Past simple vs. present perfect


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Some useful help, or at least I hope so, to understand the use of these tenses in English.

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Past simple vs. present perfect

  1. 1. PAST SIMPLE <br />VS. <br />PRESENT PERFECT SIMPLE<br />
  2. 2. “the 7th October” is a past and finishedexpression of time. Theactionindicatedby “started” is complete.<br />We startedourlessonsonthe<br />7th October.<br />Yes, wedid. We´vehad8 lessonsthisyear.<br />“Thisyear” isanunfinished time expression. <br />Westillhavelessonsnow. Theactionisnot complete.<br />
  3. 3. ACTIONS EXPRESSED BY PAST SIMPLE AND PRESENT PERFECT<br />PRESENT PERFECT SIMPLE<br />PAST SIMPLE<br /><ul><li>Completedactionsthattook place in a finishedperiod of time:</li></ul> Carol bought a new dressyesterday.<br /><ul><li>A sequence of pastactions:</li></ul> He got upat eighto´clock, gotdressedand hadbreakfastbeforeleavingforwork.<br /><ul><li>Unfinishedactions:</li></ul>We´velivedin Madrid for 2 years. (= westilllivethere)<br /><ul><li>Actionsthathave a presentconsequence:</li></ul>I´vecutmy finger.<br /><ul><li>Actionsthattook place at no specific time:</li></ul>Haveyoueverseenany of Pedro Almodovar´s films?<br />
  4. 4. PRESENT PERFECT SIMPLE<br />PAST SIMPLE<br /><ul><li>Periods of time that are not finished.</li></ul>today<br /> tonight<br /> this week/month/ year<br /> this morning/ afternoon / evening<br /><ul><li>Completed and finished periods of time.</li></ul>yesterday <br />last week/month/year<br /> two weeks ago<br /> in 2005<br /> when I was a boy<br /> when I met him<br />TIME EXPRESSIONS <br />
  5. 5. Exercise 1<br />Choose the right tense to complete the sentences:<br />Past Simple or Present Perfect Simple?<br />
  6. 6. have studied<br />I (study) English since I was a child.<br />
  7. 7. met<br />I (meet) my husband <br />two years ago when I was living<br />in London.<br />
  8. 8. have been<br />I (go) to many concerts in my life.<br />went<br />In fact, I (go) to U2´s concert in Barcelona last year.<br />
  9. 9. Remember: <br /> “Go” has two “has gone”<br /> present perfect forms<br /> “has been” <br /> Peter has gone shopping.<br /> = He didn´t come back.<br /> Peter has been shopping.<br /> = He´s back now.<br />
  10. 10. FORAND SINCE WITH PRESENT PERFECT<br />SINCE (preposition or conjunction)<br />FOR <br />(preposition)<br />We use “for” with periods of time to stress the duration of an action that started in the past and continues in the present.<br />We´ve had lessons for two months.<br />I´ve been a teacher for 20 years.<br />We use “since” to mark the start of an action that began in the past and continues in the present.<br />It can be a preposition:<br />I´ve been a teacher since 1989.<br />or a conjunction, followed by a clause (subject and verb):<br />I´ve been a teacher since I left university.<br />
  11. 11. JUST<br />“Just” is an adverb used with the present perfect to emphasize that the action expressed by the verb was completed very recently.<br />I´ve just explained to you the difference between “for” and “since”. <br />(some minutes ago)<br />You´ve just read an example that shows the use of “just” with the present perfect simple. <br />(30 seconds ago)<br />“just” is placed before the past participle.<br />
  12. 12. ALREADY<br />“Already” is used with positive and interrogative sentences to refer to an unspecified time before now.<br />Have you alreadydone your homework?<br />Fina has already sent me her description of a friend.<br />Have you decided where to go already?<br />“Already” can be placed just before the past participle or at the end of the sentence.<br />
  13. 13. YET<br />“Yet” is used in negative and interrogative sentences to stress the time before now. It´s the opposite of “already”.<br />e.g. You haven´t studied the vocabulary yet.<br /> (before now)<br />Has she come back from Dublin yet?<br /> (before now)<br />“Yet” is placed at the end of the sentence.<br />
  14. 14. Exercise 2<br />Choose the right word to complete the sentences.<br />
  15. 15. “already”or “yet?”<br />yet<br />Have you seen this film ?<br />“for” or “since?”<br />No, I haven´t. Actually, I haven´t been to the cinema a long time.<br />for<br />
  16. 16. for or since?<br />My parents have been married they were at university.<br />since<br />yetor just?<br />just<br />Indeed, they´ve celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.<br />
  17. 17. already or yet?<br />already<br />Peter has done the ironing . <br />But he hasn´t cooked dinner . <br />yet<br />