Past simple vs present perfect. You don’t know when to use present perfect and when to use past simple. Check this post for theory concerning the differences between past simple and present perfect and practice it.
Past simple vs present perfect – theory.
|Past simple||Present perfect|
|to describe past situations||to talk about activities that started in the past and are still happening|
| I lived in Vietnam. |
(I don’t live there anymore.)
| I have lived in Vietnam for 2 years.|
(I still live there)
|to talk about activities that happend in the past||to talk about activities that are connected to the present|
|I worked 40 hours last week.|| I’ve worked 40 this week. |
(Week is not finished so I can work more).
|to talk about stated time in the past; we specify when something happend||to talk about unstated time in the past; we don’t know when something happend|
|I was in Vienna last year.||I have been to Vienna.|
| when we refer to somebody who is not alive anymore|
(often in reference to authors, famous people)
| when we refer to somebody that is still alive |
(often in refernece to authors, famous people)
| William Shakespeare was a prolific author. |
(He is dead so won’t write anything more).
| Stephen King has written a lot of books. |
(He is alive and can write more books)
|Typical words:||Typical words:|
|-ago -last week/year/ Tuesday – yesterday – in 2002, in May – when I was a child||
Decide whether to use past simple or present perfect in the given situations. You will find the answers at the bottom of the site
|a) when we talk about an activity that happend in the past, but we don’t know when it happend|
|b) when we talk about an activity that started in the past and is happening up to now|
|c) when we talk about a finished activity that is not connected to the present|
|d) when we ask about experience (using ever)|
|e) to talk about an activity that happend not long time ago (using lately/recently)|
|f) to talk about stated time in the past (July, 2002, last Monday)|
|g) when we talk about something that happend today, this week, this month|
Past simple: c, f
Present perfect: a,b,d,e,g