGrams).
If the distinction between "recién comió" and "acaba de comer" is merely geographical, then it would seem both should be accepted.
In fact, in some places the present perfect and the pretérito perfecto are endangered tenses, almost extinct! What a pity!
The baby has just eaten
El bebé acaba de comer
Present perfect with just = acabar de + infinitive in Spanish