Which tense should I use for actions which terminate exactly at the present time and the final point of the action is the present moment ? Can present perfect be used for this type of situation?

Let's imagine a boy who left his house to go to his school sometime before the present time and I am a teacher standing at the door of his school now. Can I say "He has come to school" or "He came to school" at the first time he be at the borderline of the school when his coming exactly terminates at the present time and the action includes now(the present time)?

I think using past tense is not appropriate here because the action includes the present moment and using past form requires the action to locate in some past section at the timeline.

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    A British speaker would say "He has just come to school", or, better still, "He has just arrived at school". American usage may be different. – Kate Bunting Jan 7 '20 at 8:31
  • Wouldn't past tense be inconvenient here as the action contains the present time?Using past form requires the action to locate in some past section at the timeline. – Help Me911 Jan 7 '20 at 10:24
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    We need the context of the utterance. Where are you standing. Who are you speaking to. "He has come to school" is certainly grammatical and conveys the correct information, but that alone does not mean that's what you'd want to say. You might go with "He is here", or "he's arrived", or "I can see him now", or "there he is". The tense is not the issue. The "to school" is. Whoever you are talking to would be aware of the location by that point. Just like they are aware of who "he" is. Making it very strange that you'd go and state it once again. – RegDwigнt Jan 7 '20 at 11:59
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    If I'm standing on the porch waiting for my brother, talking to my mom on the phone, I would not tell her "he has come to Reg's house". It is perfectly grammatical and conveys perfectly correct information. But it would be an extremely unnatural thing for me to say. – RegDwigнt Jan 7 '20 at 12:03
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    He has just died. He has just [this minute] got here. I have just finished. I have just realised that.... It has just [this minute] struck me that.... He has come [to school] by bus. // In other situations, the past simple is idiomatic: He died five minutes ago. He got here just a minute ago. He came to school by bus today. // 'Padding' (ie natural-sounding immediate context) is often needed to make the grammatical sound natural. – Edwin Ashworth Feb 6 '20 at 11:43

In general speech, the former, "He has come to school", needs more information when being said. But that's not to mean that the former can be rendered ungrammatical as the verb come is an intransitive verb. Nonetheless, I'd rephrase it in two ways:

He has finally come to school!

The above can be said when the person is still entering the school compound, and is mostly said when the teacher/pedagogue is exasperated.

If you want to use the latter usage he came to school, then I'd associate a time with it. When you just say he came to school, that'd leave a lot of questions unanswered. For example, when did he come to school? This is because of the time lapsed between the person's current location and the time when the person's entered the school compound.

  • What did you mean with "as the come is an intransitive verb" ? – Help Me911 Jan 7 '20 at 10:12
  • @HelpMe911 It means come, in its verb form is intransitive. Read what en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intransitive_verb has to say. – Noaman Ali Jan 7 '20 at 10:27
  • I know what intransitive means but, I don't understand why you specified it ? – Help Me911 Jan 7 '20 at 10:37
  • @HelpMe911 By mentioning that, I was alluding to the fact that "He has come to school" is not ungrammatical, and can be used. If "come" were transitive, then the sentence should have been extrapolated to retain its grammatical correctness. – Noaman Ali Jan 7 '20 at 10:50

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