Lesson 3

Choose Past Simple for Recent Actions

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Transcript

Hey and welcome back into the next lesson of our Top English Hacks course.
I know I know I know, English tenses are such a complex and difficult problem for English learners. First off you have to learn their construction and then when to use them. And that's the hard part for many, many students.
Why? Well that's exactly what I want to talk about today.

Today we're going to look at using Past Simple INSTEAD of Present Perfect when something just happened recently, DESPITE the fact that textbooks tell you to use Present Perfect in this exact situation.

Let's imagine that you lost your keys. Now you're looking for your keys and you're searching and searching and searching. Then, all of a sudden you find your keys. At this moment, a textbook tells you to use Present Perfect and say: "I've found my keys!". However in reality, most English speakers will actually say "I found my keys!" which is actually Past Simple and not Present Perfect.

This is just one example of where a language is spoken differently in real life than what you were taught in school.
Lets look at another example:

You're playing soccer and at the very last minute you score a goal and your team wins! Here, instead of saying: "We've just won the soccer game!" we will again use Past Simple instead and say "We just won the soccer game!"
Now remember, this trick only works in situations where something JUST happened.

In all other situations, the standard rules of Past Simple and Present perfect still apply - For example, if an action started in the past and is still happening today, then we use Present Perfect:
I've worked at this mall for 5 years.

In this situation you cannot use past simple and say "I worked at this mall for 5 years". The meaning will be entirely different.

So go forward into your lives and have conversations in English and enjoy them because speaking a foreign language is fun! But just remember, when something has recently occurred and it would make sense to use either Past Simple of Present Perfect, always use Past Simple to sound more authentic, natural, and well, a lot more like a native English speaker!

If you're interested in really interested in English tenses then we actually have an English Tenses Mastery course that covers all 12 english tenses in all of their forms in the past, present and future. And that's just ONE of the courses that you get access too when you join the English Buzz all-access pass where you get immediate access to all of our courses and we're constantly adding new courses all the time.
I'll see you again in tomorrow's lesson!