Hi there, guys, and welcome back to www.engvid.com. Going to be doing a grammar lesson today.
We're looking at the difference between the present perfect and the past simple. Sometimes
these tenses can look a little bit similar, so I want to point out to you why we use the
present perfect when we're talking about something that's current, now, but looking back to the
past; and then looking at the past simple as a simple completed action. I hope it's
helpful. Let's get involved.
So: "Bruce is looking for his helmet. He can't
find it anywhere. So he __________", now what do you think should go here? "He __________
lost his helmet." Okay, he's looking for his helmet, he can't
find it, so we need to put something in here. Have you got it? Well the answer is: "has".
Okay? So: "He has lost his helmet." Now, to form the present perfect, I put my subject,
I'll just put "s" for subject, so: "I", "you", "he", "she", "we", "they", "it". Okay? Subject
plus "has" or "have", plus the past participle. So if it's regular, you're going to be doing
a verb with an "ed" ending. For example: "completed", "finished", "started". Okay? So verb plus:
"ed". However, if it's irregular, it's going to have a slightly different ending. I'm hoping
you've got a list of irregular verbs somewhere. Get in touch with me if you don't, I'll help
So, when are we talking about? "Bruce has lost his helmet. He has lost his helmet."
Well, it's not future. Is it? Okay? It's either present or past. Now, we use the present perfect
when we're looking at something that's kind of just happened. It happened quite recently;
it's only just happened. So I'm going to write in: "recent", okay? "R-e-c-e-n-t", "recent".
Say it back to me: "recent". Okay, it happened recently, the adverb. Great. So: "Bruce has
lost his helmet." It's only just happened. It happened like an hour ago, it happened
five minutes ago. For not much time has he lost his helmet.
Now, let's look at how we form this verb. As I said, we look at our subject so it's
either: "I", or: "we", or: "they", or: "you". What do you think? "Has" or: "have" here?
"I has" or: "I have"? That's it, it's: "I have". Okay? Now, the contraction for: "I
have" is: "I've finished." -"Have you done your homework?" -"Yes, I've finished my homework.
Just five minutes ago, I finished my homework." Okay?
Now, with the subjects: "he", "she", "it", we're going to need to use: "has". "Sorry
about my pen, it has just run out of ink." Okay? So subject plus: "has". Contraction:
"It's just run out of ink." So that brings me on to my next point, "run" would be an
irregular verb. Okay? "R-u-n", it doesn't use an "ed" ending. Check out your list of
irregular verb endings for the past participle. Good. Still with me? Still understanding?
Still on the same page? Comprendo? Brilliant.
Now, we're going to look on to the past simple now.
"He"-Bruce-"lost his helmet." Okay? "He lost his helmet." This is the... Oh, dear, I got
it the wrong way around. Teachers aren't perfect after all. So: "He lost his helmet is the
past simple." Okay? Because it's a completed action that has happened in the past and it's
finished. "He lost his helmet." Okay? So let's write in, past simple, that's there. "He lost
his helmet." Done. Happened once, finished. "But now he has found it!" Tada! Great. So
Bruce, he now has found it. Okay? And the pen has still run out of ink. "But now he
has found it!" The difference... So this is my present perfect. It has something to do
with now. "But now he has found it!" Okay? This "now" talks about the present. "But now
he has found his helmet."
Let's look at the differences one more time. Present perfect, it tells us about the situation
now. I have the helmet now. e.g: "Bruce has lost his helmet. He has lost his helmet."
Now no helmet. Okay? Now, what do we know now? Well, now, there is no helmet.
Past simple: "He lost his helmet." When we use the past simple, we find out about the
past, but we don't know about the present. Okay? So we know about the past, not the present.
"Bruce lost his helmet." We don't know if he has his helmet now. We cannot see the present
which is down here: "He does have his helmet." Okay? So the past just doesn't give us that
information about right now, the past simple.
I hope I've made some sense today. Okay? We've been looking at the present perfect, something
that's just happened and has... And talks about what is now. Okay? And the past simple
which just talks about the past tense and nothing about the present.
What I want you to do, I know it's a little bit complicated, so go to www.engvid.com right
now and go and try those 10 questions on the quiz. And then after you've done that, feel
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much. I hope that's helped you. Bye.