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  • Has he worked hard today?

  • Did he work hard today?

Do the above mean the exact same thing? Can I use the present perfect with a time word like "today"?

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today lacks precise meaning.

Before bedtime, say, a person could ask their spouse "How was work today?" and be referring to their job outside the house, during the daylight hours, that is, to an earlier part of the day which is part of today.

A boss could come around to your desk and ask you "Is it hectic today?" and be referring to the unfolding day, which might continue to be hectic or slow.

A boss could come around to your desk and ask "Has it been hectic today?" and be referring to the day so far.

The present perfect imparts the idea "up to and including now".

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