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The Past Tense

Put the verbs between brackets into the correct tense:

 

THE PAST TENSE

THE SIMPLE PAST                                           THE PRESENT PERFECT SIMPLE

FORM:

affirmative

Subject +  preterit

Subject + have / has + past participle

Negative

Subject + didn’t + infinitive

Subject + haven’t/hasn’t + past participle

Interrogative

Did + Subject + infinitive

Have/ Has + Subject + past participle

MEANING:

  • We use the simple past tense for a definite action in the past: When the time is indicated: YESTERDAY, LAST + NOUN, …AGO

I travelled last week.
He went to school on foot yesterday.
They got married three years ago.

  • We use the present perfect for an indefinite action in the past. The time is not important.

They have finished. (We don’t know when they finished in the past)
She has arrived. (Her arrival is not stated in the past. She arrived at an indefinite time in the past.)

  • The present perfect is used with: JUST for a recent action in the past
  • My mother has just cooked lunch. (She cooked lunch a few minutes ago. At an indefinite time in the past. Perhaps 3,5,9, or 10 minutes ago)
  • It is also used with: ALREADY for an indefinite action in the past.
  • I have already eaten lunch. (I ate lunch at an indefinite time in the past.)
  • She has already seen this film. (She saw the film a week ago, 3 months ago, or last year)
  • The present perfect is used with: YET which means up to now, or so far
  • YET-interrogative:
  • Have you finished yet?
  • YET-negative:
  • We haven’t finished the programme yet.
  • It is 11 o’clock and she hasn’t cooked lunch yet.
  • The present perfect is used with ever and never
  • EVER: At any point in one’s life.
  • Have you ever smoked?(In all your life, since you were born to now)
  • Has he ever driven a car?
  • NEVER: At no point in one’s life
  • I have never smoked. (In all my life, since I was born to now)
  • The present perfect is used with: today, this week/month/year for an unfinished time in the past.
  • I have read two books this week. (I’ve finished reading the books, but the week is not finished.)
  • My father has travelled four times this month. (He has finished travelling, but the month is not finished. If the month is finished, we’ll use the simple past tense: My father travelled our times last month.)
  • EXERCISES: Use The Simple Past Tense, or The Present Perfect:

  •  

    1. I (visited/ have visited) my grandparents last weekend.
    2. He (wrote/has written) the report, but (didn’t send/hasn’t sent) yet.
    3. I (didn’t see/haven’t seen) my friend today, but I (saw/have seen) him yesterday.
    4. What (did you do/have you done) so far?
    5. I (implemented/have implemented) the task.
    6. Fatima: (Did you cook/Have you cooked) lunch yet?
    7. Aicha: No, I (didn’t cook/haven’t cooked) it yet. What about you?
    8. Fatima: I (already cooked/ have already cooked) it.
    9. Brahim: (Did you ever go/Have you ever been) to Merzouga?
    10. Rachid: No, I (never went/ have never been). And what about you?
    11. Brahim: I (went/have been) there four times.
    12. Hamid: Hi. Where (were you/have you been)?
    13. Youness: I (was/have been) shopping.
    14. Hamid: When (did you go/have you gone)?
    15. Youness: I (went/have gone) at nine o’clock.
    16. The road is closed. There (was/has been) an accident.
    17. The teacher (just arrived/has just arrived).
    18. A: Have lunch with us.
    19. B: Thanks. I (already had/ I have already had) lunch.
    20. Several things have happened since I last wrote to you. I (bought/have bought) a car. My daughter (got/has got) married.
    21. Nadia can’t walk and her leg is in plaster. She (broke/has broken) her leg.
    22. Shakespeare (wrote/has written) a lot of plays.
    23. My brother (wrote/has written) several plays. He (just finished/has just finished) his second tragedy.
    24. (Did you lock/ Have you locked) the door before you left the house?
    25. I (read/have read) his books when I was at school. I (enjoyed/have enjoyed) them a lot.
    26. A: When (did he arrive/has he arrived)?
    27. B: He (arrived/has arrived) at 11 o’clock.
    28. I (wrote/have written) the letter but I can’t find a stamp.
    29. A: The clock is slow
    30. It isn’t slow. It (stopped/has stopped)
    31. Here are my shoes. I (just cleaned/ have just cleaned) them.
    32. I (left/ have left) home at 8.00 and (got/have got) there at 12.00.
    33. I (did/have done) this sort of work when I (was/have been) an apprentice
    34. They (painted/have painted) their house. It looks new now.
    35. The weather (was/has been) nice and warm this year.
    36. Last year, it (was/has been) cold and rainy.
    37. We (did/have done) a lot of practice on the tenses this month.
    38. Up to now I (didn’t visit/haven’t visited) Agadir.
    39. Last summer, I (spent/have spent) three weeks in Marrakech.
    40. Hamid (never ate/has never eaten) Chinese food in his entire lifetime.
    41. A: I (was not able/haven’t been able) speak English well yet.
    42. He (just went out/has just gone out)
    43. He (went out/ has gone out) ten minutes ago.
    44. A: (Did you have/Have you had) breakfast yet?
    45. B: I (had/have had) it at 8.00.
    46. (Did you watch/Have you watched) a movie last night?
    47. The concert (began/has begun) at 2.30 and (lasted/has lasted) for two hours. Everyone (enjoyed/has enjoyed) it.
    48. The play (just began/has just begun). You are a bit late.
    49. A: (Did the newspaper come/ Has the newspaper come)?
    50. B: Yes, I’m reading it.
    51. A: When (did it come/has it come)?
    52. B: It (came/has come) at 7.00

    KEY TO THIS EXERCISE

     

     

The present perfect continuous

Affirmative

Negative

Interrogative

I,you,we, they have been working

I, you, we, they haven’t been working

Have I, you, we, they been working

He, she, it has been working

He, she, it hasn’t been working

Has he, she, it been working?

Examples:

I have been working all day.
It has been raining all week.
The football team has been training all year.
I have been learning English since 2001.
I have been learning English for five years.
She has been playing the violin ever since she was four.
My uncle has been visiting us lately.
The wing has been blowing in our region recently.

RULES: We use the present perfect to talk about an action which began in the past and continues to the present.

EXERCISE:

  1. Use: for, since, or ago:

 

  1. I have been living in Errachidia ………………ten years.
  2. It has been raining ……………….eight o’clock.
  3. I got up four hours……………. .
  4. They have been married……………….1991.
  5. She has been studying English………………….. six years… . …………… 2000.
  6. John has been playing the guitar………………he was a child . ………………..20 years.
  7. Rachida cleaned the house ten minutes………………. .
  8. My sister has been training tennis…………………. 1996.
  9. My brother finished his studies ten months……………….. .
  10. I have known him………….a long time.
  11. The baby has been crying …………….the morning.
  12. We have been preparing for the exam……………three months.

 

 

  1. Use the present prefect, the simple past or the simple present:

 

  1. I (live/lived/ have lived)……………………….in Errachidia.
  2. I (live/lived/have lived)………………………..in Errachidia since 1965.
  3. My brother (live/lived/has lived)…………………..in Paris eight years ago.
  4. She always (helps/helped/has helped)……………………………. her mother.
  5. We (don’t get up/ didn’t get up/ hasn’t got up)…………………….yet.
  6. He already…………………….. (Finishes/finished/has finished).

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