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Have you or did you?

Have you or did you?

Hi there!

Let’s cover some grammar stuff today. Many intermediate students usually make mistakes when using the Present Perfect and the Past Simple. So let’s take a look at some of their different uses:

Present Perfect Simple

Past Simple

It’s used for unfinished actions that started in the past and still continue in the present.

·        “I have lived in Barcelona for 10 years / since 2008” (and I still live here)

It’s used for finished actions.

·        “I lived in Barcelona for 10 years.” (From 2000 to 2010, then I moved to Rome.)

It’s used to refer to life experiences while the person is still alive, without saying when the action happened.

·        “She has read that book four times! She loves it.”

It’s used to refer to a finished, specific action in someone’s life when the person is dead.

·        “She read that book four times. She loved it”

It’s used to talk about a finished action in the past with consequences in the present.

·        “He has forgotten to take the car keys!” (so he now can’t drive his car)

It’s used to talk about past actions that have no result in the present.

·        “He forgot to take the car keys so he took the bus. (That was yesterday, he now can take the car because he has the keys.)

It’s used with unfinished, unspecific time words (this month, this year, this week, today):

·        “They’ve been to the cinema twice this month.”

It’s used with a finished, specific time word (yesterday, last week, three days ago):

·        “They went to the cinema the day before yesterday.”

You can practice your command of these two tenses with this exercise from Perfect English Grammar,  a very good site for practicing your grammar online.

A very good way to improve your English listening skills is by watching movies, TV series, documentaries or TV shows in English. Take a look at this video with different scenes all using the Present Perfect Simple. Do you recognise the shows or movies? Have you seen them?



And finally, a great song to sing-along to! Have You Ever Seen The Rain?, the 1971 hit by the legendary Californian roots rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival.


 Enjoy it!