That is because Italian uses different forms of past tenses, and what we call the 'present perfect' they use for both actions that happened in the recent past, such as yesterday, and actions that have ties to the present (which would be technically our version of 'present perfect').
I read the same, which means 'sono andato' cannot translate to 'went', but only to 'have gone'. So I do not understand this section.
Half the discussions in this section say that both translations are legitimate, and half the strands say that only the passato prossimo (have gone) is correct. Can anyone please help explain?
Tacratis was saying the opposite, that "sono andato" doesn't necessarily translate to "have gone", because "passato prossimo" and "present perfect" are two different concepts, only generally overlapping.
Specifically, English has a rule of not using present perfect with specific times (see my post at the end of the page), while that's perfectly fine with "passato prossimo" in Italian.
I see now, but my confusion because of the section title 'present perfect' was deeper than that. I believed rules applied for English in present perfect as well. In English, present perfect is spoken with the verb 'have / has' done something ... always. To disclude that word 'have' e.g. I did something ... that makes it simple past, a different tense.
But what I see now is, the title of this section has nothing to do with the English tense. It is referring to the Italian tense 'passato prossimo' and would have been much less misleading had it been titled that way, I think.
Lastly, I now found a reference (downloadable pdf) that clearly states the following (not true at all for Eng pres perf, hence all my confusion until now). Please let me know if I am still wrong about any of this .. and thanks for the help.
"the passato prossimo can be translated into English in different ways:"
ho trovato gli occhiali da sole
I found / have found / did find the sunglasses.
(edit .. Thank you for the exception to this rule you point out in this discussion about specific times ...)
Your sentence is wrong in English: see http://www.englishpage.com/verbpage/presentperfect.html ("You CANNOT use the Present Perfect with specific time expressions such as: yesterday"). This is one of those situations where you can't directly translate the tense.