the past tenses past present perfect. past time i walked for two hoursi have walked for two hours...

The past tenses The past tenses Past Present perfect

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The past tensesThe past tenses


Present perfect

Past timePast time

• I walked for two hours • I have walked for two hours

Past Present perfect

past tense and present perfect tensepast tense and present perfect tense• The Past:

• Regular forms (walked, trained)

• Irregular forms (drank, wrote)

Jack wrote a letter

• The Present Perfect:• Have/has + Past

participle• Have walked• Has trained• Have drunk• Has written

Jack has written many letters


• Ik heb je vorige week op het station gezien

• Ik zag je vorige week op het station.

• I saw you at the station last week.

The PastThe Past

• Is used for past events:• Short, quickly finished actions,• longer situations and• repeated events

which are all over and done with;

there is no connection with the present.

Short, quickly finished actionsShort, quickly finished actions

• Peter bought a car last week.

Longer situationsLonger situations

• I spent my childhood in Scotland.

Repeated eventsRepeated events

• Every summer, Janet fell in love with an Italian gondolier.

• You HAVE TO use the past tense for actions completed at a definite time in the past.

Time is given. I met him yesterday.

Time is asked about. When did you meet him?

Time is implied. How did you get this job?(You now have the job.)

The event took place in a period of time that has now ended.

She lived in Rome when she was a teenager.(She is now an adult.)

Past habits. They never drank wine.(But they do now.)

Present perfectPresent perfect

• A mixture of the present and past• A strong link with the present• We want to say that something in the past is

connected with the present in some way.• We are thinking of the past and the present

at the same time.• But remember: the present perfect is used


I have had a cold for two weeks the past

(two weeks ago) now

ContinuativeContinuative Present Perfect Present Perfect• To say that something

happened several times up to the present, or to say that something started in the past and still continues.

• I’ve read four books since the beginning of this month

• I’ve been married for 8 years.

ContinuativeContinuative Present Perfect Present Perfect

• To ask if something has ever happened (or hasn’t happened) between a moment in the past, and the moment of speaking.

• Have you ever seen a ghost?• Have you been to Mexico in the

past year?

I have wrecked my car. the past

(the accident) I have to walk

ResultativeResultative present perfect present perfect

• To talk about the consequences / effects in the present of past actions

• I’ve broken a leg. (That’s why it’s in a cast.)

ResultativeResultative present perfect present perfect

• We’ll have to hurry – I’ve seen wolves in this forest.

(Evidence from the past suggests one might turn up soon!)


• We’ll have to hurry – I’ve seen wolves in this forest.

• Did you see wolves in this forest when you were here last year?

Continuous formsContinuous forms

• Past continuous• What were you doing

at eight o’clock last evening?

• What did you see as you were walking down the road last night?

Continuous formsContinuous forms

• Present perfect continuous• I’ve been working

all day long.

• It’s been raining all week.

Why is the present perfect used here?

Exercise 1

1. I have seen that movie twenty times.

2. There have been many earthquakes in California.

3. People have not traveled to Mars yet.

4. Have you read the book I gave you?

5. Nobody has ever climbed that mountain.

6. Has there ever been a war in the United States?

7. Are you hungry? No, I’ve eaten.

Exercise 21. You have grown since the last time I saw you. 2. Japanese has become one of the most popular

courses at the university since the Asian studies program was established.

3. My English has really improved since I moved to Australia.

4. Ouch! I have cut my finger! 5. James has not finished his homework yet. 6. Bill has still not arrived. 7. The rain hasn't stopped.

Exercise 3

1. I have had five tests so far this semester. 2. We have had many major problems while

working on this project. 3. Somebody has nicked my purse!4. She has talked to several specialists about her

problem, but nobody knows why she is sick. 5. I’ve tried to talk to her, but she won’t listen.6. She has been in England for six months. 7. Mary has loved chocolate since she was a little


Sample exercise

• Fill in: past or present perfect• 1 Joji ________ in Tokyo for five years, but

he left in 1993. lived / has lived• 2 The Titanic ________ in 1912. sank / has

sunk• 3 Somebody ________ my bicycle! Now I'll

have to walk home. stole / has stolen• 4 Gerry ________ off his bike three times

this month. fell / has fallen• 5 Chika ________ from university last

July. graduated / has graduated

Homework• In pairs, write a simple 'fill in the correct form'

exercise in which the past and the present perfect are mixed, like in the example on slide 24. You need to be able to fill in the gaps yourselves and provide a proper explanation. Write at least 10 sentences and make them available somewhere (mail?) so you can show them on the beamer next week.

• Study the units on the present perfect in English Grammar in Use and do the exercises.

• If you need more practice – go to your grammar reader and study the information there.