Present Perfect and Past Simple Compared: Repeated habitual vs single actions

We use Past Simple with completed habitual actions, we can’t use Present Perfect with usually, rarely, sometimes or their synonyms:

She usually went to the movies across the street

They sometimes showed a good movie

We normally use Present Perfect with completed actions expressing one, two, three etc single times experience(s):

I have been to Egypt, I have been there twice. She has also been to Egypt, she has been there 20 times.

We can refer to “single actions” as to actions expressing life experiences. The above examples pretty much show this. The life experiences, in their turn, can be recent actions…. To better understand it refer to Present Perfect: Recent action

In some contexts, we can use Past Simple with completed actions expressing one, two, three etc single times experience:

1. When we describe more of a process rather than the fact of performing an action

He did it twice. (my note: a better example needed)

2. When talking about finished period of time implicitly or explicitly

I was there twice last year (talking about past events: general exception rule applies here, see Present Perfect Tense: When we don’t use Present Perfect)

We can use other means to show that an action happened regularly, but this is a completely another course (used to / would).

Watch out if you use the words describing marginal frequencies like always or never with habitual actions. We can use Present Perfect here, of course when there are no indicators of the past period of time:

I have always liked him (and I like him now)

I always liked him (it is not clear if I like him now)

Pete has never done that (up until now)

Pete never did that. (when talking about past events at some point in time in the past, who knows if he did that or not after that)

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