Present Perfect vs Past Simple – Learn English Tenses (Lesson 4)

Welcome back everyone This is minoo at Anglo-link and this is now the fourth video in our learning the tenses series As I’ve said before if you haven’t seen the previous videos you may want to go and watch them first in this fourth video I’m going to explain the differences between the present perfect “I have done” and the past simple “I did” When you’re ready, we’ll get started Right Present perfect and past simple Let’s look at formulation first You remember from the previous video that the present perfect is formulated with the verb have and the past participle of the main verb I have played tennis You have played tennis He/She has played We, you and they have played Now let’s look at past simple Past simple there are two types of verbs regular verbs and irregular verbs For regular verbs you simply add “ed” to the end of the infinitive for example: I played tennis and it’s the same form for all pronouns I played You played He/She played We, you and they played For irregular verbs you would have to go and learn the form from a list you can go to our website where you will find a list of the most common irregular verbs Which you will have to memorize That’s all for formulation. Let’s move on to usage Right Recap on the usage of present perfect which we looked at in the previous video Action that is complete at the time of speaking Examples were: I’ve studied three sections until now I’ve already done half of the exercises He has driven 500 kilometers so far Let’s look at the past simple Past simple is similar to present perfect in that it also refers to a completed action in the past But this time there is a clear reference to the specific time of the action in the past Let’s look at the examples First example: I’ve studied three sections until now The action is complete, but we don’t know when If we add “the when element” if we specify the time in the past the tense changes to past simple Let’s watch the change I studied three sections last night Let’s look at the second example I’ve already done half of the exercises Let’s add a specific time in the past and the verb changes to I did half of the exercises before lunch and our final example: He has driven 500 kilometers so far Let’s add the specific time in the past and watch the change from present perfect to past simple He drove 500 kilometers yesterday Let’s look at the timelines for a better picture of the differences Here’s the present perfect that you saw in the previous video an action in the past completed at some point We don’t know when or we don’t care to mention when the action is complete at the time of speaking Now if we mentioned that specific time in the past if it fits out past time we we must change to past simple Action completed at a specific time in the past There is no longer any connection with now For example: yesterday two weeks ago when I was 10 ETC Let’s look at some common mistakes The most common mistake is using the present perfect Instead of the past simple for example saying something like We have bought this car two months ago Because we are mentioning a specific time in the past Two months ago We should use the past simple We bought this car two months ago another example I have slept well last night Once again last night refers to a specific time in the past so we need to use the past simple I slept well last night Another example She has met him when she was at college Again when she was at College refers to a specific period of time in the past and therefore, we should use past simple She met him when she was at College The mistake can be made the other way around Using the past simple where present perfect is required For example: I already called him Already means sometime in the past until now it’s not specific Therefore we should use The present perfect I have already called him I must point out that I already called him is some time is acceptable in American English Let’s look at two other examples Where the past tense is used She just came back you might hear this especially in America but really the correct tense is she has just come back because just Doesn’t refer to a specific time in the past It tells us that the action is complete Not a long time ago And let’s look at our last example Prices went up this month This month is not a reference in the past the month continues, it’s a present time It means until now in this month, so we should use the present perfect Prices have gone up this month Well, that’s all for this video. I hope you’ve enjoyed watching it As you know you can now go to our website to read the explanations and do the exercises to review this point Thank you for watching I’ll see you in the next video. Bye now

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. Thanks for great videos ,teacher plz , what's the different in meaning between present perfect & present.perfect cont when we use since or for ?
    For example
    Prices have gone up for 3 months
    Prices have been going up for 3 months
    I think the difference is
    In first example the action restarted and completed for several separated periods of time along 3 months & In second example the action is continuing without stopping along 3 months
    Is it true ?

  2. What's the difference in meaning between this sentences:
    I waited for you for an hour
    I have waited for you for an hour
    I have been waiting for you for an hour

  3. Please, I need help, can anybody help me?
    In the last tense "Prices have gone up this month" should be Prices HAS gone up this month?

    He/she/IT with has.

    PD: I'm not native speaker, please , I will aprecciate to much. sorry!

  4. It is really interesting to learn from your lessons.The examples given are pretty simple to understandwhich makes the learning journey more comfortable.Thank you very much.

  5. Hi Meenu, I really like your videos. I'm a strong believer in the concept of Bilingual teaching methods and so I intend to create videos to help people from deprived backgrounds learn English through their native language (Telugu for people from AP and Telangana, India). Could you please tell me which software was used, to create the text animations usually seen in your videos. I'd greatly appreciate your assistance on this. Thanks.

  6. This information is incomplete. I have been an english teacher for over 15 years and I must say that the most important difference between these two tenses is not mentioned. Which is that the present perfect by itself does not imply that the action is finished unless you specify so with complementary information. "I have studied english" is a sentence in present perfect where there is no restriction for the action in time; it specifies that it began in the past but it does not say if it is finished or not. I could very well still studying English and it would not mean the sentence is wrong. While "I studied English" is definitely a finished action, for which we use simple past.

  7. A question, which one is correct, i made family reunion, and a booked an appointment at your embassy, or i have made family reunion, and i have booked an appointment….?

  8. hello ma'am,"I said get out" & I've said get out" which one is correct to say…
    & did u get that? as an answer which is correct that "yes,I got it" or "yes,I've got it"..plz answer me as soon as possible.. thanks for your lesson video…

  9. Thank you so much >>Your videos are wonderful and helpful . Can I use " in the past " as a time marker with the present perfect tense . Thanks a lot .

  10. ?could you please show me the different between or which one correct
    prices have gone up this month
    prices have been going up this month

  11. hi mam i am from pakistan.LECTURES are very helpfull please make a video on differences among simple past , past continuous, past perfect and past perfect continuous tenses… same like future tenses….

  12. Your videos explaining the tenses are generally pretty good, but as someone whose first language is not English(I have been learning the language since I was 14, spent most of my life trying to master it and teaching it) and who has been teaching ESL for many years I have to add: this video is not making the difference between Pr. Perf. and Past Simple clear. It's good as a basic explanation or a starter approach, but as we know, a lot of times we don't mention the time of the action in a Past Simple sentence(Did you see him? vs Have you seen him?/ I didn't see him. vs I haven't seen him. Where did you go? vs. Where have you been? He's worked for Google. vs He worked for Google. etc.). So what's very important in my experience is to explain WHY we are using one or the other; the context, the intention, the indications. This is what makes a difference for the learner when it comes to fully understanding and internalizing how and why we use certain tenses in certain situations: English grammar tenses are situation-driven and just explaining the "rules" creates a lot of insecurity and misunderstanding.

  13. Hi Minoo, is this correct if i say “ i have worked for abs for over 3years” , but in fact, i no longer work for abs company now. I am not sure what tense can mean i continue doing something before and just stopped lately.

  14. I have a question. Can you help me, please? A teacher passed a homework and in the next class he asks: Di you do the exercises? Or Have you done the exercises? Are both correct?

  15. Another tricky moment when it says "all my life" – again making a lesson I got a bit tuck on that)) I have been famous all my life or I was famous all my life. All my life makes me think about length of the action in the past, however from another side it lasts until present moment, so perfect tens has to be used, is it right?

  16. In present perfect can we use the time. Like
    I have lived in europe for 2 years.
    I was in europe from 2012 to 2014.

  17. Hello! 🙂 Thank you for this videos, it made the learning of English tenses clearer for me. I have a question: If I want to say in the evening that today I did something/have done something, which tense should I use? Past Simple or Present perfect?

  18. Which one is the correct?
    It felt down. or It has fallen down.
    I say this when my child drops the food.

  19. I watch the video repeatedly,but I have some questions for you that you said"the action is completed",
    for example:"I've known Julie for ten years "— in fact I still know her.
    "have you been to China before?",etc
    i hope you can help me to understand that "action is completed "
    thank you!

  20. I couldn't see this video properly because it become very invisible. please maximise your letter in the time of writing so that we can identify the letter. Hope you will do your best. Thank you so much!

  21. +Anglo-Link First, i've been watching your series and i can say that is really good. Second, these tenses are my biggest mistake but this video quite help me, there is something that i want to ask you about the timeline part, you've said that "no longer connection to now" for simple past so you erased the line present perfect line but is it the same for present perfect ? "No longer connection to now". Hope you can help me. Thanks

  22. I ( live ) ……………… in London for ten years .
    We can write many tenses
    lived _ have lived_ have been living _ will live _ am going to live
    Can we use past perfect???????
    I had lived in Damascus for ten years.

  23. You are excellent . Thank you very much . I ask about "today " as a time marker , can I use it with past simple tense ? Many thanks .

  24. I want to mention 2 mistakes:
    1. In the beginning the title typed incorrectly, instead of "Present Perfect vs Past Simple" it has been written "Present Perfect vs Present Simple".
    2. In the common mistakes section at the end of the video, one sentence has been converted into present perfect tense wrongly.
    The sentence "She just came back" turned into "She has just come back". Instead it should be converted this way "She has just came back".

  25. Great courses. Can you just correct the video introduction to be Present Perfect vs Past Simple instead of Present Simple

  26. (PP) Present Perfect
    (PS) Past Simple
    I’ve finished editing my video. (PP)

    I finished editing my video yesterday. (PS)

    I’d like to know if it’s correct or incorrect. I’d highly appreciate it, thank you.

  27. For all ESL learners. Here is my interpretation of those two. Correct me if I'm wrong, please. Maybe it is written in some book I don't really know but here are my thoughts after processing thousands of explanations:

    Once you understand that "I have" means "I have an attribute in present", the rest is relatively easy. "I have played tennis" means "I have an attribute in present which is a direct consequence of playing tennis process". The key word is present. Which is why you are forbidden to use any "ago" or "yesterday". Because you can't say "I have an attribute in present yesterday". 

    "I played tennis" doesn't have that notation of present. It is implied there is a fixed time frame in a past when you played tennis from context. Some examples:
    – Where have you been?
    – Oh, I played tennis
    – When did you do that? How was it? Did you like it?

    – Where have you been? (Assume you haven't seen a friend for a day or two)
    – Oh, I played tennis yesterday (you want to give an information about 'yesterday' thus you are obliged to use past simple)

    – Where have you been? (Assume you haven't seen a friend for a day or two)
    – Oh, I played tennis and then I decided to go to a movie theatre (same as previous but it is a sequence of facts in a past)

    The first example and third I would call a simplified case. It is something that native speakers do because they are 'lazy'. There is no 'yesterday' or 'ago'. It is a border case and simply It is better be avoided while you are learning fundamentals. Second case is legit even though the question is written in PP and the answer is in PS.

    – Where have you been? (Assume you are a boss and you haven't seen a worker for a couple of hours)
    – Oh, I've played tennis (Means that I played tennis and the result of this process is an 2-hour absence. You and boss both know about this absence (=result). In other words "I have an attribute in present which is my 2-hour absence which is a direct consequence of playing tennis process")

  28. Thank you for the video and great explanations.
    However, I've been having a doubt for a long time now….How to correctly answer the question "What have you done today?"
    Is it correct to say: "I've eaten my breakfast, I've worked eight hours, I've seen a friend…" ?
    I understand that 'today' hasn't finished yet, but I also know that I won't have more breakfasts today, more food yes, but breakfast no. Wouldn't it be better to say than: "Today I ate breakfast but I've had three coffees so far."?
    Thank you for the answer, hopefully my question makes sense 🙂

  29. It will ne amazing if you do a video about the present simple vs past simple but you teach verry vell thanks

  30. Hello Mino,
    Can you please advise what is the best tense for this sentence and why?:

    Tom (saw / has seen) his mother just now in the main road.

    Thanks in advance ❤

  31. Personally, I think that it's important to underline the mistakes in American English (there are many…), another great lesson. Thank you!

  32. You are the best among who has explained grammar untill now
    ( and I hope my sentence is correct) 😉
    If it is correct kindly click ( like)

  33. In past simple
    Does the action completed at a specific time
    Or not at a specific time ???
    Cuz in recent video about tenses you said across this ???
    Please make sure please
    Before give people information about that

  34. Just is not specific time, this month is not specific time but yesterday or last week is specific. Hard to understand.

  35. Hello !
    I have a question. There is some situation when I found my dead cat lying on the floor. Then my wife comes in and says: this cat died yeasterday or this car has died yesterday ? What would you say ? Thanks

  36. I woke up early this morning .
    I woke up at 7a.m. in the morning.
    Are both sentences correct ?
    Plz reply me mam i m so confused

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