English Grammar Exercises for A2 – Contrast: past simple and present perfect

1. Choose the correct verb form (a or b) in the sentences.

1) ____ to the west coast of Ireland? It’s beautiful.

a Did you ever go    

b Have you ever been

2) I ______ a lot of interesting cities in life, but I think New York is favourite.

a ‘ve visited               

b visited

3) I ______ Mexican food a few times, but it’s too spicy for me.

a ‘ve tried                  

b tried

4) You should get your postcard soon. I ______ it a week ago.

a ‘ve posted              

b posted

5) dad ______ about two hundred photos on this holiday so far.

a has taken                

b took

6) ____ any souvenirs when you were in Canada?

a Have you bought  

b Did you buy

Show answers

1) b   2) a   3) a   4) b   5) a   6) b

2. Complete the email. Use the present perfect or past simple form of the verbs in brackets.

To: anna@email.com

Dear Anna,

I’m on a coach tour of Europe with parents. So far we 1) _________ (visit) two cities – Paris and Amsterdam. We 2) _________ (start) the tour in Paris. 3) _________ you ______________ (go) there? It’s beautiful. The first day we 4) _________ (go) up the Eiffel Tower. The view was incredible. I 5) _________ (never / see) anything like it.

Now we 6) _________ (arrive) in Florence, in Italy. Yesterday we 7) _________ (explore) the old town on foot. Then we 8) _________ (climb) up the Campanile, which is a really tall tower. There were 414 steps, but it was worth it.

Next, we’re going to Rome. I 9) _________ (read) all about it last night and am really looking forward to it. I hope you’re enjoying the summer. The weather here 10) _________ (be) fantastic.



Show answers

1) ’ve visited   2) started   3) have ___ been   4) saw

5) ’ve never seen   6) ’ve arrived   7) explored   8) climbed

9) read   10) has been

3. Complete the sentences with has / have been, has / have gone or went.

1) Lucy isn’t at home. She’s gone to the sports centre.

2) We haven’t had a holiday this year, but last year we ____________ to Brazil.

3) We’ve got plenty of food – I ____________ to the supermarket yesterday.

4) She knows Madrid very well. She ____________ there lots of times since she moved to Spain.

5) I love water sports. I ____________ surfing in lots of different countries.

6) I hope Toby is enjoying the summer. He ____________ to Italy for six weeks.

Show answers

2) went   3) went   4) ’s been   5) ’ve been   6) ’s gone

4. Complete the mini-dialogues. Use the correct present perfect or past simple form of the verbs in brackets.

1)  a _________ ever ____________ (you / have) a holiday in Turkey?

b Yes, I ________ I ____________ (spend) two weeks there last year.

a Which cities ____________ (you / visit)?

b Only two. We ____________ (start) in Istanbul and then ____________ (travel) to Izmir.

2)  a _________ ever ____________ (you / try) an extreme sport?

b No, I ________ But I ____________ (learn) to ski last winter.

a Really? ____________ (you / enjoy) it?

b Yes, I ________ In fact, yesterday I ____________ (book) next skiing holiday!

3)  a _________ ever ____________ (you / go) on a coach tour?

b Yes, we ________ We ____________ (go) across the USA by coach last July.

a How long ____________ (it / take)?

b Three weeks. We ____________ (stop) at lots of interesting places on the way.

4)  a _________ ever ____________ (you / eat) insects?

b Yes, I ________ I ____________ (buy) a bag of insects as a snack in Thailand. But I ____________ (not enjoy) them very much.

Show answers

1 A: have you ___ had   b : have, spent

   A: did you visit   b : started, travelled

2 A: have you ___ tried   b : haven’t, learned

   A: did you enjoy   b : did, booked

3 A: have you ___ been   b : have, went

   A: did it take   b : stopped

4 A: have you ___ eaten   b : have, bought, didn’t enjoy

5. Complete the email with the correct past simple or present perfect form of the verbs in brackets.

Hi Lisa!

We 1) _________ (be) in Siena for three days. I really love it now, although I 2) _________ (not like) it much at first. We 3) _________ (arrive) very late on Wednesday night and we 4) _________ (discover) that our room reservations 5) _________ (not exist) and that the hotel 6) _________ (not have) any other rooms available. I 7) _________ (deal) with the owners of many small hotels through the years, but I 8) _________ (never meet) one as kind and generous as Signora Tenaglia. She 9) _________ (call) all over town until she 10) _________ (find) a really nice room for us, and she also invited us to have a home-cooked meal with her. We 11) _________ (not do) it yet, but we 12) _________ (decide) to do it on Tuesday.

See you soon,


Show answers

1) ‘ve been   2) didn’t like   3) arrived   4) discovered

5) didn’t exist   6) didn’t have   7) dealt

8) have never met   9) called   10) found

11) haven’t done   12) ‘ve decided