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Hi. I am asking someone if he has ever read this novel:

"Have you read the War and Peace?"
"Did you read the War and Peace?"

Can it be said that either is grammatically correct and can be safely used, but with one distinction:

have you read - a period stretching to now
did you read - at one point in the past (I am divorcing that point from "now")

Thank you.

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"Have you (ever) read the War and Peace?" (at any time)

"Did you read the War and Peace in high school or college?"

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Thank you. So I can't just ask "Did you (ever) read War and Peace"?

Yes you can. The question is not just reaching for a simple yes/no answer, but suggesting that you give more details, like a particular time when you might have read it.

have you read - a period stretching to now
did you read - at one point in the past (I am divorcing that point from "now")

Thank you.

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