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Form

Simple Past Present Perfect Simple

irregular verbs: see 2nd column of irregular verbs irregular verbs: form of 'have' + 3rd column of irregular
verbs
Example:
I spoke Example:
I / you / we / they have spoken
he / she / it has spoken

regular verbs: infinitive + ed regular verbs: form of 'have' + infinitive + ed

Example: Example:
I worked I / you / we / they have worked
he / she / it has worked

Exceptions

Exceptions when adding 'ed':

 when the final letter is e, only add d

Example:
love - loved

 after a short, stressed vowel, the final consonant is doubled

Example:
admit - admitted

 final l is always doubled in British English (not in American English)

Example:
travel - travelled

 after a consonant, final y becomes i (but: not after a vowel)

Example:
worry - worried
but: play - played

See also explanations on Simple Past and Present Perfect Simple

Use
In British English, the use of Simple Past and Present Perfect is quite strict. As soon
as a time expression in the past is given, you have to use Simple Past. If there are
no signal words, you must decide if we just talk about an action in the past or if its
consequence in the present is important.

Note that the following explanations and exercises refer to British English only. In
American English, you can normally use Simple Past instead of Present Perfect. We
cannot accept this in our exercises, however, as this would lead to confusions
amongst those who have to learn the differences.

Certain time in the past or just / already / yet?

Do you want to express that an action happened at a certain time in the past (even
if it was just a few seconds ago) or that an action has just / already / not
yet happened?

Simple Past Present Perfect Simple

certain time in the past just / already / not yet

Example: Example:
I phoned Mary 2 minutes ago. I have just phoned Mary.

Certain event in the past or how often so far?

Do you want to express when a certain action took place or whether / how often an
action has happened till now?

Simple Past Present Perfect Simple

certain event in the past whether / how often till now

Example: Example:
He went to Canada last summer. Have you ever been to Canada? / I have been to
Canada twice.

Emphasis on action or result?

Do you just want to express what happened in the past? Or do you want to
emphasise the result (a past action's consequence in the present)?

Simple Past Present Perfect Simple

Emphasis on action Emphasis on result

Example: Example:
I bought a new bike. (just telling I have bought a new bike. (With this sentence I actually
what I did in the past.) want to express that I have a new bike now.)

Signal Words

Simple Past Present Perfect Simple

 yesterday  just
 ... ago  already
 in 1990  up to now
 the other day  until now / till now
 last ...  ever
 (not) yet
 so far
 lately / recently

Exercises on Simple Past and Present Perfect Simple

Exercise 1
Put the verbs into the correct tense (simple past or present perfect simple).

1. Mother: I want to prepare dinner. (you / wash) the dishes yet?

2. Daughter: I (wash) the dishes yesterday, but I (have / not) the time
yet to do it today.

3. Mother: (you / do / already) your homework?

4. Daughter: No, I (come / just) home from school.

5. Mother: You (come) home from school two hours ago!

6. Daughter: Well, but my friend Lucy (call) when I (arrive) and


I (finish / just) the phone call.

7. Mother: (you / see / not) Lucy at school in the morning?

8. Daughter: Yes, but we (have / not) time to talk then.

Check Answ ers Mark wrong answers


Replace wrong by correct answers
Show all correct answers

Exercise 1
Put the verbs into the correct tense (simple past or present perfect simple).

1. Mother: I want to prepare dinner. Have you washed the dishes yet?
2. Daughter: I washed the dishes yesterday, but I have not had the time yet to do it today.
3. Mother: Have you already donesignal word 'already' = Present Perfect Simple your
homework?
4. Daughter: No, I have just come home from school.
5. Mother: You came home from school two hours ago!
6. Daughter: Well, but my friend Lucy called when I arrived and I have just finished the phone
call.
7. Mother: Didn't you see Lucy at school in the morning?
8. Daughter: Yes, but we did not have time to talk then.

0 out of 11 answers are correct.

Exercise 2
Put the verbs into the correct tense (simple past or present perfect simple).

1. A: I (cycle / just) 50 km.

2. B: I (cycle) 100 km last week.

3. A: I (write) an essay yesterday.

4. B: I (write / already) two essays this term.

5. A: I (ring / just) my friend.

6. B: I (ring) my friend 10 minutes ago.

7. A: Two days ago, I (watch) a Madonna concert on TV.

8. B: I (see / already) Madonna live in concert.

9. A: I (spend) my summer holiday in Australia last year.

10. B: I (be / not) to Australia yet.


Exercise 2
Put the verbs into the correct tense (simple past or present perfect simple).

1. A: I have just cycled 50 km.


2. B: I cycled 100 km last week.
3. A: I wrote an essay yesterday.
4. B: I have already written two essays this term.
5. A: I have just rung my friend.
6. B: I rang my friend 10 minutes ago.
7. A: Two days ago, I watched a Madonna concert on TV.
8. B: I have already seen Madonna live in concert.
9. A: I spent my summer holiday in Australia last year.
10. B: I have not been to Australia yet.

Exercise 3

Put the verbs into the correct tense (simple past or present perfect simple).

1. A: (you / be / ever) to London?

2. B: Yes, I (be) there three times.

3. A: When (be) the last time you (be) there?

4. B: Last summer. I (spend) two weeks in Brighton with my parents and


we (go) to London one weekend.

5. (you / like) it?

6. Oh yes. We really (have) a great time in London.

7. Lucky you! I (be / never) to London.

Exercise 3

Put the verbs into the correct tense (simple past or present perfect simple).

1. A: Have you ever been to London?


2. B: Yes, I have been there three times.
3. A: When was the last time you were there?
4. B: Last summer. I spent two weeks in Brighton with my parents and we went to
London one weekend.
5. Did you like it?
6. Oh yes. We really had a great time in London.
7. Lucky you! I have never been to London.

Exercise 4
Put the verbs into the correct tense (simple past or present perfect simple).

1. A: (you / try / ever) haggis?


2. B: Oh, yes!

3. A: How often (you / eat) haggis yet?


4. B: Two times exactly.

5. A: When (you / eat / first) haggis?

6. B: That (be) in 2005. We (have) a Scottish festival in our town


and they also(sell) traditional Scottish food. So I (buy) haggis.

7. A: (you / like) it?

8. B: It (be / not) too bad. And I (know / not) anything about haggis
then.

9. A: When (you / find out) ?

10. B: When I (be) in Scotland in 2007. I (go) to a restaurant


and (order) haggis. Afterwards, the waiter (tell) me about haggis:
it's the heart, liver and lungs of a sheep, boiled in the animal's stomach. Well, I (eat /
never) haggis again since then.

Exercise 4

Put the verbs into the correct tense (simple past or present perfect simple).

1. A: Have you ever tried haggis?


2. B: Oh, yes!
3. A: How often have you eaten haggis yet?
4. B: Two times exactly.
5. A: When did you first eat haggis?
6. B: That was in 2005. We had a Scottish festival in our town and they
also sold traditional Scottish food. So I bought haggis.
7. A: Did you like it?
8. B: It was not too bad. And I did not know anything about haggis then.
9. A: When did you find out ?
10. B: When I was in Scotland in 2007. I went to a restaurant and ordered haggis.
Afterwards, the waitertold me about haggis: it's the heart, liver and lungs of a sheep,
boiled in the animal's stomach. Well, Ihave never eaten haggis again since then.

Exercise 5

Put the verbs into the correct tense (simple past or present perfect simple).

1. A: (you / buy) the tickets for our journey yet?

2. B: Yes, I (go) to the station yesterday and (buy) the tickets.

3. A: What time (you / go) there?

4. B: I (take) a friend to the station in the morning. His


train (leave) at 9:45.

5. A: (you / pack) your bags yet?

6. B: Of course. And I (ask / already) my neighbour to empty my letter box.


What about you?

7. B: I (pack) my bags two days ago.

Exercise 5
Put the verbs into the correct tense (simple past or present perfect simple).

1. A: Have you bought the tickets for our journey yet?


2. B: Yes, I went to the station yesterday and bought the tickets.
3. A: What time did you go there?
4. B: I took a friend to the station in the morning. His train left at 9:45.
5. A: Have you packed your bags yet?
6. B: Of course. And I have already asked my neighbour to empty my letter box. What
about you?
7. B: I packed my bags two days ago.
Exercise 6
Put the verbs into the correct tense (simple past or present perfect simple).

1. Yesterday, my brother (come) home from school, (switch) on the


TV and (watch) TV until dinner (be) ready.

2. Oh no, it's raining and I (leave) my umbrella at home.

3. Look! There is so much food left. Nobody (eat) anything.

4. Where (you / be) yesterday? - I (go) to the shopping centre


and (buy) a new computer game.

5. Why don't you want to play football with us this weekend? - I (break) my leg.

6. The road is closed. There (be) an accident.

7. I (have) an accident when I (be) in Manchester last year.

8. Come on, let's celebrate! Our team (win) the match.

Exercise 6
Put the verbs into the correct tense (simple past or present perfect simple).

1. Yesterday, my brother came home from school, switched on the TV and watched TV
until dinner was ready.
2. Oh no, it's raining and I have left my umbrella at home.
3. Look! There is so much food left. Nobody has eaten anything.
4. Where were you yesterday? - I went to the shopping centre and bought a new
computer game.
5. Why don't you want to play football with us this weekend? - I have broken my leg.
6. The road is closed. There has been an accident.
7. I had an accident when I was in Manchester last year.
8. Come on, let's celebrate! Our team has won the match.

Exercise 7
Put the verbs into the correct tense (simple past or present perfect simple).

1. A: (you / play / already) the new computer game?

2. B: No, not yet. I only (buy) it yesterday and I (have / not) the time
yet.
3. A: (you / go) to the cinema last night?

4. B: Yes. I (be) there with Sue and Louis. (you / be) to the cinema
recently?

5. A: I last (go) to the cinema two weeks ago.

6. B: So you (see / not) the new action film yet.

7. A: No, unfortunately not. (you / enjoy) it?

8. B: Oh, I really (love) it. But Sue (like / not) it - too much action!

9. A: But why (you / take) her with you? She (tell) me last week that
she(hate) action films.

10. B: I think she has an eye on Louis. She (try) to flirt with him all the time. So
he (can / concentrate / not) on the film.

Exercise 7
Put the verbs into the correct tense (simple past or present perfect simple).

1. A: Have you already played the new computer game?


2. B: No, not yet. I only bought it yesterday and I have not had the time yet.
3. A: Did you go to the cinema last night?
4. B: Yes. I was there with Sue and Louis. Have you been to the cinema recently?
5. A: I last went to the cinema two weeks ago.
6. B: So you have not seen the new action film yet.
7. A: No, unfortunately not. Did you enjoy it?
8. B: Oh, I really loved it. But Sue did not like it - too much action!
9. A: But why did you take her with you? She told me last week that she hated action
films.
10. B: I think she has an eye on Louis. She tried to flirt with him all the time. So he could not
concentrate on the film.

Exercise 8

Put the verbs into the correct tense (simple past or present perfect simple).

1. I (just / finish) my homework.

2. Mary (already / write) five letters.


3. Tom (move) to this town in 1994.

4. My friend (be) in Canada two years ago.

5. I (not / be) to Canada so far.

6. But I (already / travel) to London a couple of times.

7. Last week, Mary and Paul (go) to the cinema.

8. I can't take any pictures because I (not / buy) a new film yet.

9. (they / spend) their holiday in New Zealand last summer?

10. (you / ever / see) a whale?

Exercise 8

Put the verbs into the correct tense (simple past or present perfect simple).

1. I have just finished my homework.


2. Mary has already written five letters.
3. Tom moved to this town in 1994.
4. My friend was in Canada two years ago.
5. I have not been to Canada so far.
6. But I have already travelled to London a couple of times.
7. Last week, Mary and Paul went to the cinema.
8. I can't take any pictures because I have not bought a new film yet.
9. Did they spend their holiday in New Zealand last summer?
10. Have you ever seen a whale?

The Grand Canyon is one of the most spectacular natural features on earth. It is
listed as one of the Seven Natural Wonders and became a United States national
park in 1919. The park covers an area of nearly 5,000 km².

Carved by the Colorado River, the Grand Canyon slices deep into the Colorado
Plateau and forms one of the most scenic landscapes in the world. Up to 1963,
when the Glen Canyon Dam was built, the Colorado river moved 143 million tons of
stones each year.
→ more details on the Grand Canyon National Park

Grammar Exercise on the Text

Simple Past / Present Perfect

We use the simple past for situations or actions in the past (often a time expression
in the past indicates that we must use simple past). We use the present perfect if
there is a connection with the present. For further information, check out our
grammar section → Simple Past oder Present Perfect

Exercise
Put the verbs into the correct form (simple past or present perfect).

1. My friends (visit) the Grand Canyon National Park last year.

2. I (be / never) to the Grand Canyon National Park.

3. But I (see) lots of wonderful pictures.

4. And yesterday I (buy) a book about the Grand Canyon.

5. I (read) 30 pages already. It's really interesting.

Exercise
Put the verbs into the correct form (simple past or present perfect).
1. My friends visited the Grand Canyon National Park last year.
2. I have never been to the Grand Canyon National Park.
3. But I have seen lots of wonderful pictures.
4. And yesterday I bought a book about the Grand Canyon.
5. I have read 30 pages already. It's really interesting.

Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland. It has a beautiful old city centre and a castle
that lies on a hill above the city. In the castle you can see the statues of two Scottish
heroes: Robert Bruce and William Wallace (known from the film Braveheart).

Several famous people were born in Edinburgh, for example Alexander Graham Bell
(who invented the telephone), Tony Blair (Prime Minister) and Arthur Conan Doyle
(who wrote the Sherlock Holmes stories). By the way, J. K. Rowling wrote her first
Harry Potter book in an Edinburgh coffee-shop.

Grammar Exercise on the Text

Simple Past – Present Perfect

We use the simple past for situations or actions in the past (often a time expression
in the past indicates that we must use simple past). We use the present perfect if
there is a connection with the present. For further information, check out our
grammar section: Simple Past or Present Perfect

Write the verbs in the correct tense (Simple Past or Present Perfect).

1. My friend (be) to Edinburgh three times.

2. Some years ago he (study) English there.

3. Last month he (visit) some friends in Edinburgh.


4. Unfortunately, I (can / not) go to Edinburgh with him.

5. This is a pity. They are my friends, too, and I (see / not) them for ages.

Write the verbs in the correct tense (Simple Past or Present Perfect).

1. My friend has been to Edinburgh three times.


2. Some years ago he studied English there.
3. Last month he visited some friends in Edinburgh.
4. Unfortunately, I could not go to Edinburgh with him.
5. This is a pity. They are my friends, too, and I have not seen them for ages.