Yes, esp in AmE:

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Guardian of the sea: Jizo in Hawai'iā€Ž - Page 102
by John R. K. Clark - History - 2007 - 192 pages

He didn't go fishing recently, but today he said as he left, 'Today ā€” no matter
what happens ā€” I have to go out because we're going to set up those warning ...
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though I wouldn't.
quote:
We didn't fight recently .
We haven't fought recently.

Personally, the second sentence sounds more natural to me than the first one does -- and I am very definitely a speaker of American English.

In a negative simple past tense construction, something like this seems more natural to me:
- I didn't know until recently that he'd been fired.

However, I'd like to mention that I cannot recall ever having seen any reputable grammar book that prohibited the use of "recently" with the simple past tense. As far as I'm concerned, that idea is simply a misunderstanding or misinterpretation of the fact that the word "recently" is used very often with the present perfect. "Very often" should not be interpreted as meaning "exclusively". Thus, the following sentence is perfectly grammatical in both BE and in AmE:

- The new Marquess of Bath, who recently inherited the vast Longleat estate, was on holiday with his family in France.

(That sentence was in fact taken from a British publication.)

Generally speaking, you can use the past simple together with the word "recently" to refer to a specific past event that took place at a "recent time" (i.e. "not long ago").
quote:
However, I'd like to mention that I cannot recall ever having seen any reputable grammar book that prohibited the use of "recently" with the simple past tense.

I agree with you, Amy. "Recently" is not exclusively used with the present perfect tense. However, as you yourself also found the second sentence more natural, in our origianl sentences, "recently" is preferred to be used with the present perfect.
Hi Mehrdad

I still think that sort of statement is rather misleading because it's much too general, and saying "preferred" tends to be interpreted as "must" by learners.

To be more specific, here is the way I look at my preference for the present perfect in the first post:

"We haven't fought recently."
That sentence does not refer to a specific past activity. Instead, it basically refers to a recent period of inactivity, so there is no specific past act being referred to. The sentence refers to recent time up to now, and it is also possible that that period of "inactivity" (i.e. no fights) will continue into the future.

I think affirmative sentences are more likely to be cases in which either the present perfect or the past simple can be used in a sentence that uses the word "recently". You can say "I saw him recently" or "I saw him not too long ago" or "I saw him just the other day." All three of those sentences mean basically the same thing. The speaker has a specific past activity in mind, and simply does not state the date precisely.

The broader context often plays a role in the choice between the past simple and present perfect, as does the way the speaker happens to be viewing the situation.
Hi, Amy!

quote:
I still think that sort of statement is rather misleading because it's much too general


I agree with you. If you just take a look at my previous comment in this thread, I used the word "sometimes" to avoid sounding general or absolute:

quote:
The main and underlying point is that in AmE, past tense is sometimes used instead of present perfect tense.


All in all, I really don't find any of your comments opposing to mine. I hope you didn't find any of mine opposing to yours too!Wink If you, however, did, then I would say that has most probably been a misunderstanding...

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