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I've just started learning Japanese, and I'm very confused by how 困る is used. For example, we had a sample dialogue that went (in response to some bad news):

A:「全然良くないですねえ。」

B:「ええ、困りましたねえ。」

I'm confused because since the news has just been delivered to B, why wouldn't the imperfective 困ります be used instead? My reasoning is that B "has a problem" now, but there was no problem earlier. Even if there was a hidden problem earlier, it's still there now (i.e. not over/completed yet).

I asked the instructor, who said something about the problem itself occurred in the past, so either one could work; I'm not quite convinced because I thought ~ました referred to completed occurrences only.

Is there a clearer explanation for why they used the perfective aspect? Or is my understanding of 困る incorrect?

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You are correct. ました is for completed occurrences. Something bad happened and therefore you are troubled.

If something bad is happening, you will use ます.

Examples

車が壊れた->困りましたね。
自分で料理できない->困ります。

To some extent, both can be used for most cases depending on how you formulate it. It's just like in English when you want to say "I am troubled by this news", "This news is troubling", "This event will cause me troubles".

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