Community Web Version Now Available
Elijah
I’m confused about how Americans use Present Perfect
So, I’m insanely confused about how Americans use Present Perfect. I was told that Americans don’t commonly use Present Perfect when the action is finished, even if there is a connection to the present. Also, I was told that Americans don’t use this tense with: just, already, yet, so far, still, and recently. Okay, I understood that, but yesterday I saw an episode in American TV Show on Netflix, where a guy says, “You’ve hurt everyone I ever loved”. According to the article on using Present Perfect in American English that I read, it should’ve been said, “You hurt everyone I’ve ever loved”. American Native Speakers, please, explain the cases when you’d use Present Perfect instead of Past Simple and Past Simple instead of Present Perfect.
May 27, 2020 7:28 AM
2
3
Comments · 2
Hello, that is a good question. First of all, the example you’ve used, “You’ve hurt everyone I ever loved” is a great one. In general, the past perfect is used to describe an action that was completed, and is over. The present perfect is used to imply that an action that may happen again. As in your example, one character may be suggesting that the other character has destructive habits, and may continue being harmful.

Additionally, this tense is used with all of the words you’ve listed.
Examples:
Sam has just eaten the last piece of bread.
We have already seen that show.
I have not yet decided upon a topic for my paper.
So far, she has driven the car 85 miles.
He has still kept the letters that his son wrote to him.
Recently, I have learned that sleeping well is important for good health.

My advice is to be patient when learning how to use the present perfect in English. Don’t worry if you make mistakes when writing or speaking. Continue reading, and watching shows. Slowly, you will get a better sense of when to use this tense.
May 27, 2020
That’s not true, they do use present perfect
May 27, 2020
Elijah
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, German, Italian, Russian, Ukrainian
Learning Language
Chinese (Mandarin), English