What’s the difference?
Present Perfect Simple
Unfinished actions that started in the past and continue to the present:
- I‘ve known Julie for ten years (and I still know her).
A finished action in someone’s life (when the person is still alive: life experience):
- My brother has been to Mexico three times.
A finished action with a result in the present:
- I‘ve lost my keys! (The result is that I can’t get into my house now).
With an unfinished time word (this week, this month, today):
- I‘ve seen John this week.
- I knew Julie for ten years (but then she moved away and we lost touch).
A finished action in someone’s life (when the person is dead):
- My great-grandmother went to Mexico three times.
A finished action with no result in the present:
- I lost my keys yesterday. It was terrible! (Now there is no result. I got new keys yesterday).
With a finished time word (last week, last month, yesterday):
- I saw John last week.
- We use the past simple for past events or actions which have no connection to the present.
- We use the present perfect for actions which started in the past and are still happening now OR for finished actions which have a connection to the present.
- We CAN’T use the present perfect with a finished time word:
- NOT: I’ve been to the museum yesterday.