Are phrases like "after that", "after the last update" or "after that week" considered specific points in time, and therefore the present perfect can't be used? Are these sentences correct?

  1. After the last update, the game has stopped working, randomly crashing every now and then.

  2. After that week in the mountains, he has never been the same.

1 Answer 1


The present perfect is a present tense, describing a present state, and you should think of the "rule" with the present perfect as a requirement that the timepoint or timeframe involved must include the present.

After T is generally used to locate an event (with a stative verb like be it locates the beginning of a state) at a timepoint rather than in a timeframe, so it is usually awkward with a present reference—we rarely use the present to narrate events. It works more comfortably with past or future reference:

After the last update the game stopped working.
After he has been to the mountains he will never be the same.

So I would avoid after with a present perfect. A better way of expressing what you're after is with since, which does imply the entire timeframe:

Since the last update the game has stopped working.
Since that week in the mountains he has never been the same.

  • 1
    Since crossed my mind and it indeed sounds much better. On the other hand, I think using after with a present perfect (in the main clause) like this might be possible, The game after that incident has never been the same. Mar 31, 2015 at 21:14
  • 2
    It's just as I thought. Still, I've encountered today just another sentence that employed "after" followed by the present perfect tense. "After examining these photos, I've come to the conclusion (...)". To my mind it sounds much better this way, than it would if the simple past was used. Am I not right?
    – Bebop B.
    Apr 1, 2015 at 16:01
  • 1
    @BebopB. Yes, that's more acceptable. Note that the PrPf names a past event (coming to a conclusion) which gave rise to the current state (my conviction that ...). Apr 1, 2015 at 16:17

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