Present Perfect versus Past Simple


Grammar Explanation

The goal of this quiz is to give you practice thinking about the different contexts in which we use the present perfect and the simple past.

We use the Present Perfect to talk about events or situations in a period of time that includes the present. Sometimes the situation or routine endures into the present, and sometimes it is the result of a past action that endures. For example:
I have walked in this forest all of my life. (Enduring routine = past routine that continues into the present)

Q: Have you washed your hands?
(Past action with a present significance = Are your hands clean now?)

We use the Past Simple to emphasize events or situations in the the past that do not endure into the present. For example:
Q: Today you have a stomach infection. Did you wash your hands before every meal yesterday?
(Past only = the question does not ask about the cleanliness of the hands now)