Learn English – “Have ever eaten” or “Ever ate”


I'd like to express that the steak I had (last Sunday) was the best one I have ever eaten. Is "Have ever eaten" correct or do I have to use the past simple "I ever ate", since the process (of eating) is already over. If I won't refer to any date in the past, which tense is the correct one?

Nonetheless, "Have ever eaten" sounds correct to me. But sometimes the usage of past simple and simple perfect just confuses me.

Thanks in advance for your help, guys!

Best Answer

Both sound correct but there's a nasty nuance :

  • "The steak I had (last Sunday) was the best one I have ever eaten". "Have ever eaten" includes the present period (untill now) where you are talking ; it's still continuing actually.
  • The past simple "I ever ate", means the eating is already over, ie. previously past meals.

Nonetheless, the distinction would infer/play only if you were talking with a steak (in your plate) you already start to eat... In such case, "ever eaten" would include that last steak. But so far you haven't done yet to eat it, the use of "ever ate" wouldn't allow us to understand exactly whether you're considering the meat you're eating now.