PAST SIMPLE and PRESENT PERFECT
These two tenses are often confused and sometimes it’s hard to decide which one to use. Here are a few simple rules that can help us to choose the correct tense.
WE USE PAST SIMPLE WHEN:
- the action happened in the past and is finished.
- we know when it happened.
LOOK FOR TIME WORDS: yesterday, this morning, at 5 o’clock, in 1978, last Monday, on Sunday, last summer.
For example: I had breakfast at 7am this morning.
WE USE PRESENT PERFECT:
- the action has happened some time ago and might be still happening.
- The action is connected to the present.
- We don’t know when exactly it happened.
LOOK FOR THESE ADVERBS: already, yet, for, just, since
For example: A: Would you like something to eat?
B: No, thanks! I’ve already had breakfast
- the action has happened in the past and is connected to the present (because I’m still not hungry) but we don’t know the exact time.
Note: timelines to illustrate the use are coming soon
This form is very popular in the English language but many students find it difficult. These tips can help you use the 2nd conditional correctly:
1.How do we make 2nd conditional?
For example: If I had more time, I would learn how to play the guitar.
If + past simple, would + bare infinitive*
* Bare infinitive is the infinitive without the particle to
2.When do we use it?
We use it to talk about unreal present and future situations. NOTICE, even though we talk about the present and future, we use the past tense.
3. Punctuation – notice how the comma disappears if we turn the sentence around.
If I had more time, I would learn to play the guitar.
I would learn to play the guitar if I had more time.
Both sentences mean the same and are correct.
Note: More coming on I wish and If I were you.
Are you struggling with articles and how to use them? You are not alone, articles are a headache for so many students, but they aren’t so hard to learn. There’re some tips to help you!
Articles with university, school, hospital, prison and church.
For example: I go to school every day AND The school near my house is very big.
How are these sentences different? Why do we need an article in one sentence but not in the other?
I go to school every day – here school is a general idea, we don’t necessarily think of a particular school.
The school near my house is very big – here we are talking about a particular school, the building that is near our house.
It works the same way with the other nouns – university, school, hospital, prison, church – if it’s just a general idea we don’t need the article, if we’re talking about a particular place we need it.
Note: more tips coming soon …
DESCRIBING FUTURE EVENTS
There are a few ways to describe the future. We’re going to compare WILL and GOING TO.
We use will for spontaneous decisions.
For example: I’ve changed my mind, I’ll go to that party on Friday.
-> at first I didn’t want to go but I’ve just changed my mind. So it wasn’t a plan but a spontaneous decision.
We use going to for arranged future.
For example: I’m going to visit my family next
-> I’ve planned this trip for some time.
So the main difference is that the first event has been decided spontaneously and the second event has been planned.
Note: more tips coming on present simple and present continuous for future – the 4 main ways of talking about simple future
More tips to come, check us out soon …
PAST SIMPLE VS PRESENT PERFECT
I had breakfast at 7am this morning VS I’ve already had breakfast.
If I had more time, I would learn how to play the guitar.
I go to school every day. VS The school near my house is very big.
DESCRIBING THE FUTURE
I’ve changed my mind, I’ll go to the party on Friday VS I’m going to visit my family next weekend.