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    Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #112448: How to choose your past tense ? (again!)
    > Other English exercises on the same topics: | Past | Present perfect | Find the correct tense [Change theme]
    > Similar tests: - Past simple or present perfect - Placement test 1 - Past simple (video) - Modal : may/might - Past simple or continuous - Present perfect - Past simple - Gerund
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    How to choose your past tense ? (again!)



    a) How to build it?  --  regular verbs:    verb base (infinitive without 'to')  + ed.

    ( The - ed  finals are pronounced: [t], [d], or [id] ; please, learn the pronunciation together with the verb.

                                   --  irregular verbs: there are no rules: THEY MUST BE LEARNT by heart!   ... 

    b) Negative and interrogative forms of the simple past:  use the auxiliary: Did/Didn't (did not) :

    - At the last general meeting, I didn't see her, but she saw me ! Did you see her ? 

     c) The simple past is mainly used to express a completed action. The time of the action may be in the distant or the recent past (it is associated with a date or some time expressions)

    - when I was young - then - last week - last month - last year - yesterday - ago ...

     The moment of the action is what matters (even if not given explicitly.) 

     d) The simple past is the tense of narration,  Stories are told in the simple past.

     -  He came in and said "Hello" to the whole family.



    (In this lesson, the expression of duration, or of the starting point of an action won't be studied.)

     a) How to build the present perfect? it's always built with the auxiliary HAVE : HAVE (HAS in the 3rd pers. sing.) + past participle. 

     :  The past participle is     --- either the base verb + ed  for regular verbs.                                               

                                                      --- or the 3rd column in the list of irregular verbs (see above  !)

    For the interrogative form of the present perfect, you simply have to invert the normal word order => simple inversion= has/have auxiliary + subject...?

    The negative form  is made by the addition of  not between the auxiliary and the verb. 

    - Yes! I have seen him but he hasn't seen meHave you seen him too?

     b) When to use it? : ** To express an action happening in an unspecified period between the past and the present., or if the time when the action was done is not  important.   

                                     ** When the action was performed during a period that hasn't finished yet. 

                                     ** If the past action has consequences on the present.

    - Have you seen this film? (have you? or haven't you? =this is what matters! )

    - Louis hasn't met my sister, but he says he knows her well...

    - Look!  Somebody has broken this vase!  (there are little pieces of crystal on the floor! = the past action has consequences in the present.)

    * The sentence in the present perfect may have an adverb (already, ever/never, not ...yet, so far...   the adverb must be placed between the auxiliary and the base verb!)

    - Of course ! I have already read this book several times.

    3) THE  PRESENT  PERFECT in - ing : is used to insist on the duration of the action

    a) The present perfect in -ing =  have / has been  VERBASE  + ing

    - He's been living in Chicago for 20 years, but he'll come back to England next year. 

    At times, both forms (the simple present perfect  or the - ing form) may be possible. 


    In their most common meanings, some verbs cannot be used in the present perfect in -ing:  

    - Stative (or state) verbs: agree, be, have, know, need, seem, think etc.

    - Verbs of perceptions: see, hear, feel, smell, sense, etc.

    - Verbs of sentiments: feel, like, love, hate, miss... 




    I know you don't like the present perfect... Please, be very careful and everything will go well for the test, especially as Lucy is taking you to Paris tennis open (Roland Garros)!   

    Good luck and thanks for your attention!  (Please, be silent for the players' sake...) 

    English exercise "How to choose your past tense ? (again!)" created by here4u with The test builder
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    My first Roland-Garros, by Lucy, 4 years old.

    Read me well! I in Roland-Garros, not yet! ... a very proud spectator there. Last year, I the opening of the tennis tournament in Paris (France), on 'Kids'Day', a very special and unforgettable occasion. My parents and uncle tennis their whole lives. They even me a (mini) tennis racket when I two. Then, I the ball and it back (well, I to...) bouncing it. On that Saturday, I there in one of the VIP boxes of the Philippe Chatrier (Central) Court, and Tsonga and Federer play. What a pleasure! I can really say I and cheered the players, (between games...) I for souvenir photos.
    I when my cousin got Nadal 's autograph on his tennis cap. (From that moment, that cap again!) I many tennis stars on that Saturday.
    Thinking about it, I can say a wonderful day, I'm quite sure the future tennis champ in me ... Roland Garros such a tremendous gathering of stars ...



            Raphaël Nadal                                                Nadal's autograph                                                                                          Novak Djokovic serving

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