GRAMMAR 5: PRESENT PERFECT AND PAST SIMPLE

GRAMMAR 5: PRESENT PERFECT AND PAST SIMPLE

Hello everybody! It´s time to talk about grammar again. Have you ever been to London? Did you go to London in 2018? What´s the difference between both questions? And between present perfect and past simple form? When do you have to use one or another? Go on and find out the answer thanks to this post.

PRESENT PERFECT

Basic rules

-You use the present perfect to talk about the past, but only when you don´t say WHEN the action happened. When it happened is not important.

-You use the present perfect to talk about an experience in someone´s lifetime.

-You use the present perfect when there is a connetion between the past and the present.

-You make the present perfect with the present simple of HAVE and the past participle of the main verb.

 

HAVE /HAS + PAST PARTICIPLE

 

-You make the negative form of the present perfect by putting not ot n´t after HAVE.

 

HAVE/ HAS NOT or HAVEN´T / HASN´T

 

-Regular past participles end in -ED, but there are many irregular past participles. (THIRD COLUMN OF THE VERB).

-In questions, HAVE goes before the subject.

E.g. Have you (ever) been to London?

 

-In short answers, we use HAVE but we don´t repeat the MAIN VERB (past participle).

E.g. Yes, I have. / No, I haven´t.

Ever and Never

-EVER means at any time in your life and is usually used in negative sentences.

E.g. Have you ever worn a wedding dress?

 

-NEVER means at no time in your life and is usually used in negative sentences.

E.g. My boyfriend has never read the book The Hobbit.

 

Just

-You use present perfect with JUST to talk about very recent events.

-JUST usually go BEFORE the past participle.

E.g. Somebody has just stolen my bag.

E.g. The film has just finished.

 

Already and Yet

-You usually use ALREADY to talk about something that has happened, possibly earlier than we expected.

E.g. The students have already finished the exercise.

 

-ALREADY usually goes before the past participle.

E.g. I’ve already been to London twice.

-You use YET to talk about something that has not happened but we think it is going to happen soon.

-YET usually goes at the end of the sentence or question.

E.g. Have you read the news yet? / I haven´t corrected the excercise yet.

 

How long…?

You use How long…? + present perfect to ask about an unfinished period of time (from the past until now).

E.g. How long have you been married to Alan?

For

You use for + a period of time, e.g. for two weeks.

E.g. They´ve known each other for ten years.

 

Since

You use since with a point of time, e.g. since 1990.

E.g. How long have they been married? Since 2014.

 

PAST SIMPLE

Basic Rules

-You use past simple to ask or talk about finished actions in the past, whe the time is mentioned or understood. You often use a past time expression. E.g. January, last week, last month…

-Regular verbs end in -ED, but there are many irregular verbs. (SECOND COLUMN OF THE VERB).

 

Compare the two tenses:

I´ve been to Rome twice. (In my life up to now). PRESENT PERFECT.

I went to Rome in 2004 and 2014. (On two specific occasions). PAST SIMPLE.

How long have you been married to Robert? (You´re married to Alan now). PRESENT PERFECT.

How long were you married to Jane? (You´re not married to Jane now). PAST SIMPLE.

I´ve just bought a new jacket. (I don´t say exactly when). PRESENT PERFECT.

I bought it on Friday. (I say when). PAST SIMPLE.

 

And that is all for today. Do you have any doubts? If so, leave us a comment. Once more, thank you for visiting our blog!

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