PAST SIMPLE or PRESENT PERFECT? | Let's learn and compare! - English Tenses


Hi Everyone! I'm Arnel and today we're going to look at the past simple and the present perfect

In today's lesson there are six steps and I'm gonna use a pyramid.

We're going to start with the most obvious difference - the grammatical structure, then

everything else is about finished and unfinished - not finished. Finished or unfinished time,

life experiences, actions and that last one - connections to the present. The larger parts

of the pyramid are pretty simple. It's that top part of the pyramid, in my experience,

that students find the most confusing. Don't worry, I'm going to give you lots of examples.

Let's start with the base - grammatical structure. verb 1 verb 2 and verb 3.

We form the past simple: subject plus verb 2,

and the present perfect: subject have has plus verb 3. Verb three is the past participle.

For example, I ate a sandwich for lunch. I've eaten three sandwiches today.

I'll keep the grammatical structures highlighted for you.Has or Have? It depends on your subject.

Take a look. Use Has when your subject is HE, SHE or IT. Finished or Unfinished - time

I have a clock. My morning is from 7 to 12. That's my morning. I worked very hard

this morning. I've worked very hard this morning. Notice the contraction. When you're speaking,

contract. So what's the difference between these two sentences? I worked very hard this

morning. Now it's three o'clock. The morning is finished - use past simple. I've worked very

hard this morning. Now it's 11, the morning isn't finished. It's unfinished - use present perfect

I have the month of February and I'm in the middle. Which sentence is correct? February

was a successful month. February has been a successful month

The second one. February isn't over. I'm in the middle, we're in the middle of February now.

imagine now it's March. Then I could say: February was a successful month.

Okay look at this chart. Here you can see there's a lot of vocabulary we can use to show

finished and unfinished time. With finish time, we have dates, years in the past.

Things like yesterday, last week. For unfinished time, we have things that are still happening now.

Today, this week, or even so far, recently, things like that.

Yesterday I went to the beach with my sister and we had a picnic. Yesterday, finished,

past simple. Sue called me three hours ago. Past simple, three hours ago, finished time.

I've had a headache all afternoon. It's only four o'clock, the afternoon isn't finished.

2021 has been a challenging year. It's only November. 2021 isn't finished yet, right?

Hello future viewers! If you're watching this video and it's not 2021, you need to say

2021 was a challenging year.

Common mistake: Last month we have visited Lake Como.

Last month is finished. Last month we visited Lake Como. Okay let's move on to life experiences.

Have you ever been to Canada? Have you ever

broken a bone? Have you ever messaged the wrong person? I've been to Canada once.

I've never broken a bone, and yeah I've messaged the wrong person five or six times.

We use a present perfect with life experiences

because your life isn't finished yet. You're still alive.

The question: Have you ever...? is really common. Have you ever been to Mount Rushmore?

Do I care about the "when"? No I don't care. You don't care. This lady doesn't care.

I went there two years ago, it was great, I took loads of pictures. Did you go with your family?

No, it was actually a business trip. You can see the rest of

the conversation is in the past simple because I've established a specific time - a specific

finish time, two years ago. Now the "when" is important. Finished / unfinished actions.

Okay I have two sentences. I knew Lynn for one year. I've known Lynn for one year.

We know the first one is past simple because of the grammatical structure

and the second one is present perfect because of that grammar.

But, when you're studying, you really don't want to isolate the grammar. Without context,

no sentence really makes sense. Morning Al! I knew Lynn for three years!

We need some context, it's more natural. I knew Lynn for one year

back in high school. We were good friend,s but her family moved away.

Past simple, I've given you a bit more context _ back in high school. I've

only known Lynn for one year. We work together but we're not really close.

Here, present perfect because we still work together. I've given you a bit more information.

We can't talk about these two tenses without looking at for and since. So

let's do a mini For and Since review. For plus duration, since plus starting point.

What does that mean? For plus duration: for ten years, four eight months, for five hours.

Since plus starting point. When did something start? From when? since 2011,

since March. Those are my starting points. I've lived here for 10 years.

I've had a bad shoulder since summer. For and Since are really common with the present perfect

because they show us that something is continuing up to now. I still live here.

My shoulder still hurts. Can we use For and Since with the past simple? We can use FOR.

My grandparents were married for 60 years. I lived there for 10 years. We don't use Since

with the past simple because Since means something is continuing up to now. I lived here since 2011.

But! I've met thousands of students since I started teaching. I've met - present perfect.

I'm still teaching now, great. Since I started? What? Since plus past simple?

In this sentence here, Since plus I started, is my starting point. I'm not saying my starting

is continuing up to the present. Let me give you the same sentence, but I'll change things around

a little bit. I've met thousands of people since 2010. Same information, I'm just using different

vocabulary. To summarize: Don't use the past simple with since if you're trying to express

up to now. Use since plus past simple if that past simple time was your starting point. Let's

move on to that last part - connections to the present. A connection to the present.

Oh man, Kevin has already booked the meeting room.

The police have taped off the path I use to walk to work.

Both of these past actions have an impact on my present. How do I know that? Because without

these actions, my life wouldn't be different now. Now I can't book the meeting room. Thanks Kevin!

Now I need to walk the long way to work. So there's a connection to the present.

Does anyone here speak Russian? Kyle's been to Russia loads of times.

Notice my contraction. Let's ask him. Maybe he can help us. We see the present perfect a lot

in the news because past actions impact us now, right? New Covid restrictions have complicated

plans to reopen air travel between the US and the UK. Teachers have expressed concerns over

recent cyber bullying cases. Okay, let's get a little bit more conversational.

I've sprained my ankle, so I can't go on a skiing trip.

I've received some bad news from my doctor. I really don't know how to feel.

We're out of coffee pods. Don't worry, I've already ordered some.

Because of my sprained ankle, now I can't go on that skiing trip. Because of the bad news,

now I don't know how I feel. I ordered coffee pods, now you can relax. But, Americans usually

don't use the present perfect when we have this past to present connection. If something's done,

it's done. So I could say: I sprained my ankle, I received some bad news, I already

ordered some. Keep that difference in mind when you're listening to podcasts or watching movies.

Okay are you ready for a big review?

Both tenses have different grammatical structures. Verb 2 for past simple.

Have/Has plus verb three, past participle - for the present perfect

It's all about something that is finished or unfinished - time. Finished: I drank three

cups of coffee yesterday. Unfinished: I've drunk three cups of coffee today.

Life experiences. Finished: My grandma went to over 50 countries. Unfortunately, she's not alive now.

Unfinished: She's been to over 50 countries. She's still alive. Actions.

Finished: I lived there for 20 years. Unfinished: I have lived here for 20 years. Connection to

the present: You don't need to cook. I've just ordered a large pizza. This is correct, but many

times, Americans prefer to use the past simple . You don't need to cook. I just ordered a pizza.

Well done. I know there was a lot of information in today's lesson,

so leave me a comment down below, and I can't wait to see you soon. Thank you. Bye!