Grammatically, present perfect + point of time = simple past.

She has returned two days ago.
(omit "has" to make it correct.)


She has owned this parlour since 2002
(it is correct)

As per the above rule, should not we be omitting "has" in the second sentence to make it correct?


The present perfect is a present tense, and the simple past is a past tense, and this is what governs what temporal expressions can be used with each.

  • The present perfect can only be used with expressions which include the present. That's why you can't say "She has returned two days ago", because two days ago is over-and-done-with, it doesn't include the present moment. However, you can say "She has owned this parlour since 2002", because since 2002 designates a timespan which stretches up to the present moment.

  • The past can only be used with expressions which include the past but not the present; that's why you can't say "I saw him now", because now designates a timespan which includes the present. But you can say "I saw him just now*, because just now is taken to designate a moment in the very recent past.

  • Having the following: I can't go out because I broke my leg. What happens there when there's no time expression, is it still incorrect? I know the perfect tense is used in my example. – Alejandro Dec 20 '15 at 21:51
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    @Subjunctive That's fine with either past or perfect in AmE. Some BrE speakers may be a little uncomfortable with the past. – StoneyB on hiatus Dec 20 '15 at 21:54
  • As per your example, I believe this sentence is also wrong: This house belongs to me since my birth. (Since my birth is a time span therefore has belonged). Please suggest. Thank you. – Seema Bhukar Dec 25 '15 at 14:08
  • @SeemaBhukar Quite right. Simple present verbs are rare with temporal since clauses, because the "present" which the simple present designates itself usually includes any relevant past moment. – StoneyB on hiatus Dec 25 '15 at 14:14

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