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    Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #5079: Present perfect or past simple
    > Other English exercises on the same topic: Present [Change theme]
    > Similar tests: - Placement test : grammar for beginners - Two presents: present continuous, present simple - Present simple - Present simple or continuous - Modal: may/might - Present simple - Present simple or continuous - Present simple
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    Present perfect or past simple

    Past simple and present perfect

    Time expressions that refer to the present, such as this morning/ morning/week/month and today, can be used with either past simple or present perfect verbs. If we think of this morning (etc.) as a past completed time period, then we use the past simple; if we think of this morning (etc), as a time period which includes the present moment, then we use the present perfect. Compare:

    ·I didn’t shave this morning. (= The morning is over and I didn’t shave)
    ·I haven’t shaved this morning. (= It is still the morning and I might shave later).

    In a sentence which includes a time clause with since, we generally prefer a past simple verb in the time clause and a present perfect verb in the main clause. The time clause refers to a particular point in the past.
    ·Since Mr Hassan became president, both taxes and unemployment have increased. (rather than.. has become…)
    ·She hasn’t been able to play tennis since she broke her arm. (rather than.. has broken…)

    Notice, however, that we use the present perfect in the time clause if the two situations described in the main clause and time clause extend until the present:
    ·Have you met any of your neighbours since you’ve lived here? (Not…. You lived)

    After the pattern It/ that/ this/ is/ will/ be the first time…. We generally use the present perfect in the next clause:

    ·That’s the first time I have seen Jan look embarrassed. (reporting a past event).
    ·It won’t be the first time she has voted against the government in her long career. (talking about a future event.)

    Notice, however, that after it/ that/this was the first time… we generally use the past perfect.
    ·It was the first time I’d walked to Ella outside the office.

    With time clause introduced by after, when, until, as soon as, once, by the time and the time expressions the minute/ second/moment the past simple refers to past, completed events and the present perfect refers to future events. Compare these examples:
    ·After she left hospital (past), she had a long holiday.
    ·After Dominic has left school (future), he will be spending six months in India.
    ·The minute I got the news about Sue (past) I telephoned my parents.
    ·I’ll contact you the minute I’ve got my exam results. (Future)

    In the time clause in sentences like this it is possible to use the past perfect instead of the past simple (e.g. after she had left…) and the present simple instead of the present perfect (e.g. after Dominic leaves..) with the same meaning.

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    English exercise "Present perfect or past simple" created by felin with The test builder. [More lessons & exercises from felin]
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    1. I a lot this week, but I have to get the book completely finished by this weekend.

    2. It was so hot today that I shorts and a T-shirt at work.

    3. We £200 on food this month and there's another week to go before I get paid.

    4. I've never heard Ken criticise anyone since I him.

    5. As soon as I the car I realised that something was wrong with the engine.

    6. My mother me three times this morning and then this afternoon she came round to my house.

    7. I twenty essays today, but I've still got five more before I go to bed.

    8. After Dominic school, he will be spending six months in India.

    9. I James move house this week and he sent me a big bunch of flowers to say' thank you'.

    10. Carlo's injury only became apparent after he to play for Real Madrid.

    11. After you the windows, can you vacuum the sitting room, please?

    12. It's the first time I Mr James shout at anyone since he started teaching at the school.

    13. I didn't have time to check the composition. I handed it in as soon as I it.

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