Both the simple past and the present perfect tenses are used to talk about past events. There is an important difference. The present perfect tense is used when there is no definite time reference. The simple past tense is used when we say when something happened.
Here is a sample conversation. The speakers use both present perfect and simple past tenses.
Shyam: Hello Rahul, how’re you doing?
Rahul: Fine. I’ve just returned from the US. How’re you?
Shyam: I’m good. Thanks. How was your US trip? I guess you were on a business trip.
Rahul: Yes, I was on a business trip. I’ve some business interests in the US and Latin America.
Shyam: I see. Have you been to the US before?
Rahul: Yes, I’ve been to the US a few times. Actually this was my third trip this year.
Shyam: Did you meet any interesting people during your US trip?
Rahul: Sure. I met quite a few interesting people during this trip. It was a great experience.
Shyam: Your sister lives in the US, right? Did you visit her?
Rahul: Yeah. I visited her. I visit her whenever I go to the US. She is my only sister, you know.
Suresh: Have you finished that report yet?
Gauri: No, I haven’t finished that report. I’m still working on it. It should be ready by evening.
Suresh: Good. What about your presentation? Have you prepared for it?
Gauri: Yes, I’ve prepared for the presentation. I’ll make the presentation tomorrow morning.
Suresh: Have you shown the draft to the manager?
Gauri: Yes, I’ve shown it to him. He’s impressed with what I’ve done.
Suresh: I’m glad that you are well-prepared for the presentation. All the best.
Gauri: Thank you.
Peter: This is the first time you’ve visited Amsterdam, right?
Maya: Yes, this is my very first visit to Amsterdam and I’m thrilled. I’ve always wanted to visit this city. You know what? I’ve read a lot about Amsterdam.
Peter: Have you visited any museums yet? There’re quite a few museums in Amsterdam.
Maya: No, I haven’t had any time yet. I hope to visit a couple of museums tomorrow.
Peter: Good. I’m glad that you’re enjoying your stay here. I’ll talk to you soon.
Maya: Thank you.