Present Perfect 3

Present perfect is used to show that something in the past is important for now.

However, when we talk about things that were a very long time ago, such as historical, or science, we assume they cannot impact the present.  Those facts cannot change.

o: Bill Gates founded Microsoft

x: Bill Gates has founded Microsoft

It makes more sense when the people mentioned have died, because it’s sure that they cannot change something now.

o: Einstein developed the theory of relativity.

We could argue their work still has an impact but we say it cannot change the present.

We also say if something happened “a long time ago” or “it is not new” then we only use past simple.

o: I grew up in Scotland

x: I have grown up in Scotland

x: I have grown up here

When you choose your expression, remember to consider whether you are talking about the past or the impact of that on the present.

I grew up here (growing up is finished, then you became an adult, so the growing up is in the past before becoming an adult so it cannot link to the present).

Listen mate, I’ve grown up. (This means you are an adult only just now!)

o: I bought a new car yesterday!

o: I’ve bought a new car (yesterday)!

The car is new, and the news is new.

x: I’ve bought a new car (last week).

Last week is old news. The car is not new anymore.

o: I bought a new car last week.

The car was new when you bought it. But the news is not new. It does not impact the present.

This is the most tricky part of present perfect! But generally, we say that things that happened a long time ago cannot change anything now or cannot be changed.