Learn and practise the present perfect and past simple.A We do not use the present perfect (I have done) when we talk about a finished time (for example, yesterday / last year / ten minutes ago etc.). We use a past tense:
- It was very cold yesterday. (not has been)
- Paul and Lucy arrived ten minutes ago. (not have arrived)
- Did you eat a lot of sweets when you were a child? (not have you eaten)
- I got home late last night. I was very tired and went straight to bed.
Use the past to ask When … ? or What time … ? :
- When did your friends arrive? (not have … arrived)
What time did you finish work?
- Tom has lost his key. He can’t get into the house.
- Tom lost his key yesterday. He couldn’t get into the house.
- Is Carla here or has she left?
- When did Carla leave?
Present perfect (have done)
- I’ve done a lot of work today.
Past simple (did)
- I did a lot of work yesterday.
- It hasn’t rained this week.
- It didn’t rain last week.
- Have you seen Anna this morning? (it is still morning now)
- Did you see Anna this morning? (it is now afternoon or evening)
- Have you seen Ben recently? (in the last few days or weeks)
- Did you see Ben on Sunday?
- I’ve been working here since 2010. (I still work here now)
- I worked here from 2010 to 2014. (I don’t work here now)
- I don’t know where Lisa is. I haven’t seen her. (= I haven’t seen her recently)
a: Was Lisa at the party on Sunday?
b: I don’t think so. I didn’t see her.
- We’ve been waiting for an hour. (we are still waiting now)
- We waited (or were waiting) for an hour. (we are no longer waiting)
- Jack lives in Los Angeles. He has lived there for seven years.
- Jack lived in New York for ten years. Now he lives in Los Angeles.
- I’ve never ridden a horse. (in my life)
- I never rode a bike when I was a child.
- It’s the last day of your holiday. You say:
It’s been a really good holiday. I’ve really enjoyed it.
- After you come back from holiday you say:
It was a really good holiday. I really enjoyed it.