A: Did you hear what she just said ?

B: No, I was not listening. I was thinking about something else.
Why did A use the simple past? The simple past is used when having a particular time in the past, I guess the time may be "what she just said", right ? But in this case, can I use the present perfect in A sentence, because the present perfect doesn't need a exact time.

A: I'm sure you met Carol Jones at the party last night.

B: I don't remember her. What was she wearing ?
Why was the tense of B's first sentence the simple present? Continuously, why did B use the past progressive? I think the simple past is alright for them, because we have the exact time "last night".
The grammar rules are:

If you mention a particular time in the past, you can't use the present perfect, but you can use the past.

If you don't mention a particular time in the past, you can use either the present perfect or the past.


When referring to any event that is finished, you can use the past. She said what she said. Then she stopped saying it. She's not saying it anymore. So the correct question is "Did you hear what she said?"

You don't use "Have you heard what she said?" in this case, even though it is not wrong grammatically. The reason is that you have a reference to an event that finished and is not thought of as having a connection to the present moment. The implicit time reference is the time that she said what she said, as if you were asking "Did you hear what she said at the time that she said it?"


In the second case, you can't have have met ... last night, which has the time reference problem, so the present perfect is not possible grammatically.

The progressive was wearing is used because the wearing continued throughout the whole evening - during the entire party. It means What was she wearing during the time she was at the party? The focus is on this entire time period. What did she wear? is used to focus on the party as a single event, not focusing on the time period.

- I went to a party last night.

- Really? That's nice. What did you wear? What did you eat? What did you drink?

- I wore .... I ate .... I drank ....

You might say that the past progressive is descriptive and the simple past is narrative.

I would not change was wearing to wore in your example.

Thank you so much. I've got it clearly.