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The difference between past perfect and past simple.

yassmineyassmine Posts: 31 ✭✭
edited February 2016 in The Tenses
i am really face a problem when i need to use one of them .. what is the difference between them
what is the difference between >> what have you eaten ? and what did you eat ?
and when should i use each of them !!
thanks in advance :smile:

--------------------

I really face a problem when I need to use one of them. What is the difference between them?

For example: What is the difference between these questions? What have you eaten? / What did you eat?

When should I use one or the other?

Thanks in advance.
Post edited by Lynne on
Tagged:

Comments

  • RomanRoman Posts: 494 ✭✭✭
    I'm not a pro, but I think that the difference can be highlighted with an example:
    "I have eaten apples until I ate a rotten one".
    The Past Perfect is previous to the Past Simple. It denotes an action you used to do in the past.
    Hope someone else help here.
  • yassmineyassmine Posts: 31 ✭✭
    edited August 2015
    yes you are right .. but if
    i am talking about actions that happened in the past as I am writing a report about an event .. so which tense should i use :/
  • RomanRoman Posts: 494 ✭✭✭
    The tense you must use depends on how do you want to present the data
    "The Empire State was built in the 1920's. I visited it yesterday. I saw that and those..."
    "Yesterday I visited the Empire State. It was built in the 1920's. I saw that and those..."
  • yassmineyassmine Posts: 31 ✭✭
    thnx lynee :D but if iam going to write a report about an event that happened in my clg .. what should i use.. fo ex : today ahmd mohamd and amir attended the event and there was .. etc ..
    and when iam talking about actions i will say .. we learned or we have learned ..
    i think all must be in past simple .. right !! :smile:
  • JasleenKaurJasleenKaur Posts: 8
    > @yassmine said:
    > yes you are right .. but if
    > i am talking about actions that happened in the past as I am writing a report about an event .. so which tense should i use :/

    Past perfect tense should be used in this case.
  • LynneLynne Your Teacher HomePosts: 8,802 mod
    @yassmine and @JasleenKaur.

    It depends on whether you mention the past time, or not.

    I have learned about the tenses. (In your life - your life isn't over.)

    I have learned about the tenses today. (You might learn more.)

    In today's session, we learnt about the tenses. (The session has ended - it is in the past.)

    Yesterday we learnt about the tenses. (Yesterday is in the past.)
  • HermineHermine Moderator Posts: 5,896 mod
    I had read an English book before I read any other lighter materials.
  • LynneLynne Your Teacher HomePosts: 8,802 mod
    I'm not sure what you are trying to say here @Hermine.
  • HermineHermine Moderator Posts: 5,896 mod
    Do you have problems by ˋ lighter materialsˋ?
  • hichemsofthichemsoft Posts: 16 ✭✭
    it'is an interesting topic, I don't have a high level in english but I think the differnce between them can be summarized as follows:
    first if the action has a partacular time in the past like ( in 1990) or the adverb which hints of the past like yesterday, last week, last year we use the simple past
    but if the action occured in the past without any precision and the influence of action is still occurs up to the present here we use the present perfect
    examples
    Amine broke the leg of Donia yesterday (here we emphazied on the time action)

    but now we can say Amine have broken the leg of Donia (the context emphasizes on the effect of action )
  • LynneLynne Your Teacher HomePosts: 8,802 mod
    @Hermine - yes. :)
  • LynneLynne Your Teacher HomePosts: 8,802 mod
    edited January 2016

    I think the difference between them can be summarized as follows:

    You have a good grasp. Don't forget we have the English tenses pages to clear up any issues. Here's a bonus correction:-


    First, if the action has a particular time in the past like 1990, or the sentence contains an adverb which hints of a past event, like yesterday, last week, last year we use the simple past. However, if the action occurred some time in the past, and the influence of the action is still occurring up to the present time, we use the present perfect.

    For example:-

    Amine broke Donia's leg yesterday. (Here we place an emphasis on when it happened).

    Now we can say Amine has broken Donia's leg. (Here we place the emphasis on the effect of the action.)

    ---------------------

    I would like to add: Amine has been arrested for GBH. ;)
  • HermineHermine Moderator Posts: 5,896 mod
    I had read an English book before I read any other lighter materials.

    @Hi Lynne, it`s me again. I wantend to say that after reading a special English book I found and read some stories written in easy English.

    `lighter materials`- The Austrian-German`s like to use this expression.
  • LynneLynne Your Teacher HomePosts: 8,802 mod
    Hermine said:

    I had read an English book before I read any other lighter materials.

    Okay, that is clearer. You can use "lighter material", but you need to contrast it with whatever you read. It would be more useful to the reader if you mentioned what book you read.

    I had already read a real English novel before I read any lighter English material.

    (I'm presuming it was a novel.)
  • HermineHermine Moderator Posts: 5,896 mod
    Okay I understand and thanks for your patience.
  • girishrawalgirishrawal Posts: 2
    I'm also facing same kind of problem.
  • LynneLynne Your Teacher HomePosts: 8,802 mod
    Try practising a few sentences here @girishrawal.
  • RemaRema Posts: 1,005 ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Lynne
    "How long have you studied English for?"
    Does it necessarily need to stay word 'for' in this question, because we already have 'how long'?
  • LynneLynne Your Teacher HomePosts: 8,802 mod
    I would ask, "How long have you been studying English?"
    "How long did you study English for?" = You have stopped, and we all know, you never stop. :dizzy:
  • MousesMouses Posts: 3
    we use present perfect for the events that started in the past,but still have some effects in the present.while ,past simple is used for the events which started and ended in the past. ;)
  • RemaRema Posts: 1,005 ✭✭✭✭✭
    So @Lynne, I'm unstoppable :D
  • Penelope204Penelope204 Posts: 70 ✭✭
    edited April 2016
    It should be for example:
    Now l'm in Lisbon for travelling and l've never eaten 'bacalhau' unil today at lunch.

    ---------------------

    l'm travelling round Portugal, and I'm in Lisbon at the moment. l had 'bacalhau' at lunchtime, I had never eaten it before.

    (You could start it with "I'm on a trip to Lisbon and I had ...")
    Post edited by Lynne on
  • DanielZimaDanielZima Posts: 1
    Pls help me! What difference between "I sold" or "I have sold" or "I was selling"
  • LynneLynne Your Teacher HomePosts: 8,802 mod
    @DanielZima

    It's purely about how you want to present the information. Each one expresses an event in the past.

    I sold the company. (Some time in the past).

    I have sold the company. (In the recent past.)

    I was selling the company, but the deal went sour. (Something was happening, when something happened that affected the event.)

  • wacky1985wacky1985 Posts: 37 ✭✭
    I have a lot of issue writing between the past perfect and past simple. I really want to master. What is a way to improve on this particular subject?
  • LynneLynne Your Teacher HomePosts: 8,802 mod
    @wacky1985 - Practise.
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