Past Simple or Present Perfect

Past Tense Index / Past Simple / Past Simple further functions / Irregular VerbsPast Continuous / Past Continuous further functions / Past Simple or Past Continuous / Used to / Present Perfect / Present Perfect further functions / Present Perfect Continuous / Present Perfect Simple or Continuous / Past Perfect / Past Perfect Continuous / Past Perfect Simple or Past Perfect Continuous / Future in the Past

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Using the Past Simple or the Present Perfect:


Definite time in the past:

The Past Simple refers to a definite time in the past but we do not make reference to the moment in the Present Perfect


We went to Madrid in 2018

We have been to Madrid


Time to the Present

We use the Present Perfect to talk about time upto the present, activities that connect the past to the present.


I haven't been to Madrid since 2008

NOT: I didn't go to Madrid since 2008


Present Perfect is used to describe experiences that continue into the present but the Past Simple is a finished action that is not true in the present>


Compare:


I haven't been to Madrid for several years  & I didn't go to Madrid for many years and then visited it twice this month. 


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