I’m trying to gain the full understanding of perfect tenses. Are my explanations about the sentence and the difference between using the Present Perfect instead of the Simple Past correct?
It has been a tough day. [As opposed to “It was a tough day.”]
This day still continues and new tough things may happen.
It has been on the news. [As opposed to “It was on the news.”]
The story (that is on the news) is still developing; new facts may appear, and the whole thing is not yet over.
The short answer is that your understanding is correct.
The simple past (in the case of your examples,
was) is used to indicate a discrete event that occurred in the past and ended in the past.
The present perfect (
has been in your examples) describes an event that occurred in the past and might continue to the present time.
Without more context or information concerning time, there is the potential for ambiguity:
She has flown to Europe.
It has been a wonderful party.
In the first sentence, we’re referring to one or more distinct past occurrences. In the second, the speaker is most likely referring to an event that is still in progress.