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EfS Grammar V: Distinguishing Present Perfect from Past Simple. Although the Present Perfect is often used in other languages as a narrative, it is only used in English for present results, not events. Present Perfect is different from Past Simple. Ich habe dich gestern gesehen…

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efs grammar v distinguishing present perfect from past simple

EfS Grammar V:Distinguishing Present Perfect from Past Simple

Although the Present Perfect is often used in other languages as a narrative, it is only used in English for present results, not events.

present perfect is different from past simple
Present Perfect is different from Past Simple

Ich habe dich gestern gesehen…

Er ist vor einer Woche zurückgekehrt…

Wir haben uns 1997 in Paris kennengelernt…

Es hat heute morgen geregnet…

Am Montag haben wir eine Klausur geschrieben…

are not possible in English.

signal and structure words for narratives
Signal and Structure Words for Narratives

yesterday, last week, last month ...

in 1997

on April 23rd

at 6 o’clock this morning

2 days ago

then, next

before, after

when

while

No preposition

Prepositionsin, at, on and agowith time

Simple Past

PastContinuous

present perfect and simple past use
Present Perfect and Simple Past: Use

In brief:

Present Perfect is used for results (Ergebnisse).

Simple Past is used for events (Ereignisse).

Compare and Contrast I

Tom has broken his leg: result. He has to stay at home for 3 weeks.

Tom broke his leg: event. He went to the hospital and was kept for observation…

compare and contrast ii
Compare and Contrast II

I have mislaid my key: result. I’m wondering how to get into my flat.

I mislaid my key: event. But then I found it again.

Has Michael Jackson written an autobiography?: result. If not, he might find some time now.

Did Elvis Presley write an autobiography?: event. If not, then sorry, it's too late, blue suede shoes notwithstanding.