I know that present perfect is used for talking about recent events "actions" that has a result in the present. So my question is what's meant by "recent events" is it actions the happened few hours ago? Or it's maybe happened few days ago ? I think if it happened few days ago that's would be a finished time interval so it's better to use past simple but on the other hand it still has a relevnace. So i'm a little confused about this part if anyone could please explain it.

  • Your confusion is this: If is not about recent events. It is about: Do you care to locate the actual time: simple past [last week, yesterday, even if you don't specify. I broke my leg [last week, etc. ] Compared to: it is still true and it happened in the past. I have broken my leg [it continues to be broken when you speak]. – Lambie Aug 11 '17 at 23:43
  • I just wnated to know what will my friend infer when I say "I've broken my arm, so I can't play football" and what's the difference between it and when I use past simple – Abc Aug 12 '17 at 10:05

The present perfect is not restricted to “recent” events:

The Smithsonian Global Volcanism Program defines a volcano as active only if it has erupted in the last 10,000 years. —phys.org; my emphasis

The event designated by the lexical verb in the present perfect can lie at any distance in the past, as long as it is in some sense the source of a present state—the state designated by the construction as a whole.

There is a great deal more about this at our ‘canonical post’ on the perfect construction, What is the perfect, and how should I use it?, especially §§ 3.1 Grammatical meaning and 3.2 Pragmatic meaning.

  • Okay but for example, if I broke my hand few days ago and my friend is asking me today to play football. So If I said I've broken my leg, so I can't play with you. What dose it mean ? And what's the difference between it and when I use past simple ? – Abc Aug 11 '17 at 22:32
  • @ab-m When you say "I've broken my leg" your friend infers that as a result your leg is now broken, which is why you can't play. The perfect is not required here (the perfect is rarely required), you could also say "I broke my leg" and he could make the same inference; but using the perfect is a little more explicit. – – StoneyB Aug 11 '17 at 22:57
  • So when I say "I've broken..." my friend only infers that the action happend recently "the last few days" for example, but it doesn't matter when exactly it happened. Correct? – Abc Aug 12 '17 at 9:53
  • @Ab_m Exactly. The perfect construction itself does not imply a timeframe more precise than past vs present. – StoneyB Aug 12 '17 at 9:56

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