Present Perfect with a phrase “in the past”

His car is very reliable, and he rarely has any trouble with it. But he has had a couple of difficulties in the past.

Can you justify using Present Perfect in this sentence? Since “in the past” was used, the time frame must have been established, and, as I know, Present Perfect does not go with an exact time frame.


An established time frame can be “last night” or “when I was little”. “In the past” or “before” are too general to be considered an exact time frame. The present perfect (in its used from your example) talks about an unspecified moment in the past / before now anyway, so you can use these two safely with it.

When the present perfect is used as in your example, “in the past” is implied. For example:

I’ve had some difficulties with the car.

It is obvious I have had them before now, in the past. It is not necessary to mention that. In your example it is mentioned for contrast because the first sentence refers to now.

Source : Link , Question Author : Graduate , Answer Author : fluffy

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