From Wikipedia:

The present perfect in English is used chiefly for completed past actions or events, when it is understood that it is the present result of the events that is focused upon, rather than the moment of completion.

I make an effort to explain it as following but not sure I am right.

The present perfect in English is used to express an action or event that happened in the past & completed at the present time, but we don't care the time that action / event is completed.

  • Exactly, the exact time of the experience isn't important.
    – Schwale
    Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 0:22
  • There is one non-obvious part that you removed from the original: chiefly. This is important because the present perfect is not used exclusively for the actions or events stated as such in that sentence. For example, in I've lived here for 10 years, the speaker doesn't mean that their living here is completed and will not continue into the future. Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 5:15
  • @Ale Or even better, the exact point in time of experience is incompatible with the present perfect. Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 5:16
  • The quote from Wikipedia evokes the idea that present perfect has only one use. But present perfect is used for several things.
    – rogermue
    Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 12:20

1 Answer 1


Your interpretation is valid. I would only add one thing: the completion of the event should have a bearing on the present ... uh ... situation. Otherwise, the simple past would suffice.

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