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We certify that we have granted her two-years unpaid vacation.
We certify that we granted her two-years unpaid vacation.

What is the significant difference between these two sentences? I know that the first one is in the Past Perfect and the latter is in the Simple Past, but aren't both describe an finished action here?
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Hi,

We certify that we have granted her two-years unpaid vacation.
We certify that we granted her two-years unpaid vacation.

What is the significant difference between these two sentences? I know that the first one is in the Past Perfect and the latter is in the Simple Past, but aren't both describe an finished action here?

Here's another way to look at this.

We certify that we have granted her two-years unpaid vacation. The Present Perfect suggests this fact has some importance to the present situation. That's why it's called the Present Perfect.

eg If my wife says to me 'I have cooked dinner', she means 'It's on the table, come and eat'.

The fact that 'we are certifying something' at the present time suggests to me that it is important to the present situation, so Present Perfect seems to me like the best choce of tense here.

We certify that we granted her two-years unpaid vacation. Sounds moe like it just states a fact about something we dod in the past. Maybe we did this last week. Maybe we did it 10 years ago.

Clive
Comments  
The first one is the present perfect, which is a past tense. You should use an apostrophe in two years' unpaid vacation.

The main difference is the perception of how time has passed. The difference is not terribly big or important really.

The present perfect lets us consider the past time up until the present time, so we think a little about the length of time involved. The simple present tense says about the same thing. but the time perception is just a little different here. Sometimes that time difference is more significant.
 Clive's reply was promoted to an answer.