Language Awareness: Past Simple & Present Prefect

Sometimes people get these two tenses wrong.

The past simple is always used when the action happened in the past and it’s totally over! You know this, but sometimes you don’t realize, like the student who posted in our Diary for Sept 19.

The present perfect is for something that happened in the past but which is still “open” now.

EXERCISE. Then, there are cases where we can hear both tenses. Can you explain the context for any of these sentences? Why am I using the tense I use in each sentence? Remember that what we have in mind (visualize, feel) doesn’t always get worded!

  1. What did you say?
  2. What have you said (just now)?
  3. I have bought some apples
  4. I bought some apples
  5. I have bought this amazing pair of boots!
  6. I have just bought the tickets
  7. I just bought the tickets!
  8. What have you bought?
  9. What did you buy?
  10. Your mother called
  11. Your mum has called
  12. I found it!

 

 

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