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I have learned Present-perfect in school. But I felt that foreigner used in different way of Present-perfect. What is the right tense of this sentence?

Please choose the right picture that shows the exact meaning of the sentence i.e. I have finished my homework. Is it No.1 or No.2?

I heard that the Present-perfect tells the nearest past. The blue part of the picture shows the tense of the sentence. I think No.2 is the right picture that shows the right meaning of the sentence (I have finished my homework.) The sentence below include the nearest past of Present perfect tense. Am I right?


Neither is right or wrong. That is not the distinction which the present perfect captures.

I have finished my homework.

is stating that the event in the past has some present relevance. Sometimes the present relevance is that it is very recent (your picture 2); but other times it will have a different significance.

For example,

Do you want to go out?

No, I've got my homework to do.

That's a pity: I've finished my homework, and I want to do something.

doesn't necessarily mean that I have just now finished my homework: I might have, but it might be that I finished it this morning. The present relevance is that now I am in a state of having-finished-my-homework, whereas you are not in that state.

In fact the significance of aspect (in English, perfect vs. past, or continuous vs. not continuous) is often not in the events described, but in the way you are, at that moment, choosing to talk about the events.

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  • I've been looking at the OP's timeline graph and it's not that bad really. But I'd say that neither one of them is right or wrong. Funnily enough, if you compare the OP's graph with the proposed duplicate question, the first is very similar to Robusto's graphical representation. english.stackexchange.com/a/21847/44619 – Mari-Lou A Sep 22 '15 at 12:33

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