Past Simple or Present Perfect PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ahingzako   
Friday, 05 June 2009 12:48

Past Simple or Present Perfect


Compare the Past Simple and the Present Perfect:


We use the Past Simple to talk about                      We use the Present Perfect to talk about the

something that happened at a particular time        past, but not about when things happened:

in the past:

            I met John at four o’clock.                                 I’ve met John’s girlfriend. She’s nice.

            When did Jane go to India? ~ In June.              Have you ever been to India? ~ Yes, I have.

            Martin bought a new car last week.                  I have never bought a new car.


We use the Past Simple for situation or                  We use the Present Perfect for situation or

actions during a period of time that                         actions during a period of time from the past

ENDED in the past:                                                     to NOW:

      I worked there for two years. I left last year.            He has worked here for two year.   

                                                                                       (He still works here.)

 We lived in that house for a long time;               We’ve lived in this flat since we got married.

   then we moved to this one.                                         (We still live in it.)

Our company opened two new shops                      We opened two shops last summer.

    last summer.                                                      Since then, we have opened two more.

                                                                                    (=since that time)

Notice how we often move from the

Present Perfect to the Past Simple:

Peter:   Have you ever played this game before?

Maria: Yes, I played it once when I was in


Peter:   Did you win?

Maria: No, I lost.


Last Updated on Saturday, 13 June 2009 14:34