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Present Perfect and Past Simple

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Both these tenses can be used to talk about actions that happened in the past but which tense we use depends on the situation.

We need to use present perfect if...

  • The event has a present result
  • We use a time reference (e.g. since, for) to say when something, that is still happening, started.
  • We start the sentence by saying ‘this is the first time’
  • We are talking about life experiences

We need to use past simple if...

  • We are talking about a finished action in the past.
  • We are talking about something that happened at a definite time in the past
  • We are talking about events in the lives of dead people

In the following paragraph, choose which form of the verb we need to use. Good luck!

Dance For All, South Africa

Dance For All is a company that gives ballet training to young people from the townships. They opened/have opened their doors in 1991 and trained/have trained many wonderful dancers since then. Chris danced/has danced there from the age of seven. When he started/has started he was really excited by the movement and the freedom of dance. Now he studies dance every day and would like to dance abroad. Dance for All is going from strength to strength. To begin with they only have had/ had the ballet program, but now they also give contemporary, African and outreach classes. Sadly, in 2008 one of the co founders of Dance For All, Phyllis Spira has passed away/passed away. She was/has been an amazing woman and inspired everyone around her with the quality of her dance and her spirit. Here’s hoping that Dance For All will continue their wonderful work for years to come!

For more info on Dance For All and their work go to www.danceforall.co.za

Today's lesson is by Caroline Devane, EC Cape Town English school

Link: How to use the present perfect

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