The sentence "She has gone to America and she'll be back next week" is good because "has gone" suggests that she is away in America now, and because of that, you cannot say "She has gone to America but she's back home now".

And the sentence "She went to America but now she is back at home." sounds good, right? ; my question is whether I can say "She went to America, and she'll be back next week."

To sum, if you use the present perfect there is only one way of continuing, but if you use the simple past, in principle, there are two possible continuations, so in the above situation, if "... she will be back next week," simple past and present perfect can be used interchangeably, although present perfect may be a preferred choice. Am I right in thinking this way? 

Original Post
shmom posted:

And the sentence "She went to America but now she is back at home." sounds good, right? ; my question is whether I can say "She went to America, and she'll be back next week."

Yes, schmom, you can say that. The first independent clause is about the past, and the second is about the future. There is nothing wrong with that.

shmom posted:
. . . so in the above situation, if "... she will be back next week," simple past and present perfect can be used interchangeably, although present perfect may be a preferred choice.

Both sentences are fine, but the one with "went to America" would be better if you added a past-time adverbial, to anchor the past tense. The present perfect doesn't such an anchor; indeed, it shouldn't have one. That's the only reason the sentence with the present perfect is to be preferred to the sentence with the simple past. If you added a past-time adverbial to the "went" clause, that sentence would be just as good as the present-perfect version:

  • She went to America two weeks ago, and she'll be back next week.

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