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Present Perfect vs. Past Simple
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Present Perfect vs. Past Simple

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  • 1. Present Perfect vs. Past Simple What’s the difference?
  • 2. Remember! •  Grammar has meaning! •  Different grammar tenses are used in different situations or contexts and they carry different meanings.
  • 3. Use the past simple for: •  Finished actions in the past when you say when I went to Portsmouth last summer. Use the pres. perfect for: •  Finished actions in the past when you don’t say when (on any occasion) I’ve been to Portsmouth. •  Actions which started in the past but still continue now I’ve lived in Spain for 10 years. •  Past actions that have a result in the present I’ve broken my arm! (I broke in the past and I have it in plaster now)
  • 4. Just, already, yet Just means “a short time ago” We’ve just come back from the weekend. I’ve just had an idea! Already means “sooner than expected” I’ve already studied Units 1 and 2 She’s already spent all the money I lent her! Yet means “something we’re expecting to happen” It’s 11 o’clock and you haven’t finished your breakfast yet! I haven’t finished my homework yet. Just and already go after the auxiliary verb; yet goes at the end of the sentence.
  • 5. For and since SINCE + POINT IN TIME Use since to show when something started. I’ve worked at this job since last year. He’s lived in Florida since March. FOR + LENGTH OF TIME Use for to show how long a present condition has lasted. I’ve worked here for one year. He’s lived in Florida for 9 months.
  • 6. Gone to or been to? Claire has gone to Australia Gone there means that she is still there Claire has been to Australia. Been there means that the visit is over. She’s back home now.
  • 7. Ever and never We can use ever and never with the present perfect. Ever means ‘in your whole life up to the present time’. Never means ‘not ever’. Have you ever played cricket? No, never. Has Andrew ever had any fun?! I’ve never ridden a bike in my life. This is the worst film I’ve ever seen.

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