Present Perfect or Past Simple? Let me show you.

Present perfect or past simple?



In this article I'm going to help you understand the differences between the simple past and the present perfect. English learners often confuse these two verb tenses.
Let's have a look at some of the key differences below:

Past Simple

Finished actions:
  • I knew Julie for ten years (but then she moved away and we lost touch).
A finished action in someone's life (when the person is dead):
  • My great-grandmother went to Mexico three times.
A finished action with no result in the present:
  • I lost my keys yesterday. It was terrible! (Now there is no result. I got new keys yesterday).
With a finished time word (last week, last month, yesterday):
  • I saw John last week.
We use this tense for things that happened at a definite time in the past. E.g. "I met my best friend when I was fifteen." It is formed by adding '-ed' to regular verbs.

Present Perfect

Unfinished actions that started in the past and continue to the present:
  • I've known Julie for ten years (and I still know her).
A finished action in someone's life (when the person is still alive: life experience):
  • My brother has been to Mexico three times.
A finished action with a result in the present:
  • I've lost my keys! (The result is that I can't get into my house now).
With an unfinished time word (this week, this month, today):
  • I've seen John this week.
This tense describes something that happened in the past, but that is related to something in the present. E.g. "I have read three books by Charles Dickens."
It is also used to talk about life experiences, recent events or states or things that started in the past and hasn't changed. E.g: "I have been to America." "I have just finished my dinner." "I've worked for EC since 2008."

Remember:
  1. We use the past simple for past events or actions which have no connection to the present.
  2. We use the present perfect for actions which started in the past and are still happening now OR for finished actions which have a connection to the present.
  3. We CAN'T use the present perfect with a finished time word.



7 Ağustos 2020
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Monique Steyn

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Hi everybody! My name is Monique and I am a Native English speaker from sunny South Africa. Do you need help with Business English? Conversational English? English for travel? Preparing for an exam? I can help you! I have a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Marketing Management as well as a 120 Hour TEFL Certificate. I taught English to adults in South Korea, where I taught Business English, conversational English and also helped students prepare for English proficiency tests like IELTS, OPIC, TOEIC and TOEFL. Apart from that I also coached students on job interviews, college interviews and reviewed résumés. I have worked in a corporate environment for about 7 years, so I have the experience and knowledge to teach students the correct expressions and mannerisms to use in business meetings, presentations, emails, conference calls and so forth. I am a very patient person, this is one of my strongest skills in my teaching method as it definitely makes students feel at ease and help them build confidence in their language ability. I am very excited to meet you, learn your individual language goals and start working towards reaching those!
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İngilizce
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Güney Afrika
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657
Konuşur:
Afrikanca
Ana Dil
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Ana Dil
Hi everybody! My name is Monique and I am a Native English speaker from sunny South Africa. Do you need help with Business English? Conversational English? English for travel? Preparing for an exam? I can help you! I have a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Marketing Management as well as a 120 Hour TEFL Certificate. I taught English to adults in South Korea, where I taught Business English, conversational English and also helped students prepare for English proficiency tests like IELTS, OPIC, TOEIC and TOEFL. Apart from that I also coached students on job interviews, college interviews and reviewed résumés. I have worked in a corporate environment for about 7 years, so I have the experience and knowledge to teach students the correct expressions and mannerisms to use in business meetings, presentations, emails, conference calls and so forth. I am a very patient person, this is one of my strongest skills in my teaching method as it definitely makes students feel at ease and help them build confidence in their language ability. I am very excited to meet you, learn your individual language goals and start working towards reaching those!
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