Present perfect and past simple 2 (I have done and I did)

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?
B Compare:

Present perfect (have done)

  • I’ve done a lot of work today.

Past simple (did)

  • I did a lot of work yesterday.

present perfect

  • 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.