Past vs Present

Simple past and present tenses are the basic parts of speech; however, most of the English learners usually get confused about their correct use, which makes it essential to understand the difference between them. Initially, you must understand that the present tense is always in a sentence where it is not necessary to specify the exact time of a verb. On the other hand, it is necessary to use the simple past tense in a sentence where the time or place of occurrence of a verb is provided or required. Here is an example of two sentences which will further help you understand the correct usage of simple past vs. present:


Sentence One

I have seen the show.


Sentence One

I saw the show yesterday.


You can easily identify the difference between the above two sentences. The present perfect tense is used in the first sentence whereas simple past tense is used in the second sentence. “I have seen the show” and “I saw the show yesterday” both of the sentences talk about a verb which took place in the past; however, there is one significant difference between the two sentences. I have seen the show represents that you saw the show at an unspecified time in the past. Whereas, I saw the show yesterday, represents that you saw the show at a particular time in the past. You should use the past tense in your sentences when you talk about a verb that occurred at a specific time. For example, I visited my grandmother last week. The adverb ‘last week’ is not necessary; however, it surely helps to elude the fact that the verb occurred at a particular time.

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