It feels like last year hasn't existed.

I found myself writing this sentence, but then it suddenly felt weird. (I live in Britain but used to live in AmE speaking country)


The present perfect tense refers to an action or state that either occurred at an indefinite time in the past (e.g., we have talked before) or began in the past and continued to the present time (e.g., he has grown impatient over the last hour).

How would I interpret above with 'exist'?

EDIT (clarification): If I say "It feels like last year hasn't existed, then 'last year' is not something that occurred in the past nor began in the past and continued to the present time. Isn't the use of present perfect denied by using negative of exist?

  • I'm not sure what you mean by "interpret above with 'exist'". Can you please edit your question to clarify? – Lawrence Jun 8 at 15:16
  • @Lawrence I have edited. Thank you. – Seung Jun 8 at 15:26
  • 1
    Thanks for editing. So what you're saying is that because the sentence said it "hasn't existed", you can't use the present perfect. That's not the case. I don't think the present perfect best expresses the intent (simple past would be fine), but the tense isn't constrained by the logic of the statement. Otherwise, you wouldn't be able to say "is not something that occurred in the past" - the logic of the sentence says it didn't occur in the past, so by your reasoning you can't use the past tense for occurred. – Lawrence Jun 8 at 15:33
  • Thank makes sense. Thank you – Seung Jun 8 at 15:53
  • Personally, I would rewrite it as "It feels like last year never happened." – Cascabel Jun 8 at 15:58

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