Why in the examples down below were used verbs in present perfect, although it's stories about finished events. I mark these verbs with Caps letters.

  1. "When I first discovered that I was asexual, I tried to come out to a few people, and while some were very open to it, I've had some very negative reactions. A group of team mates from my university sports team decided to arrange a night out for me... "

  2. "I have been met with scorn, disbelief and disgusted looks when I have shared my asexuality with other people. People have told me that 'it's not a real thing' and that 'I'm making it up for attention.' I have only now begun to think of myself as a whole human being, with no 'missing pieces'."

  3. "I have never discussed this with my wonderful mum, she is not blind to the fact that I live happily alone, child-free and have no interest in dating. She has even been on the brink of tears, concerned that - and I quote - 'It might be something I did that made you... not normal.'"

2 Answers 2


In the highlighted sentences the writer is speaking about the present. For example:

I'VE HAD some very negative reactions.
I HAVE BEEN met with scorn,...
People HAVE TOLD me

When the reactions occurred is not relevant. It is the effect on the present that is important. The writer is writing about the effect of past actions on the present, and this is a use of the present perfect.

  • James, you think so? And why " She HAS even BEEN on the brink of tears"? It's account about past..
    – Koss M
    Oct 4, 2017 at 19:08
  • Yes, we are talking about her mum now. How she is now depends on what has happened in the past. There were certain past events that has changed the state. But the topic is her mum, not the events.
    – James K
    Oct 4, 2017 at 19:33

The present perfect has several uses. One is to talk about actions and conditions that have continued, at least up to the present moment.

He has eaten breakfast at 4 a.m. every day this week.

Another -- and the one used in your examples -- is to talk about life experiences:

Yes, I have traveled to Japan many times.

Jim says that he has talked with the Dalai Lama.

They have eaten at that restaurant, but they didn't like it.

Since talking about life experiences is kind of the point of a memoir, that might be why those are often written in the present perfect.

In my life I have experienced many wonderful things. Let me tell you about some of them ...

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