As we saw in Present Perfect or Past Simple (Part 1), we often use the Present Perfect for recent events or recent periods:
I've just seen David / They've bought a new house / Monica has had a baby / He's lost his wallet / I haven't seen John this week / Have you bought today's paper?
The headlines on the TV news frequently use this tense: The President has resigned / Thieves have stolen the Mona Lisa - but then, of course, all the details of the story follow in the Past Simple: In a daring raid, thieves broke into the Louvre last night...
We can also use the Present Perfect even when talking about things that happened a long time ago, if we DON'T state the time or give details or tell a story: we can talk about books we have read, films we have seen, hobbies we have tried, jobs we have done, types of food we have eaten, museums we have visited, people we have met, places we have been to, in our lives up to NOW. These things are all part of our lives' experience - part of what we are.
Compare these sentences:
We also say: This is the most exciting film I've ever seen / the worst meal I've ever eaten / the most stupid thing he's ever done / the longest essay she's ever written / the best holiday we've ever had ( = up to now)
NOTE: Sylvia has gone to Paris means that she is in Paris now (or travelling to or from Paris). In other words, she isn't here.
Sylvia has been to Paris means that she has returned. Perhaps (if we live near Paris) she went to Paris earlier today. In another context we may mean that she's been to Paris some time in her life ( she knows Paris).
We can therefore say: I / you / we / they have been to Rome or he / she / it has been to Rome (at some unspecified time),
but we can't say: I / you / we have gone to Rome, as this would mean we aren't here now.
Next Grammar blog: Talking about the Future 1
The Grammar blog is written by Stephen Smith who has been a teacher with OISE for over 10 years. To read more from Stephen, take a look at the following blog posts in the Grammar Series:
Verbs not usually used in continuous tenses