The Present Perfect and the Past Simple 2

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Welcome to your Present Perfect and Past Simple 2 lesson! In this topic we talk about:

• Using time markers.

More time markers.

Take the quizzes when you’re ready! If you’re having problems, use the comment box to contact our English Teachers.

Using time markers

You cannot use the Present Perfect when using a time marker that is finished. You must use the Past Simple:

It was really warm yesterday.

My uncle visited me in December.

Did you do your homework when you were a child?

We watched TV last night.

Present Perfect

Past Simple

I have lost my wallet. I can’t find it anywhere!

Have you seen Marie today?

I lost my wallet last week. I found it under the sofa.

Did you see Marie yesterday?

More time markers

Compare these two sets of time markers:

Present Perfect

Past Simple

I have eaten sausages today.

I ate sausages yesterday.

The present perfect is used for a period of time that continues until now:

today / this week / in 2010

The past simple is used for a finished time in the past:

yesterday / last week / three weeks ago

I haven’t seen her this week.

Have you read the paper this morning
(If it is still morning)

We’ve painted the house recently.

We’ve been waiting for twenty minutes
(We are still waiting)

I have lived in France for twelve years
(I still live there)

She has never played tennis. 
(In her life)

It has been a nice weekend. 
(It is Sunday)

I didn’t see her last week.

Did you read the paper this morning
(If it the afternoon or evening)

We painted the house on Tuesday.

We waited for twenty minutes
(We aren’t waiting anymore)

I lived in France for twelve years
(I don’t live there any more)

She didn’t play tennis yesterday.

It was a nice weekend. 
(It is Monday)


  • Use the Past Simple for finished actions.
  • Use the Present Perfect for unfinished actions.

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