This tutorial gives this example

the dog has lain at his master's foot

I understand the present continuous tense (my version)

the dog is lying at his master's feet

is to decribe the current state/position of the dog.

I am also aware what the present perfect tense is.

What I cannot understand is the present perfect tense version to describe what of the dog? In other words, What does the expression (present perfect) emphasize?

1 Answer 1


In order to decide which verb tense to use, you often need some context: what have you seen, where, when, and what do you know about this situation? If you see a dog lying at its master's feet, you can easily say "The dog is lying at its master's feet (now)". But if you see it every day, you can also say "The dog lies at its master's feet (every day)". Or, if you saw it lie down half an hour ago, you can also say "The dog lay at its master's feet (half an hour ago)". Or maybe you remember seeing it yesterday: "The dog lay at its master's feet (yesterday). (I don't know what it's doing now)."

Or maybe, importantly for your question, you have just seen the dog lie down, so you could say "The dog has (just) lain (down) at its master's feet". By itself, it's an awkward sentence. Even in context, it's still awkward. Youtube presenters don't always choose the best example sentences.

  • Thanks for your excellent explanantion! Would you please move the "feet or foot" part to this post?
    – peterpanai
    Commented Feb 3, 2020 at 8:53
  • I saw this question before I saw your other one!
    – Sydney
    Commented Feb 5, 2020 at 7:07

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