Visitors :

Please place a pin on
the guestmap to show
where you come from.

Free Guestmap from

Many thanks for all your encouraging messages.

Guestmap information

Follow us on Facebook
Facebook icon

Custom Search

English Grammar and Exercises for ESL learners.


(I have finished  vs  I  finished)


The present perfect tense is used :
  • To talk about an action which started in the past and continues today :

         For and since are used to express duration.
    • I have lived here for 10 years.  I have lived here since 2005.
          (I arrived 10 years ago and I am still here.)
  • To refer to past events in an unfinished period of time.
    • I have written two letters today.
          (Two letters are written but today is not finished.)
  • To refer to past events that have just happened or been announced :
    • There has been a plane crash near the coast.
          (We know the event took place but we don't know when.)
  • To talk about a past action with a result in the present.  :
    • I've broken my arm.  I can't drive (= because my arm is broken now.)
  • To talk and ask about experiences or accomplishments up to the time
        of speaking :
    • "I'm a writer. I've written 9 books."
    • "Have you ever written a biography?" "No, never."


The Past Simple is used:
  • When the period of time is finished.
    • I wrote two letters yesterday. (Yesterday is finished).

  • When the time is mentioned, either a precise time in the past, or a time
        expression which clearly situates the event in the past.
    • John lived in the country
      ..... until the age of 6.
      ..... when he was young.
      ..... from 1995 to 2002
      ..... before he moved to London.
      ..... a long time ago.
As a general rule, if you can answer the question "when?", use the Past Simple.

more about the present perfect    more about the past simple