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Kuba
Past Simple vs Present Perfect

Hello !!!

I'm new here so hehehe ;D I have some problems with Present Perfect and Past Simple. Well What exactly ?

We know that Past Simple tells us about the action that ended in past and it doesn't have any results in Present and the Present Perfect we use it when we want to say that the action happened in past and it's still continue in the present/future

Problem is that we can use Present Perfect to as a ended action without an information when did it happened BUT we don't need to use time in Past Simple to !!!! so yea what should I use then 

2nd problem is well something happend in the Past like 5 min ago and I won't say that it happened 5 min ago and then something happened so should I change that past simple into Present or stay in it but i should add that I'm no longer doing this action and I'm doing something else like

Example :

I came here to see what was going on but I've seen him so I went there to fight with him 

Now I used Past in the beggining to say that i stayed there and something happened that I'm no longer doing it so I used Present to say that I saw something wierd so I used past because I don't know why we don't need to use again Present so I used past and added that i went there to fight with him (but it should be present)

I found a map (5 min ago without telling it) so I will give it to Jane - Is it correct if not can you tell me why ?

In many movies characters are telling (all time in Past Simple they see the result but they say it in Past Simple)


I DON'T UNDERSTAND IT (Maybe I'm stupid or what ...)

Feb 26, 2018 1:57 PM
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Comments · 20

Hi Kuba, I'll try to add some points to clarify the difference.

First of all you need to remember that in the English mind, Past and Present are two separate concepts. I mean that the past doesn't automatically continue into the present. There is a clear gap, and this understanding is vital when students move to intermediate and upper intermediate levels.

Past Simple talks about the past, obviously. :) However, you must indicate a time in the past when you use past simple. You can't assume it's in the past because of the verb form. (As you learn more, you'll see why this is absolutely necessary.)

In comparison, Present Perfect talks about the present! :) However, we use a past action to do so, which means there's a present result from the past action, or some kind of connection between the present and the past. We don't use a time with present perfect because it already has a time: now. So, if you want to connect the past to the present, then you can only do this with Present Perfect. Nothing else will work.

I suggest you look for real examples and see how the grammar works, instead of writing incorrect sentences and asking what's wrong with them.

Ultimately, if you want to avoid the present perfect, then no-one is stopping you. :) However, you will find yourself permanently stuck around elementary level. If you're comfortable there, then fine.

February 27, 2018

Ok then look at this one from English book

Did you watch the final episode of Lost ?

I did. The last scene was so exciting. I will miss it now that it's finished


What can you say about it ?

February 26, 2018
I'm a native English speaker. I can't explain to you the rules because I really don't know them, but I speak English very well. 
Please don't feel stupid if you don't speak correctly!! Even many of us Americans speak badly! In most sentences, it isn't necessary to use exactly ONE tense. Usually there are a few ways to express a thought correctly. And if you express it incorrectly, we will understand you just the same. Just do your best!
February 26, 2018

@ Kuba and Gennady

Let me try to redirect the discussion a bit. 

1) the present perfect is a species of the present tense. You can easily see this in the following example :

a) I ate a whale yesterday (correct)

b) I have eaten a whale yesterday (incorrect)

The simple reason that (b) is incorrect is that you can not use a past time expression with the present perfect tense. If you want to know more precisely about when to use the present perfect tense in English, let me know... but it's rather complicated since the tense does not exist in many languages.

February 26, 2018
The clear difference between them is the time
Past simple needs time while present perfect doesn' need time

I (visited)London last year.
I (have visited)London many time times before.
February 26, 2018
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Kuba
Language Skills
English, Polish
Learning Language
English