The present perfect and the simple past
1 Paul: I (play) football since I was five years old.
Tom: You (play) since you (come) to England?
Paul: Oh yes. I (play) quite a lot. I (join) a club the day after I (arrive).
2 Tom: You (play) any matches?
Paul: We (play) about ten. We have two more to play. We (have) a very good season,
we (win) all our matches so far, though we (not really deserve) to win the last one.
3 Tom: I (play) football when I (be) at school but when I (leave) school I (drop) it and (take) up golf.
4 Ann: Hello, Jack! I (not see) you for ages! Where you (be)?
Jack: I (be) in Switzerland. I (mean) to send you a postcard but I (not have) your address with me.
Ann: Never mind. You (have) a good time in Switzerland? How long you (be) there?
Jack: I (be) there for a month. I only just (get) back. Yes, I (enjoy) it thoroughly. I (ski) all day and (dance) all night.
5 Ann: I (ski) when I (be) at the university, but I (break) a leg five years ago and since then I (not do) any.
6 When I first (come) to this house, it (be) a very quiet area. But since then a new housing estate (be) built and it (become) very noisy.
7 My son (not start) work yet. He's still at the High School. ~
How long he (be) at school? ~
He (be) at the High School for six years; before that he (spend) five years at the Primary School in Windmill Street.
8 I just (hear) that Peter is in Australia. ~
Oh, you (not know)? He (fly) out at the beginning of the month. ~
You (hear) from him? Does he like the life? ~
Yes, I (get) a letter last week. He (tell) me about his job. But he (not say) whether he (like) the life or not. Perhaps it's too soon to say. He only (be) there three weeks.
9 I (not know) you (be) left-handed. ~
I'm not left-handed; but my oil-heater (explode) yesterday and I (burn) my right hand, so I have to use my left.
10 This bicycle (be) in our family for fourteen years. My father (use) it for the first five years, my brother (ride) it for the next five, and I (have) it for the last four.
11 I hear that your MP, Mr Simpson, (make) a very clever speech last night. How long he (be) your MP?~
Oh, we only (have) him since January. His predecessor Mr Alien (resign) suddenly
because of ill-health and there (be) a by-election.
12 I hear that Mr Jones (leave). ~
Yes, he (leave) last week. ~
Anybody (be) appointed to take his place? ~
I believe several men (apply) for the job but so far nothing (be) decided.
13 Peter (meeting Ann at the airport): Hello, Ann. You (have) a good trip?
Ann: The actual flight (be) lovely, one of the best I (have) ever, but it (take) ages to get
into the plane. First they (think) that one of us (be) a hijacker and they (search) us all
for firearms; then they (announce) that one of the engines (be) faulty. We finally (take
off) an hour later.
14 Peter: How you (spend) this extra hour before take-off)?
Ann: Oh, they (take) us to the restaurant and (feed) us and we (walk) about and (buy) things we (not need). The time (pass) all right.
15 You (book) your hotel room yet?~
Well, I (write) to the hotel last week but they (not answer) yet.
16 Peter (meeting Paul unexpectedly in London): Hello, Paul! I (not know) you (be) here.
Paul: Oh, I (be) here nearly two months. I (arrive) on the 6th of January.
17 Peter: When we last (meet) you (say) that nothing would induce you to come to England. What (make) you change your mind?
Paul: I (find) that I (need) English for my work and this (seem) the quickest way of learning it.
18 Peter: You (know) any English when you first (arrive) here?
Paul: No, I (not know) a word.
19 Ann (to Yvonne, who is going to English classes): How long you (learn) English?
Yvonne: I (learn) off and on for about five and a half years. (Use the continuous form.)
20 I (begin) English at secondary school and (do) it for three years.
Then I (drop) it for a year and (forget) most of it. Then I (spend) two years at a secretarial college, where I (study) commercial English, and for the last six months I (study) in London.
21 At 4 p.m. my neighbour (ring) up and (say), 1s Tom with you?' Tom, her son, (spend) most of his time in my garden playing with my children, so whenever she (not be able) to find him she (ring) me. I'm afraid I (not see) him today,' I (say). 'But my children (go) to the beach this morning and (not come) back yet. Perhaps he (go) with them.'
22 I just (have) my first driving lesson. ~
How it (go)? You (enjoy) it? ~
Well, I not actually (hit) anything but I (make) every other possible mistake.
23 Old Ben (sell) newspapers just inside the station entrance, and my father always (buy) his evening paper from him as he (leave) the station on his way home. But one day my father (arrive) home without his paper. 'Ben (not be) there this evening,' he (say).
'I hope he (not be taken) ill.'
24 On Saturday afternoon I (see) Frederick sitting in his garden.
'I (think) you (work) on Saturdays,' I (say).
'I (work) this morning,' (explain) Frederick, 'but at lunch time the boss (go) off to play golf and (tell) us all to go home. It's about time he (give) us a whole Saturday off actually. I (work) practically even Saturday since the beginning of the year.'
25 Ann: You (be) to Hampton Court?
Jane: Yes, I (go) there last week. The tulips (be) wonderful.
Ann: You (go) by car?
Jane: No, I (go) with my English class. We (hire) a coach.
26 Ann: Where else you (be) to since you (come) to England?
Jane: Oh, I (be) to Stratford and Coventry and Oxford and Canterbury.
27 Ann: You (see) a lot. When you (go) to Stratford?
Jane: I (go) last week. The people I work for (take) me.
28 Ann: You (see) a play at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre when you (be) at Stratford?
Jane: Yes, we (see) Macbeth. We were very lucky. We just (walk) in and (ask) if they
(have) any returned tickets, and the girl at the box office (say), 'Yes, a man just (return)
29 Ann: You (be) to Wales?
Jane: No, I (be) to Scotland but I (not be) to Wales. I'd like to go.
30 Peter: You (see) any good films lately?
Ann: Yes, I (go) to the National Film Theatre last week and (see) a Japanese film.
Peter: You (like) it?
Ann: Yes, I (love) it, but of course I (not understand) a word.
31 Tom: I hear that Mr Benson just (die). You (know) him quite well, didn't you?
Jack: Yes. We (work) for the same company for ten years. I (not see) so much of him
after he (leave) the company but we (keep) in touch
32 Ann (think) the garage (be) empty, and (turn) off the lights. 'Hey!' (shout) Paul from under the car. I'm sorry, Paul,' (say) Ann, I (not know) you (be) there.'
33 Father: Tom (not come) back yet?
Mother: Yes, he (come) in an hour ago. He (go) straight to bed.
Father: Funny. I (not hear) him.
34 Paul: That's a live wire. It just (give) me a shock!
Ann: Nonsense! I just (touch) it and I (not feel) anything!
35 When Paul (come) into the room, Ann was sitting in an armchair just behind the door. Paul, not noticing Ann, (go) to the window and (look) out. Ann (cough) and Paul (spin) round. 'Hello, Ann!' he (exclaim), 'I (not see) you!'
36 Jack: You just (agree) to go, so why aren't you getting ready?
Peter: But I (not realize) that you (want) me to start at once!
The present perfect and the simple past
Put the verbs in brackets into the correct tense: present perfect or simple past.
1 I (buy) a new house last year, but I (not sell) my old house yet, so at the moment I have two houses.
2 When Ann (be) on her way to the station it (begin) to rain. Ann (run) back to her flat for her umbrella, but this (make) her late for her train.
3 She (catch) the next train but it (not get) in till 9.00, so she (arrive) at her office ten minutes late.
4 Her boss (look) up as she (come) in. 'You (be) late every morning this week,' he (growl).
5 At 7 a.m. Charles (ring) Peter and (say), 'I'm going fishing, Peter. Would you like
'But it's so early,' (say) Peter. I (not have) breakfast yet. Why you (not tell) me last
6 Tom (meet) Paul at lunch time and (say), I (not see) you at the bus stop this morning. You (miss) the bus?'
'I (not miss) it,' (reply) Paul. I (not miss) a bus for years. But this morning George (give) me a lift. '
7 Ann (go) to Canada six months ago. She (work) in Canada for a while and then (go) to the United States.
8 Mary (be) in Japan for two years. She is working there and likes it very much. ~
How she (go)? ~
She (go) by air.
9 When I (buy) my new house I (ask) for a telephone. The Post Office (tell) me to wait, but I (wait) a year now and my phone still (not come).
10 Bill usually has breakfast at 8.00. Yesterday at 8.30 Peter (meet) Bill and (offer) him an apple. 'No, thanks,' (say) Bill. I just (have) breakfast.'
11 Just as Ann (arrive) at the airfield a plane (land) and a girl (climb) out. To her surprise Ann (recognize) her cousin, Lucy. 'Hello, Lucy,' she (exclaim). I (not know) that you (know) how to fly a plane.'
'I only just (learn),' (say) Lucy. 'I (go) solo for the first time last week.'
12 Peter (try) to come in quietly but his mother (hear) him and (call) out, 'Where you (be)? Your supper (be) in the oven for an hour.'
13 You (be) to the theatre lately? ~
Yes, I (go) to Othello last week. ~
You (like) it?-
Yes, but I (not see) very well. I (be) right at the back.
14 Ann (coming out of a bookshop): I just (buy) a copy of David Copperfield. You (read) it?
Mary: As it happens it is the only one of Dickens's books that I (not read).
I (not even see) the film.
15 You (be) to Cambridge? ~
Yes, I (be) there last month. ~
How you (get) there? ~
My brother (take) me in his car.
16 You (see) Philip lately? I (ring) his flat several times last week but (get) no answer. ~
Oh, he (be) in America for the last month. He (fly) out on the first a conference and then (decide) to stay for six weeks. ~
You (hear) from him? ~
Yes, I (get) a letter shortly after he (arrive).
17 How long you (be) in your present job? ~
I (be) there for six months. ~
And what you (do) before that? ~
Before that I (work) for Jones and Company.
18 How long you (work) for Jones and Company? ~
I (work) for them for two years. ~
You (like) working for them? ~
No, I (not like) it at all. ~
Then why you (stay) so long?
19 We usually go out on Saturday evenings, but last Saturday (be) so wet that we (stay) in and (play) cards. ~
What you (play)? ~
We (play) poker. I (lose) fifty pence.
20 When you (begin) school? ~
I (begin) school when I (be) five. I (go) to a primary school first. I (stay) there for six
years and then I (go) to a comprehensive school
21 When I (be) seventeen I (start) my university course. ~
When you (get) your degree? ~
Oh, I (not get) my degree yet; I'm still at the university. I only (be) there for two years.
22 Tom (leave) the house at 8.20. At 8.25 the phone in Tom's house (ring), Tom's wife, Mary, (answer) it. 'Could I speak to Tom, please?' (say) the caller.
'I'm afraid he just (go) out', (say) Mary.
23 You (be) to Cornwall? ~
Yes, I (be) there last Easter. ~
You (go) by train? ~
No, I (hitch-hike).
24 I (not see) Charles for some time. ~
He (be) ill, poor chap. He (collapse) at work a fortnight ago and (be taken) to hospital.
They (send) him home after two days but he (not come) back to work yet.
25 There (be) a very good programme on TV last night. You (see) it? ~
No, I (take) my set back to the shop last week because there (be) so much distortion; and they (say) it (need) a new part. They (not be able) to get the new part so far, so I (not watch) television for about ten days.
26 You (ever) be to France? ~
Yes, I (spend) last July and August in Grenoble. I (go) to improve my French but everyone I (meet) (want) to improve his English so I (not get) much practice.
27 The postman usually comes between 8.00 and 9.00 in the morning. At 8.45 a.m. yesterday Ann (say), 'Are there any letters for me?'
'I don't know,' (say) Mary. The postman (not come) yet.'
At II a.m. Jack, Mary's husband, (ring) from his office to ask if there (be) any letters for him. 'No,' (say) Mary. 'Nobody (get) letters today. The postman (not come).'
28 Mr Speed, Ann's employer, (dictate) three letters and (tell) Ann to type them as soon as possible. Half an hour later he (ring) Ann's office. 'You (finish) those letters yet?' he (ask).
'Well,' (say) Ann, 1 (do) the letter to Mr Jones, and I'm now typing the one to
Mr Robinson, but I (not start) the one to Mr Smith yet.'
29 You (find) out yet about the trains to Liverpool? ~
No. I (ring) the station last night but the man who (answer) the phone (not seem) to be sure of the times. He (say) something about a new timetable. ~
But the new timetable (be) in operation for three weeks!
30 Tom and Jack work in different offices but go to work in the same train. One evening Tom's wife (say), 'Jack (move) into his new house yet?' 1 don't know,' (say) Tom,
I (not see) Jack today. He (not be) on the train.'
31 Where you (be)? ~
I (be) shopping in Oxford Street. ~
So I suppose you (buy) shoes? ~
Yes. I (find) a shop where they were having a sale and I (get) three pairs.
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