I'm so confused about the different time when we use 'who cleans', 'who cleaned' and 'who has cleaned'.

So when we ask to someone for ex 'who cleans the room?' 'Who cleaned the room?' or 'who has cleaned the room?'

2 Answers 2


Who cleans the room?

meaning: who is in charge of [regularly] cleaning the room, of keeping the room clean? Or, perhaps, who is going to clean it? Whose task is it to clean the room (among several different tasks a group is about to undertake)?

Who cleaned the room?

meaning: the room was messy, then (some time ago) somebody went in and put it in order, who was that person? Or, perhaps, of several people/kids that were busy doing different things some time ago, which ones were doing the cleaning?

Who has cleaned the room?

meaning: I see that now room is clean. I want to know whom to thank for that. Or, perhaps, somebody regularly cleaned the room in the past, who is that person that repeatedly did that?

  • 1
    I guess in AmE "who cleaned the room" might be equal in meaning with "who has cleaned the room". Nov 10, 2015 at 17:18
  • Yes, pretty much. Nov 10, 2015 at 17:19
  • I think many Americans would ask "Who's been cleaning the room?" if they wanted to know whose responsibility it has been for some period of time. "Who's been cleaning the room while the maid has been on disability?"
    – TimR
    Nov 10, 2015 at 19:11
  • "Who's been cleaning the room?" sounds also to me like an implication of incompleteness of the cleaning, as if "who has been doing it and left it unfinished?" Nov 10, 2015 at 19:14

Who cleans the room?

refers to someone whose job is to clean the room. (present)

Who cleaned the room?

The room was unclean, and someone went in and cleaned it. (past)

Who has cleaned the room?

A person checked the room again after seeing it being dirty earlier, and then checked again, now seeing that it was suddenly cleaned by somebody. (present perfect)


is a nice resource to help you learn the tenses in English.

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