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Friday, October 26, 2012

The Simple Past Tense And The Present Perfect Tense



The present perfect is used when the time period has NOT finished:
I have seen three movies this week.
(This week has not finished yet.)
The simple past is used when the time period HAS finished:
I saw three movies last week.
(Last week has finished.)



The present perfect is often used when giving recent news:
Martin has crashed his car again.
(This is new information.)
The simple past is used when giving older information:
Martin crashed his car last year.
(This is old information.)


The present perfect is used when the time is not specific:
I have seen that movie already.
(We don't know when.)
The simple past is used when the time is clear:
I saw that movie on Thursday.
(We know exactly when.)


The present perfect is used with for and since, when the actions have not finished yet:
I have lived in Victoria for five years.
(I still live in Victoria.)
The simple past is used with for and since, when the actions have already finished:
I lived in Victoria for five years.
(I don't live in Victoria now.)

Reference:
Study Zone, English Language Centre, University of Victoria

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