English Grammar Simplified: Past simple vs Present Perfect

Many English learners happen to focus primarily on tenses in English grammar without understanding how to use them correctly while conversing. The major problem with this approach is that students get confused while forming meaningful sentences because there are multiple grammar rules. The right approach would be focusing on frequently spoken phrases and sentence structures instead of memorizing grammar rules. I thought about the academic needs of the student s and with that perspective in mind I have written this blog.


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Past simple

Past tense is often used to talk about past time or narrate a particular past event and it is usually used with phrases like

  • an hour ago
  • last week
  • yesterday
  • last year
  • the other day
  • last weekend
  • in 2007, 1999 etc.



She went to Australia last summer.

I called her up an hour ago. But she didn’t pick up my call.

In 2008 he was in Amsterdam.

My mother grew up in Udaipur.

The other day we had lunch at Shangri La.

I didn’t do it. That was her fault.

He didn’t spill juice on the couch. I did that.


 Asking Questions in Past Simple Tense

English learners often make mistakes while asking questions in past tense. Practicing these sentence structures would definitely help.

Where were you born?

Did you hear about her?

Did you call Samantha? She is not well.

Did they enjoy the party?

Did you see Hemant yesterday?

How did you do that?

How did that happen?

Who invented telephone?

What did you do last weekend?

What time did you finish your work?

Where did you find my keys?

Where were you last evening?

Where did you park your car?

When did you buy new phone?

When did she leave?

When did they arrive at airport?

Why did she house on the beach?

Why didn’t you tell me about it earlier?


Present Perfect Tense

It is used to describe the on-going situation or action that started in recent past and continues till now. It is often used with phrases like


  • just
  • already
  • today
  • this week
  • up to now
  • until now
  • till now
  • ever
  • never
  • yet
  • not yet
  • so far
  • lately
  • recently
  • for 5 years



 I have just finished my project work.

I have never played snooker (before).

He has lived in London for 6 years.

They have worked with the company for 4 months.

They have not come yet.

She has never told a lie.

I have lost my phone again.

I have bought a new laptop recently.

Till date I have submitted 20 articles for the website.

I have already faced two interviews for the position of sales executive.

I haven’t been to Agra yet.

I haven’t seen her lately.

They haven’t eaten much today. They are hungry.

There has been an accident. Have you informed his family members?

It hasn’t rained this week.

It’s been really cool vacation. I’ve really enjoyed it.

I have attended Public Speaking classes at PEP TALK INDIA.


Asking Questions in Present Perfect Tense

 How have you been?

Have you ever been to Denmark?             (Reply: I’ve never been there.)

Have you seen Kareena this morning?

Have you ever played video games?

Have you ever performed on the stage?

Have you ever been in love?

The results are out. Has he passed the exams?

Long time see. Where have you been?

What have you been up to?

Have you called her yet?

Have you invited them to the birthday party?

Have you seen any good movies lately?

What has been the problem? Why haven’t you replied before?

How long have you lived there?

How long have you known each other?

Have you met my husband?

Has she left?

How many countries have you visited so far?

What’s the scariest thing you have ever done?

What’s the most exciting thing you have ever done?

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