Student or Learner
Understanding present perfect tense is not easy for me,
so I'd appreciate some help.
I have three questions.
1. If someone says "I have lived in China," does it imply that the person
still lives in China?
If the sentence had "~for two years" or "~since 1990," it would be clear.
But without any time phrase, I get confused.
2. What's the difference in meaning between
"I have finished the work" and "I finished the work"?
3. Is it correct that present perfect tense is always related to the present?
Last edited by forinfo; 09-Nov-2011 at 04:15.
You have a very valid concern in sentence 1.
"I have lived in China." Does not imply anything beyond the fact that a person lived in China at one point. Context tends to provide the answer. If we were talking in a country other than China, it would be safe to assume that I don't currently live in China. But it's also possible to say "I have lived in China for the past ten years," which could imply that I still live in China.
When present perfect expresses a change that continues, it does so a bit more explicitly:
I have learned how to ride a bike. (One is not likely to forget how to ride a bike, thus the action continues.)
For sentence 2, consider "I have finished working" to be "I have [just] finished working." By using have in this way, it expresses more immediacy than "I have finished working."
I'm grateful for all the replies I've received. They encourage me to study more about
the English grammatical concepts that are difficult for me to grasp. Thank you.
Bear in mind that there are some differences in usage between AmE and BrE. For example, BrE tends to favour the present perfect for a very recent past event that may be considered relevant to the present; AmE favours the past simple - Have you seen/ Did you see Peter yet? Despite what you may read in some books, this difference is not really important; we understand each other with no problems.