English Grammar


Hi, once again me,

Have a look on the following two sentences:

I went to Japan last year.
I have been to Japan in the last year.

In the 1st sentence I understand why I have to use the Past Tense. But in the 2nd phrase, why do I have to use the Present Perfect Tense?

Thanks for your thoughts and opionios.

Jorgito of Madrid


  • Hello Jorgito,

    Last year you went to Japan. You did it at a precise moment: last year. That event is completely over.

    You have been to Japan in the last year. That happened sometime in the course the last year. By telling that your are interested in pointed out that TODAY you are fit with the 'feature' of having been to Japan. An event that left you with a present quality.

    That's my opinion.
  • Hi again,

    AhQ is spot on again. Another way of explaining the use of the present perfect tense is: if you are saying that the action or events forms part of your personal experience, then you use the present perfect.

  • AFAIK this is the first time I've read such a clear explanation on why and when to use the present perfect.
    My thanks to Jorgito and AhQ!

    Note that Gymglysh does not yet present it so clearfully; I think I met it in Delavigne's lesson 2 or 3 Grammar part.
  • thank you Jorgito for this precision

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