Present perfect or past simple? ( Part- I )

I Have done or I did ?

The present perfect tells us about the past and the present.
United have won the Cup, so it’s theirs now.

The past simple tells us about the past, a time which is finished. Last year is in the past.

We use the past simple (not the present perfect) to talk about times in the past such as yesterday, last week, in 1994, a hundred years ago.

We watched United last week, NOT We have watched United last week.
Long ago dinosaurs lived here. NOT Long ago dinosaurs have lived here.

Here are some more examples.


Emma has packed her case.
(So her things are in the case now.)
Mike has repaired the chair.
(So it’s all right now.)
The plane has just landed.
I’ve turned the heating on. (It’s on now.)
I’ve dropped my calculator. (It’s on the floor now.)

Emma packed her case last night.
(Her things may be unpacked now.)
Mike repaired the chair.
(It may be broken again now.)
The plane landed ten minutes ago.
I turned the heating on earlier, but it’s off again now.
dropped my calculator, but it seems to be OK.

I’ve done it. I did it yesterday.

Trevor: We’ve bought a new car.
Tom: Oh, have you? What sort?
Laura: An Adagio. We bought it last week.

We often give a piece of news in the present perfect, e.g. We’ve bought a new car. (The car is ours now.)
We use the past simple, e.g. We bought it last week, to give details or to ask for details about things such as when and where it happened.

Here are some more examples.

I’ve found my wallet. ~ Oh, good. Where did you find it?
Your parcel has arrived. The postman brought it at eight o’clock.
They’ve closed the factory. ~ Really? When did they do that?

Structures with for, since and last


We can say that something hasn’t happened for a long time or since a specific time in the past.
We haven’t had a party for ages.
We haven’t had a party since Christmas.

We can say that it is a long time since something happened or when was the last time it happened.
It’s ages since we last had a party.
Christmas was the last time we had a party.