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Simple Past, Present Perfect, and Present Perfect Progressive

Adventure Travel

Focus on Grammar 4 Part I, Unit 3 By Ruth Luman, Gabriele Steiner, and BJ Wells
Copyright 2006. Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

Adventure Travel Ad
Are you looking for a little adventure in your life? Travel with me to beautiful Colorado. Im an experienced river rafting and rock climbing guide. Ive been guiding adventure travelers in this area for 10 years. In fact, last year, I took 30 trips down the Colorado River. Oh, and dont worry about safety. Ive also taken a number of first aid and safety courses. No one has ever broken any bones on my trips!

Simple Past 1
Use the simple past to talk about things that happened and were completed in the past.

I rafted down the Nile River a year ago. I kayaked in the Grand Canyon for two months.
rafted

past
kayaked Use ago to show when something Hes not started. kayaking now.

future now

Perfect Tenses 1
Use the present perfect and the present perfect progressive to talk about things that started in the past, but were not completed.

I have guided travelers my entire career. I have been rock climbing for 10 years.
past future
now

have guided have been rock climbing

These things continue up to the present and may continue into the future.

Remember!
Non-action (stative) verbs are not usually used in the progressive.

Ive been knowing how to rock climb since I was young. Ive known how to rock climb since I was young.

Perfect Tenses 2
We often use the present perfect and the present perfect progressive with for and since. Use for to show how long something has been true and since to show when something started.

I have trained for six years to take this trip. since 2000. He has been guiding trips since 2000.
for six years
have trained has been guiding

past

future
now

since 2000

Simple Past 2
Use the simple past with past time expressions.

last year. We trekked through the Andes Mountains last year. ago. He backpacked in Peru two months ago.
past now

future

Be Careful!
Dont use specific time expressions with the present perfect except after since.

last year. She has taken skydiving lessons last year. She took skydiving lessons last year. last year. since 2004. She has taken skydiving lessons since 2004.

Practice 1

Fill in the blanks with the simple past, present perfect, or present perfect progressive forms of the verbs in parentheses.

Dear Mom and Dad, I (sit) have sat/have been sitting here for hours looking at the beautiful birds in the rain forest. This vacation to Brazil (be) has been wonderful! I (see) so many amazing have seen animals since I arrived here. Last week, I (hike) through the forest to see the tree hiked monkeys. Our guide on that trip (tell) us told some very interesting information. I (learned) have learned/ have been learning so much on this trip!
Love, Daniela

Present Perfect 1
Use the present perfect without time expressions to talk about things that happened at some indefinite time in the past.

They have canoed down the Amazon River.


time ????

past
We dont know when they canoed down the river, or the time is not important.

future now

Present Perfect 2
The present perfect without for or since shows that an activity is finished. We often say how many or how many times with this use of the present perfect.

three times. He has visited Machu Picchu three times.

past now

future

Present Perfect Progressive


The present perfect progressive shows that an activity is unfinished. We often say how long with the present perfect progressive.

for five hours. They have been climbing for five hours.

past

for five hours have been climbing

future now

The activity is not finished. Theyre still climbing.

Present Perfect & Simple Past


Use the present perfect or the simple past with unfinished time periods such as today, this week, this month, and this year. Notice the difference in meaning.

Shes traveled to Alaska twice this month.

The month isnt over. She might travel again.

She traveled to Alaska twice this month.

The month isnt over, but she probably wont travel again this month.

Practice 2

Look at the groups of sentences. Discuss the differences in meaning with a partner.

Example: a. I have visited Kenya three times this year. have visited b. I visited Kenya three times this year. 1. a. I have taken many first-aid courses. b. I have been taking many first-aid courses. year isnt The The year isnt over, but the over. The use 2. a. She rafted down the Nile River last week. use of the of the present simple past perfectShe has rafted down the Nile River. means b. means that she that she might probably wont return again to 3. a. We lived in Nepal for two years. return to Kenya. Kenya.

b. We have lived in Nepal for two years.

c. We have been living in Nepal for two years.

References
Copyright 2006 Pearson Education and its licensors. All rights reserved.