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18. Present Perfect or Past Simple 2

FORM 7

1 I've been or I was?

PRESENT PERFECT

We use the Present Perfect for a state which has
gone on up to the present. (David is still in
hospital.)
We've lived here for ten years.
(And we still live here.)

PAST SIMPLE

We use the Past Simple for a state in the past, in a
period which is fini shed. (David's stay in hospital
is over.)
We lived there for ten years.
(We don't live there now.)

2 Have you (ever) ... ? and Did you (ever) ... ?

PRESENT PERFECT

We use the Present Perfect for actions in a period
of time up to the present.
This young director has made four films so far.
He has made films means that it is possible he will
make more films.

Here are some more examples.
Have you ever been to America? - Yes, twice.
I've played table tennis before.
We've never had any money.

PAST SIMPLE

We use the Past Simple for actions in the past, a
period which is finished.
The director made many films in his long career.
He made films means that his career in films is
over. He won't make any more.


Did Churchill ever go to America? - Yes, I think so.
I played table tennis at college.
We never had any money in those days.

3 Today, this week, etc.

PRESENT PERFECT

We use today and phrases with this for a period
up to the present.
It hasn't rained today.
Have you seen this week's magazine?

PAST SIMPLE

We use yesterday and phrases with last for a past
period.
It rained yesterday.
Did you see last week's magazine?

But sometimes today etc. can mean a past period. Compare:

I haven't seen Rachel today.
(It's still daytime.)
Has the post come this morning?
(It's still morning.)

I didn't see Sarah at work today.
(The working day is over.)
Did the post come this morning?
(It's later in the day.)

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