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In the following context, Should I use 'present perfect' or 'simple past' with before?

1- I worked for this company before but now I work for another company.

2- I have worked for this company before but now I work for another company.

3- I told you before that we should not trust John.

4- I have told you before that we should not trust John.
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cat desk In the following context, Should I use 'present perfect' or 'simple past' with before?
1- I worked for this company before but now I work for another company.
2- I have worked for this company before but now I work for another company.
3- I told you before that we should not trust John.
4- I have told you before that we should not trust John.

You'll find both of those tenses with 'before'. It depends on the kind of situation you're talking about. As you read the following explanations, recall that you can't mention a specific time in a sentence in the present perfect.

I would use 2 in preference to 1 because it's a report of something I have experienced over a period of time. 'working for a company' is often measured in years. Thus, 'before' refers to a previous period of time, not a specific moment in time.

I would use 3 in preference to 4 because it's a report of an event which happened at a particular point in time. 'telling something to someone' is usually a matter of seconds. Thus, 'before' refers to a specific moment in time, not an extended period of time.

That said, you can use all four.

CJ