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Grammar Reference – PAST SIMPLE and PRESENT PERFECT



PAST SIMPLE

1.       We use the past simple to refer to events that took place in the past.

-          A pharmacist called John Pemberton invented Coca-cola.
-          ‘Did you go to Berlin last week?’
‘Yes, and I met Herr Gnuchtel.’

2.       We frequently use a time adverb to situate the event in finished past time.

-          Rolls Royce went bust in 1973.
-          A few years ago, the City Plaza Hotel was a leader in its segment of the market.
-          Many people lost a lot of money on the stock market during 2008 and 2009.

3.       We use the pas simple in annual reports to describe the company’s performance over the last year.

-          Last year was a good year for our group. Sales rose by more than 11%, and we made substantial gains in market share in a number of countries.



PRESENT PERFECT

1.       We use the present perfect to say that a finished pas action is relevant now.

-          The have developed a new brand of toothpaste.
-          The chairman has recently resigned.

2.       We use the present perfect when we are thinking of a period of time contunuing up to the present.

-          For over 50 years, Stirling Cars has developed classic sports cars.
-          Calvin Klein has been one of the leading fashion designers since the mid-1970s.

3.       We often use this tense to talk about our life experiences.

-          She has had a number of interesting jobs.
-          He’s worked for a variety of firms.

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