Present Perfect or Past Perfective?

The past perfective can often be used instead of the present perfect without a significant change in meaning.

Ο Γιάννης είχε δουλέψει/ δούλεψε πολύ σκληρά για να γίνει επιθεωρητής.

Unlike English, the present perfect cannot be used when referring to a very recent past event, i.e. when there are adverbials such as μόλις, πριν λίγο, πριν δέκα λεπτά in the phrase.

Ο Γιάννης έφυγε από το γραφείο πριν δύο λεπτά.

The present perfect cannot be used when there is a specific time reference in the phrase: τον Αύγουστο, το πρωί, στις 2.00 etc

Ο Γιάννης κοιμήθηκε νωρίς χτες το βράδυ.

However, it can be combined with adverbials that show a period of time that started in the past and continues up to the moment of speaking: από τον Αύγουστο, από το πρωί, από τις 2.00 etc.

Ο Γιάννης είχε πέσει για ύπνο από τις 9.30.

You can also read: Clauses of Concession / Contrast

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