Present Perfect Usage 2: In a conversation

We can understand the Present Perfect Tense as “Conversational Past Tense”. The Past Simple Tense could be referred to as “Narrative Past Tense.” Conversation means when two or more people ask questions and give answers, or simply inform one another about something. As soon as one person starts retelling a sequence of past events, i.e. a story, the conversation becomes a monologue (when only one person is telling a story) about past events in a story. In this situation, the “Narrative Past Tense” comes into place with its usage of the Past Simple Tense.

It means that we use the Present Perfect in a conversation to talk about recent completed past events, and not in a story to talk about past events. Simple conversation regarding past events vs telling a story with past events. Conversation vs story.

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To narrate stories, tales etc., that had events within the finished period of time in the past, we use Past Simple. We can also use other tense forms, but not Present Perfect. Whether we specify the finished period of time explicitly or implicitly, we don’t choose Present Perfect.

The blotches ran well down the sides of his face, and his hands had the deep-creased scars from handling heavy fish on the cords.

We have created a whole comprehensive course here: Present Perfect and Past Simple Compared

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