Past Simple or Present Perfect Simple

FOCUS ON GRAMMAR 2 Present Perfect Simple

The Present Perfect Simple relates past actions and states to the present (it connects the past and the present).

It is a present tense as it looks back from the present into the past, and expresses what has happened before now(When we use the Present Perfect Simple we can think ‘of any time up to now’). We use it especially for finished actions that are important now.

I’ve meta lot of famous people. (before now). She’s livedhere all her life. (up to the present, and probably into the future)

Table 1 Formation

Sentence Type Past Simple or Present Perfect Simple Formation Examples
Affirmative sentence S + have/has +V3 I have already written this test. He has already written this test.
Negative sentence S + have not (haven’t) + V3 S + has not (hasn’t) + V3 I haven’t written this test yet. He hasn’t written this test yet.
Interrogative sentence General Questions Have/Has + S + V3? Special Questions Wh + have/has + S + V3…? Special Questions to the Subject Who / What + has + V3 Tag Questions S + have + V3…, haven’t I / you / we / they? S + has + V3…, hasn’t he / she / it? S + haven’t + V3…, have I / you Past Simple or Present Perfect Simple / we / they? S + hasn’t + V3…, has he / she / it? Have you already written this test? Has he already written this test? What have you written? What has he written? Who has already written this test? You have already written this test, haven’t you? He has already written this test, hasn’t he? You haven’t written this test yet, have you? He hasn’t written this test yet, has he?

Table 2 Uses

(a) to express a past action with the result in the present; just (a short time ago), already (to say that something happened Past Simple or Present Perfect Simple sooner than expected), yet (until now)/not yet (a) I’ve lost my wallet. (I haven’t got it now.) (b) Oh! I’ve cut my finger. (It’s bleeding.)
(b) for actions repeated up to now. We are interested in the experience as a part of someone’s life. ever, never I’ve travelled a lot in Africa. Have you everbeen to Africa?
(c) to give new information or announce a recent happening.; (a) recently, lately, so far, in the last few days, for (period of time),since(starting point); (a) Have you heard from George recently?I’ve met Past Simple or Present Perfect Simple a lot of people in the last few days. I’ve knownAlice for 7 years. (b)Tom hasn’t worked very hard this term.
(d)when we speak about actions happening at the periods of time that are not finished at the time of speaking. (b) today, this morning/evening/ /week,… Have you hada holiday this year?
in sentences with this/it/that is the first/second/third/only/best/worst etc. Bill is phoning his girlfriend. That’s the third time he’s phoned her this evening. It’s one of the most interesting books that I’ve Past Simple or Present Perfect Simple ever read.
NOTES We usejustand alreadyafter have/has. I’ve just had lunch. I’ve alreadyposted the letter. We normally use yet only in questions and negative sentences. Yet shows that the speaker is expecting something to happen. Yet usually goes at the end of a sentence. It’s 10 o’clock and Tom hasn’t got up yet. Has it stopped raining yet? In American Englishthe Present PerfectSimple OR the Past Simple can be used (a) for an action in the past with a result now; (b) with just, already and yet.
(a)I’ve lostmy key. Have Past Simple or Present Perfect Simple you seenit? OR I lost my key. Did you see it? (b) I’m not hungry. I’ve just hadlunch. I just had lunch.

Past Simple or Present Perfect Simple

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