Choosing between Present Perfect and Simple Past


While the present perfect describes time in process, the simple past describes events that are finished and complete.


Time Expressions with the Simple Past


Certain time expressions are used with the simple past tense.


Time expressions that are used with the simple past tense and can be used at the beginning, the middle, or the end of a sentence:


an hour ago last weekend last year

yesterday last week five years ago

the other day last month ten years ago


Yesterday we shopped for spring clothes on sale.

I  shopped for shoes last week.




Exercise 5: Change these sentences from the simple past to the present perfect or from the present perfect to the simple past. Don’t forget to use a time expression with the simple past.



Example: I studied piano last year.

      I have studied piano for three years.


  1. I went to driver’s education last year.


  1. She has learned German and Latin.


  1. He taught at a language school for 5 years.


  1. They finished the language project yesterday.


  1. I have studied etymology.