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Let's take a sentence.

He has been in Delhi for three years.

What is the meaning of this sentence? He moved to Delhi 3 years ago and still he is there right? Now what if I consider this sentence to be a present perfect tense? We know that the structure of present perfect tense is subject+has/have+past participle. Now past participle form of the verb 'be' is 'been' . So can this sentence be a present perfect tense? If this is present perfect then the meaning is different. The meaning will be he has an experience of being in Delhi for three years (maybe from 2012-2015). I'm totally confused. Please let me know.

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As you correctly deduced, this sentence is indeed present perfect. And as you also correctly stated, it would mean he moved to Delhi 3 years ago and is still there. That is because you used "in", which implies that he is still there now. "He has been to Delhi for three years" would mean at some point, he was in Delhi for three years. However, this is not very idiomatic. If you want that meaning, the typical way of saying it would be "He was in Delhi for 3 years [at a specific time]".

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    I don't think anyone would say "He has been to somewhere for three years". Commented Aug 9, 2022 at 15:11
  • And what about the deduction ' he has an experience of being in Delhi for three years maybe from 2012-2015 and he is now somewhere else ' ? Commented Aug 9, 2022 at 15:12
  • @MichaelHarvey true, you're more likely to say "I was in somewhere for three years" and possibly specify when that happened.
    – Esther
    Commented Aug 9, 2022 at 15:17
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This sentence is present perfect. The structure defines that.

While it's true that some present perfect sentences refer to an experience in the past, not all present perfect sentences have that function. Present perfect has several other functions, including "event that started in the past and continues until now", which is the function it has in this sentence.

More functions of present perfect include:

  • something that happened in the past and may happen again: "He has written several books."
  • something that happened in the past and has a result in the present: "I haven't eaten yet today."

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