To use returned last week or Has returned last week.

The sentence is something like this:

Her father (returned/has returned) from Greece last week.

Now, I'm thinking both tense may work here.

Simple past tense:

He returned last week.

Well he returned and the act of 'returning' has happened 7 days earlier and we don't need to know anything after that. So, yes, He returned last week and maybe he will leave again today, or not.

Present perfect tense: We use this tense when the action took place in the past but the impact or effect of it is still visible in the present, right? So, he returned and is living here now—that is, he has not left again. So would "he has returned last week" work here?

  • 1
    No, the perfect is not needed here. I recommend reading this with special attention to "4. When and how should I use the perfect?" Commented Oct 30, 2016 at 21:42

2 Answers 2


No, present perfect won't work here.

Her father (returned/has returned) from Greece last week.

Simple past should be used.

You can't use has returned as a current state because the "act of returning" or the "the state that her father was returned" was completed in the past(last week).

Rules you have to remember about the perfect tense is

  • The perfect tense is used to introduce prior eventualities as context in current discussion and don't use it unless you need it.

I'd rather you took a few hours to read the epic canonical post by StoneyB here Link


When you talk about times in the past, such as yesterday, last week, two years ago, etc., you use the past simple, not the present perfect.

So the use of last week in the sentence "He has returned last week" is ungrammatical.

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