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The Present Perfect and the Past Tense

EXERCISE

5. Put the verbs in brackets into the Present Perfect or the Past Tense, depending on

the given alternatives:


1. They (try) . to speak only English (lately, last night). 2. She (have)
. a lot of work (today, in January). 3. I (practise) . for
three hours (today, before I came here). 4. He (complete) . his work
(yesterday, this morning, for a long time now). 5. My grandparents (live) .
in the country (since the war, until the war). 6. Who(m) you (speak) . to
(just now, all this time)? 7. I (dislike) . mathematics (when I was a pupil,
always). 8. We (live) . here (for three years, three years ago). 9. John
(hear) . about your arrival (yesterday, just). 10. The weather (change)
. (since this morning, as I left the house).
EXERCISE

6. Put the verbs in brackets into the Present Perfect or the Past Tense:

1. He (write) two pages so far. 2. She (forget) to take her book


with her. 3. They (leave) the village last week. 4. Ann (live)
in Bucharest from 1968 to 1970. 5. They not (play) football since last week.
6. John (start)

to learn French last October. 7. Father not (come)

home yet. 8. I cannot tell you where she is, as I not (see) her.
9. When you (receive)

the letter from them? 10. They (become)

very well-known now. 11. Much progress (be made) lately in


nuclear science. 12. She never (teach) grammar before. 13. Years ago he
(work) here but now he (move) to another factory. 14. This
novelist (write) some very good plays too, he (write) them in
his youth. 15. The play (begin) half an hour late last night so we (be)
late for dinner.

VII. The past perfect tense


Form
This tense is formed with had and the past participle:
Affirmative: I had/I'd worked etc.

Negative: / had not/hadn't worked etc.


Interrogative: had I worked? etc.
Negative interrogative: had I not/hadn't I worked? etc.
Use
The past perfect is the past equivalent of the present perfect. Present: Ann has just left. If you
hurry you'll catch her. Past: When I arrived Ann had just left.
Present: I've lost my case. Past: He had lost his case and had to borrow Tom's pyjamas.
1. The past perfect can be used for an action which began before the time of speaking in the
past, and was still continuing at that time or stopped at that time or just before it.
2. for an action which stopped some time before the time of speaking
Bill was in uniform when I met him. He had been a soldier for ten years/since he was seventeen,
and planned to stay in the army I ill he was thirty.
The old oak tree, which had stood in the churchyard for 300 years/since before the church was
built, suddenly crashed to the ground.
3. The past perfect is also the past equivalent of the simple past tense, and is used when the
narrator or subject looks back on earlier action from a certain point in the past:
Tom was 23 when our story begins. His father had died five years before and since then Tom had
lived alone. His father had advised him not to get married till he was 35, and Tom intended to
follow this advice. I had just poured myself a glass of beer when the phone rang. When