Can I use the present perfect tense with this week, this month, this year, or today?

For example,

I've spoken to her today.

She's been in Paris this year.


1 Answer 1


You can use the present perfect with current periods of time such as today and this week, providing there may be more opportunities to do the same action.


(Game is in progress): I've caught five passes today (so far or up to now). (You may have more chances to catch a pass.)

(Game is over): I caught five passes today. (There is no chance you can catch any more passes, since the game has ended.

  • 1
    Thank you for your answer. Does it mean that English Tenses usage depends strictly on the moment or period of time? I'm not sure I understand all situations where P.Perfect can be used.
    – Marita
    Dec 10, 2015 at 20:00
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    @Marita: I'm afraid the answer to your question is "No". In some circumstances, only the past can be used, or only the perfect can be used. But often, either may be used to refer to exactly the same circumstance, the difference being in how the speaker is choosing to relate events temporally. If I say I've seen him today, I am expressing (as well as the fact that I did see him) that this is somehow relevant to the present time; but the nature of that relevance is unspecified. Perhaps I had an instruction to see him by the end of today, for example.
    – Colin Fine
    Dec 10, 2015 at 20:28
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    In casual speech, both forms are used. When asking about experiences, you would use present perfect: "Have you ever gone skydiving?" "Have you ever been in love?" But the simple past can be used when asking about whether you've done something that was planned: "Did you ever speak to your husband about coming to our dinner party?" Strangely, you could also use present perfect here, but usually, without "ever": "Have you spoken to your husband about coming to our dinner party?" May I ask, what is your first language?
    – Steven Littman
    Dec 11, 2015 at 13:23
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    It would be significant to me if I were familiar with your language and I could make comparisons. Unfortunately, I am not familiar with either Armenian or Russian, so it doesn't help me help you. About your comment about grammar books, these books are always oversimplified. They'd have to be, or they'd all be 2000 pages long.
    – Steven Littman
    Dec 11, 2015 at 19:28

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