Why does this sentence use present perfect? Can we use the past tense?

under the red line

Francesca De Santis is evidently having an affair with Caruso's golf coach, Roberto Vargas. A notorious ladies' man, Vargas has turned De Santis' bedroom into a candlelit love nest and plans to call on her after his golf lesson with Caruso. Well, she should know better than to mix business with pleasure.

By Candlelight scenario from Hitman 2016Neoseeker | Hitman 2016 Wiki

2 Answers 2


The present perfect is used here because

  1. The entire passage is cast in the **present tense

    Francesca ... is having an affair
    Vargas ... plans to call

    This is the convention for re-telling the plot of a novel, play or film: we talk about the action as if it were happening in the present, which is how the reader or viewer encounters it.

  2. Consequently, what the author is talking about is the present action of the film, not the past. What we are interested in is not what happened in the past but what is happening 'now'.

  3. Specifically, we are not interested in what Vargas did to the bedroom in the past but the present state of the bedroom which resulted from what Vargas did: it is now the 'candlelit love nest' we see on screen.

  4. That is the core purpose of the perfect construction: not to tell what happened in the past but tell the current result: what things are like at the time we are talking about.

    • The present perfect is a present tense: the time it is talking about is now, and the present perfect mentions events before the present which brought about what is experienced in the present.

    • The past perfect is a past tense: the time it is talking about is some time in the past, and the past perfect mentions events before that past time which brought about what is experienced at that past time.

  • I am confused. I dont uderstand : not to narrate a prior eventuality but to describes a state at Reference Time as the result or continuation of the prior eventuality.
    – nail
    Jun 28, 2017 at 17:31
  • I am not good at English. Can you tell me with easier word?
    – nail
    Jun 28, 2017 at 17:32
  • @nail Does that help? Jun 28, 2017 at 17:53
  • It helps me a lot.I am really appreciate,but Can I change it to "Vargus turn De Santis' bedroom into a candlelit love nest
    – nail
    Jun 28, 2017 at 19:37
  • i wll give my example herbedroom was green.now it yellow.She has painted her bathroom. her bed room was green. now it yellow .this sentence make me know it s a simple perfect tensee but in passage it have nothing
    – nail
    Jun 28, 2017 at 19:52

You use present perfect tense to describe a recent event and with a non-specific time. A specific time would be “two days ago” or “yesterday” or "last Monday" and in these cases we would use the simple past. However, a lot of spoken American English still uses simple past with non-specific time.

  • 2
    I think not. 1) Recency is irrelevant to the use of Pr.Pf: "The Earth has undergone many changes in its 4-billion-year history." 2) The Pr.Pf does not 'describe' a prior event but a present state arising out of that event. 3) It is not 'specific' times which the Pr.Pf excludes but temporal expressions which do not include the present. See What is the perfect, and how should I use it?, especially §§ 3.1 Grammatical meaning. Jun 28, 2017 at 13:24

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