Wait a mo'. Hold that thought :D What if, that is, time were expressed differently in English? Imagine for a moment that time is a line (I know it isn't but it's a simple, albeit traditional, way of describing Tense). Along this time line, there are three divisions, Past | Present | Future. Within these divisions there are points along the line representing things like "today", "now", "last week", "yesterday", "a minute ago" and so on. Those are points in time. These points can also be connected, giving a span of time (e.g. for a week, since Monday). The divisions themselves can also connect up. Past can be connected to Present (Present Perfect) and spans within divisions can be connected (e.g. Past can be connected to Past (Past Perfect).Also, the Present is Now, one and only specific point in time. The Past is a certain point of time (may be other points: yesterday, last night, when the cat was sitting on the roof, etc) in the past. :wink:
The way I see Time is like the structure of a three tiered chess game. One tier represents Past, another, Present, and yet another Future. The squares on the respective boards represent specific points in time (e.g. now, yesterday), which can be connected to form a span of time (e.g. since yesterday, up until now), and divisions can be connected across divisions to form events connected in time, such as the Present Perfect and the Past Perfect.
Apologize in advance for typos and unconventional ideas.