ACGOE - PRESENT PERFECT

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Question English
Answer English

The Present Perfect means
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"past-time-related-to-present-time"

He was in prison for ten years. (= Now he's out)
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He has been in prison for ten years. (=He's still there)

That house has been empty for ages.
(A) STATE LEADING UP TO THE PRESENT
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and it's still empty.

Have you (ever) been to Florence?
(B) INDEFINITE EVENT(S) IN A PERIOD LEADING UP TO THE PRESENT TIME
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Have you ever been to Florence?

All my family have had measles.
(B) INDEFINITE EVENT(S) IN A PERIOD LEADING UP TO THE PRESENT TIME
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(in the last year)

He has attended lectures regularly.
(C) HABIT IN A PERIOD LEADING UP TO THE PRESENT TIME
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(this term)

The taxi has arrived.
(C) HABIT IN A PERIOD LEADING UP TO THE PRESENT TIME
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(ie "it's now here")

Her doll has been broken.
(C) HABIT IN A PERIOD LEADING UP TO THE PRESENT TIME
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(ie "it's still not mended")

Her doll was broken,
PAST SIMPLE
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but now it's mended.

There is a special problem of past-time reference in English:
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The question of how to choose between the use of the past tense and the use the perfect aspect.

The Past Tense is used when the past happening is related to a definite time in the past, which we may call "THEN".
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In contrast, the PERFECT ASPECT is used for a past happening which is seen in relation to a later event or time.

Have you eaten (yet)? I've studied your report (already).
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The present perfect often refers to the recent indefinite past.

Some adverbials go with the past
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and others with the present perfect

THE PAST (point or period of time [which finished] in the past)
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I saw him yesterday (evening), last night, last Monday, a week ago, a month ago, in the morning, on Wednesday, in June, in 1974, at four o'clock, the other day.

THE PRESENT PERFECT (period leading up to present, or recent past time)
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I haven't seen him since Tuesday, last week, since I met you, so far, up to now, lately.

EITHER THE PAST
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I saw him today, this week, month, year, recently. He always/never forgot my wife's birthday.

OR THE PRESENT PERFECT
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I have seen him today, this week, month, year, recently. He's always/never forgotten my wife's birthday.


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