Can someone tell me when should I translate the present perfect in Dutch to normal past tense in English and when to present perfect in English?
The exercises are rather confusing. For some cases they are both right but for some only normal past tense is accepted. What making things worse is that there is no fundamental difference between these two types of questions.
I was wondering what is the difference too. In all exercises I came across, I could write both options so I think that in dutch there is no difference. If someone could confirm or correct me that would be great.
one of my Dutch friend told me that it is quite a peculiarity of Dutch language that the boundary between normal past tense and present perfect tense is vague.
She gave me two examples, in English, when people specifically mentioned the time, say, "yesterday","on July 5th", you will have to use normal past tense. However, in Dutch you can use both.
In Danish, which is also one Germanic language, they use far less present perfect tense than normal past tense. Based on my limited experience of living in the Netherlands, I think the situation here is the other way around.
Hope this would be an addition to you.
I made some searches and I came to the conclusion that you better evaluate the sentence and decide according to the rules in English. So even if the sentence is not clear you should decide whether it refers to an action that has been completed and totally in the past or not.