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Simple Past

Present Perfect Simple

Irregular verbs: see 2nd column of irregular verbs

Example: I spoke

Irregular verbs: have/has + 3rd column of irregular verbs


I / you / we / they have spoken.
he / she / it has spoken

Regular verbs: have/has + infinitive + ed

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



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


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.

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 PastPresent Perfect Simple

certain time in the past

Example: I phoned Mary 2 minutes ago.

just / already / not yet

Example: 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 PastPresent Perfect Simple

certain event in the past

Example: He went to Canada last summer.

whether / how often till now

Example: 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 PastPresent Perfect Simple

Emphasis on action

Example:  I bought a new bike. (just telling what I did in the past.)

Emphasis on result

Example: I have bought a new bike. (with this sentence I actually want to express that I have a new bike now.)

Signal Words

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




05/11/2013 00:37 miprimerzarzablog #. ENGLISH

Comentarios » Ir a formulario

gravatar.comAutor: Andrés Aguado

It was good
My moom say to

Fecha: 12/11/2013 15:51.

gravatar.comAutor: Andrés Aguado Drake

Is foon my moom say to

Fecha: 12/11/2013 15:54.

Autor: Estibaliz

Thank you, Andrés!!

Fecha: 13/11/2013 16:08.

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