20 Day English – Day 10: Present perfect vs past simple grammar quiz

Present perfect is a grammar tense that causes a lot of problems for learners and results in lots of mistakes.

It is difficult for students to separate the past simple and the present perfect in their mind.

Often  it is because there is no direct translation for present perfect in students’ own mother tongue language.

The best way to think about these tenses is this:


When you are thinking/speaking/writing about an action from the past that has definitely finished, then use the PAST SIMPLE.

EXAMPLE: We went shopping yesterday (‘yesterday’ tells you that the action has definitely finished)


But, if the action was, or started, in the past and somehow it connects up to now, the present, then that you should use the present perfect tense.

EXAMPLE: We have been shopping already today but we need to go back to the supermarket this afternoon because we forgot some things. 

You can understand from this sentence that the time ‘today’ has not finished yet, because this person is speaking about ‘this afternoon’. So therefore, ‘today’ has not finished… it is probably around midday.

The person speaking is thinking about the past and how it connects continuously up to the present moment.

This is classic present perfect grammar! 🙂
Best of luck with today’s present perfect v past simple grammar challenge!

20 Day English Challenge Quizzes

​Day 1: Spelling difficult words CLICK HERE

Day 2: Perfect email sentences CLICK HERE

Day 3: Unusual vocabulary CLICK HERE

Day 4: In vs On vs At English prepositions CLICK HERE

Day 5: Advanced Phrasal Verbs test CLICK HERE

Day 6: Upper Intermediate Idioms quiz CLICK HERE

Day 7: Upper Intermediate Modal Verbs test CLICK HERE 

Day 8: Business English vocabulary (Upper Int) CLICK HERE

Day 9: English Grammar 50/50 Quiz CLICK HERE

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