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#35 | Simple Past vs Present Perfect | Past Actions


Walt and Faye share experiences eating food using the present perfect tense.

Walt: Hey Faye, have you ever had food from Laos? I’m having it tonight, river fish too.

Faye: Nah, I've never had Laotian food but I, I have had Thai when I visited there a few years ago. I think it's similar.

Walt: Really? What was Thai like?

Faye: Well, we had a mix of spicy Thai soup, grilled pork, some spicy salads. From what I remember it was all pretty spicy.

Walt: Yeah, that worries me a little and I'm worried about eating river fish. I don't know it. Have you ever had that?

Faye: Yes, I have. I had catfish on the vacation too. It was fine. Don't worry too much. There's always lots of rice too and salad. You’ll enjoy it.

Walt: I hope so. I'm a bit of a fussy eater and I'm not very adventurous to be honest.

Grammar Notes

Point 1: We can use the past tense for completed events in the past, usually at a definite time.
  1. We had spicy salads in Thailand last year.
  2. I went to the movies last night.
Point 2: We can use the present perfect for things that happened at an indefinite time in the past.
  1. I have had the flu.
  2. Rita has been to Sudan.
Point 3: We use the present perfect to talk about events that started in the past but continue until now.
  1. I have always been a football fan.
  2. She has never liked beef.
Point 4: We usually use the present perfect with 'ever' and 'never'.
  1. Have you ever been to the USA? No, I have never been there.
  2. Have you ever been hang-gliding? No, I haven’t ever been hang-gliding.
Point 5: Do not use 'ever' with positive statements. This is a common mistake.
Answer these questions about the interview.

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
eat • see • ride• play • like
  1. Have you ever the movie Dracula?
  2. I badminton last night.
  3. She raw fish a number of times in her life.
  4. I my bike to London yesterday.
  5. I being silly when I was a kid..