Native Portuguese speakers (myself included) often have a hard time dealing with the English present perfect tense-aspect.
In English, the present perfect is used for expressing past actions with present consequences. This is different from the simple past, which expresses actions wholly contained in the past. In Portuguese, this distinction is not marked. Sentences using the present perfect in English are usually translated to Portuguese using the simple past. So, for example, the sentence I have received a letter gets translated into Portuguese as Eu recebi uma carta (literally, “I received a letter”).
On the other hand, Portuguese has a different tense-aspect with the same structure of the English present perfect, but equivalent in meaning to the English present perfect continuous:
Eu tenho trabalhado muito I have worked a lot “I have been working a lot”
How did the two languages develop similar structures (have-aux + verb-past participle), that mark different grammatical tense-aspects? Did one language borrow the construction from another and changed its meaning over time? Is it just pure chance? Or some other explanation?