Present perfect or past simple?
Many students of English find the decision to use the past simple or the present perfect confusing. If the wrong choice is made, a different meaning to the one intended can be made. At the very least, the reader or listener will notice the mistake.
In the example in the image, the use of ‘to date’ tells us the purpose of the sentence is to discuss the treatment received until now. ‘To date’ also implies that more treatment will follow; it’s like a formal version of ‘so far’.
Time words used with the present perfect
Time references such as ‘to date’, ‘already’ and ‘before’ are commonly used with present perfect sentences to show that the period of time or action under discussion is not finished but ongoing.
To date, Mehnaz has seen the speech therapist three times.
Here are some more examples:
Justin hasn’t seen a physiotherapist before and is anxious about any pain the exercises may give him.
Advice to quit smoking has already been provided on numerous occasions.