I have seen this sentence in an English book.

My brother is an actor. He has appeared in several films.

I can't find out that why we use present perfect here. Can someone explain it, please?

I thought we should have written this sentence like this:

He appeared in several films.

4 Answers 4


Present Perfect is about (a number of) completed actions within a period in the past, up to the moment of speaking. It emphasized the fact of completion. In other words, 'his brother has the experience of appearing in several films (by now)'. Past Simple (which is also possible here) is more typical for mentioning events which can be tied to some points in the past, especially if corresponding dates are specified (Present Perfect doesn't allow for that).


Present perfect simple is used to talk about past events when the time is not specified. He has appeared in several movies. He has acted in movies in the past but we don't know for sure when that happened. The time is not specified.

She has been to the theatre before. - we don't know when

He has worked there for a long time.

Past tense simple is used to talk about past events when the time has been specified. He appeared in several movies last year. It is still a past action but you know when it happened, the time is specified here.

She went to the theatre yesterday.

He worked there last year. He worked there in 1987.


As the British Council web site explains, The present perfect tense has a number of uses:

  • We use it to talk about experience.
  • We also use the present perfect to talk about things that are unfinished – unfinished states and unfinished time periods.
  • A third use of the present perfect is to show the present result of a past action.

Your case is used with use 2. It means the actor who was mentioned in your sentence has appeared in several films since he started his career and he will appear in more films in the future. His career haven't ended yet and will continue in the time after the book mentioned.


An addition to the other comments: the present perfect can also be used to express achievement. He has appeared in several films, he has won several prizes, etc.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .