Present Perfect and Past Simple

Present Perfect Past Simple .

John lost his key.

John has lost his key.


Present Perfect , .. John has lost his key , .. (.. ). John lost his key , ( ).

E.g. Jack grew a beard but how he has shaved it off (so he doesnt have a beard now).

The Chinese invented printing. (There is no idea of the present here. The action took place a long time ago.)

How many novels did Tolstoy write? (The action took place when the writer was alive.)

Cf. 1. Shakespeare wrote many plays. We enjoy reading them now.

2. My brother is a writer. He has written many novels.

, .. , , . , , .


Note 1: Past Simple : yesterday, the day before yesterday, some time ago, last week, month, year.

Present Perfect : yet ( ), still ( ), already, just.


Note 2: Past Simple .

E.g. The girls got off the train, bought a few magazines at the station book-stall and went to a snack bar to have a bite.



Training exercises:


Ex.1. Put the verbs in brackets in the correct form, Present Perfect or Past Simple.

1. Wheres your key? I dont know. I ..ve lost.. it. (lose)

2. I ..was.. very tired, so I lay down on the bed and went to sleep. (be)

3. Mary..to Australia for a while but shes back again now. (go)

4. Wheres Ken? He.out. Hell be back in about an hour. (go)

5. I did German at school but I.most of it. (forget)

6. I meant to phone Diane last night but I..(forget)

7. I.a headache earlier but I feel fine now. (have)

8. Look! Theres an ambulance over there. Therean accident. (be)

9. Theyre still building the new road. They.it. (not/finish)

10. Is Helen still here? No, sheout. (just/go)

11. The policethree people but later they let them go. (arrest)

12. Ann..me her address but Im afraid Iit. (give, lose)

13. Wheres my bike? It.outside the house. It! (be, disappear)

14. What do you think of my English? Do you think I.? (improve)


Ex.2. Fill the spaces in the conversation with suitable verbs. Use the Past Simple or Present Perfect.

Rosie is talking to Marcus, who has recently come to work in the same company as her.


ROSIE: So, Marcus, are you setting in here OK, do you think?
MARCUS: Oh, yes. Everyone (1) ..has been.. very friendly. I (2) ..expected.. to have quite a lot of problems, but I (3) ..havent had.. any really. Not here at work, anyway.
ROSIE: Do you mean there (4).other problems?
MARCUS: Well, I (5)..to move out of the flat I (6).when I first (7).. .
ROSIE: Oh dear. Why (8) you . to do that? Wasnt it comfortable? Our personnel department (9) .. you to find it, (10)..they?
MARCUS: Thats right. It was a good flat. I (11)living there very much. Unfortunately, the journey to work was too long. The bus routes changed just before I (12).to work here and it (13)..me two hours to get here every day. So I (14)..to a place just round the corner from here. Everythings fine now.
ROSIE: I hope all this trouble (15).(not) you sorry that you came here.
MARCUS: Not at all. Im really enjoying the work. And I (16)..a lot of new friends already.
ROSIE: Thats good. Oh, well. Wed better get on with some work now, I suppose.
MARCUS: I guess so. See you later.
ROSIE: Yes. Bye.


Ex.3. Put the verbs in bracket into the correct tense: Present Perfect or Simple Past. (In some cases the Present Perfect continuous is also possible. This is noted in the Key.)

1. Paul: I (play) football since I was five years old.

Tom: You (play) since you (come) to England?

Paul: Oh yes. I (play) quite a lot. I (join) a club the day after I (arrive).

2. Tom You (play) any matches?

Paul: We (play) about ten. We have two more to play. We (have) a very good season, we (win) all our matches so far, though we (not really deserve) to win the last one.

3. Tom: I (play) football when I (be) at school but when I (leave) school I (drop) it and (take) up golf.

4. Ann: Hello, Jack! I (not see) you for ages! Where you (be)?

Jack: I (be) in Switzerland. I (mean) to send you a postcard but I (not have) your address with me.

Ann: Never mind. You (have) a good time in Switzerland? How long you (be) there?

Jack: I (be) there for a month. I only just (get) back. Yes, I (enjoy) it thoroughly. I (ski) all day and (dance) all night.

5. Ann: I (ski) when I (be) at the university, but I (break) a leg five years ago and since then I (not do) any.

6. When I first (come) to this house, it (be) a very quiet area. But since then a new housing estate (be) built and it (become) very noisy.

7. My son (not start) work yet. Hes still at the High School. ~

How long he (be) at school?~

He (be) at the High School for six years; before that he (spend) five years at the Primary School in Windmill Street.


Ex.4. Supply the following sentences with suitable situations to show the differences between the Present Perfect and Past Simple.

a. Ive had a busy day today.

I had a busy day today.

b. I read Crime and Punishment.

I have read Crime and Punishment.

c. I have enjoyed staying at a hotel.

I enjoyed stay at a hotel.

d. He lived at my aunts for some time.

He has lived with my aunt for some time.

e. The leaves have turned yellow.

The leaves turned yellow.

f. He told the truth to his father.

He has told the truth to his father.


Ex.5. Read the passage and put the verbs in the correct form, Present Perfect or Past Simple.

Then and now

TWENTY YEARS ago few people (1) ..realised..(realize) that computers were about to become part of our daily lives. This short period of time (2)..has seen..(see) enormous changes, in business, education and public administration. Job which (3) _______(take) weeks to complete in the past, are now carried out in minutes. Clerks who (4) ______ (spend) all day copying and checking calculations are now freed from these tedious tasks. In offices, the soft hum and clicking of word processors (5) ________ (replace) the clatter of typewriters. Schoolchildren (6) ___________ (become) as familiar with hardware and software as their parents (7) __________(be) with pencils and exercise books. Computerisation of public records (8) __________ (enable) government departments to analyse the needs of citizens in detail. Some of us may wonder, however, whether life (9) ________ (really/improve) as a result of these changes. Many jobs (10) _____________ (disappear), for example, when intelligent machines (11) ____________ (take) over the work. Employers complain that clerical staff (12) __________ (become) dependent on calculators and cannot do simple arithmetic. There are fears that governments (13) ______________ (not/do) enough to ensure that personal information held on computers is really kept secret. Certainly, many people may now be wondering whether the spread of computers (14) _________ (bring) us as many problems as it (15) ________ (solve).


Ex.6. Write a similar essay on mobile phones, or any other invention of the present time.


A) Read the applications letter. Fill in the blanks with a suitable form of the verb (Present Simple, Perfect, Continuous, Perfect Continuous or Past Simple). Comment on the use of the forms.


Dear Mr. Aziz,


I would like to apply for the job of shop manager which I _______________ (to see) advertised in the local paper. I _______ (to be) twenty years old. I _______________ (to be born) in France, but my family ________ (to move to England) when I _________ (to be) twelve and I ________________ (to live) here ever since. I ____________ (to leave) school three years ago and since then I _______________ (to have) several jobs in shops. For the past six months I _______________ (to work) in Halls department store. The manage ____________ (to say) that he _______________ (to will) to give me a reference.

I ______________________ (to speak) French and English fluently and I _________________ (to learn) German since I ______________ (to live) school, So, I _____________________ (to speak) some German too.

I _______________ (to hope) you will consider my application.

Your sincerely,

Louise Brett.



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