Present perfect · present simple · tenses · Verb

Basic Tenses Review 2

Ready for a Slightly More Difficult Tenses Quiz?

By Jacqueline Schaalje

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Judie2_26.11.14

Just like last time, but now slightly more tricky. Can you use the correct tense in these sentences? Try the test without looking at the explanations first.

Click here to do the test online.

Not So Easy Basic Tenses Review

Choose one of the two sentences Only one uses the correct tense.

1 You can’t find your keys. You saw them on the table only a few minutes ago. You say:

A Who’s seen my keys?

B Who sees my keys?

2 You finally come home after a long day, and find the living room full of people watching a silly TV series. You turn down the volume and say:

A Who is watching that crap?

B Who watches that crap anyway?

3 You’re phoning your friend Carrie, but you get her boyfriend on the line. He says:

A I’m sorry but Carrie is out.

B I’m sorry but Carrie has gone.

4 You’re in the shop buying a bag of oranges for a sick friend. The oranges are huge! You say:

A Wow, I never saw oranges before.

B Wow, I haven’t seen oranges this big in my life!

5 You’ve been eating pizza late at night, and when you throw away the box, you see a bunch of raccoons waiting next to the waste bin. You say:

A Do you guys never sleep!

B When have you guys last slept!

6 You want to surprise your family with a short visit (you live abroad). You surf the internet and spend hours researching a cheap ticket, but when you come back holding your credit card that you’ve just got out of your bag, you find the fare has changed. You say:

A Bastards, they’re changing the prices!

B Bastards, they’ve changed the prices!

7 You notice that your friend is wearing her orange dress, again. You say:

A That orange dress is the perfect thing for you.

B You been wearing that orange dress an awful lot.

8 You’re reminding a friend that you’ll meet each other the next day. You say:

A I’m coming tomorrow.

B I come tomorrow.

9 A friend of yours asks whether you like bungee jumping. You say:

A I’m not sure. I don’t try this.

B I’m not sure. I’ve never tried it.

10 A colleague wants to know where your manager is. You say:

A Don’t know. Why are you asking me?

B Don’t know. Why have you asked me?

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Explanation

If you had no mistakes, that is awesome! Well done.

If you had some mistakes, read this carefully:

Because this was slightly more tricky, we’ll go over each question, one by one. But first some general remarks:
A) This quiz uses Present Simple tense, which you must use for general situations and facts. Thus (= that’s why), in question 2 and 5 there is a general situation. So the verbs are in Present Simple (or Simple Present, whatever you’d like to call it).

Click here to catch up on Present Simple.

  1. B) This quiz also uses Present Perfect. Click here to clear your head about this tense, if necessary. You use present perfect whenever something in the past is relevant for the present moment, or something has changed that you can see now. So in questions 1 and 6 you use this tense: in 1 because you want to ask who has seen your keys since they disappeared. And in 6 because something has changed, and you can see the result of this now. Present Perfect always needs to be with has or have, so that’s why in question 7 you can’t choose answer B, because has or have is missing. And in 4 you want to express that since some point in the past until now you haven’t seen such oranges, so again this should be in Present Perfect and not in the Simple Past, because of the connection to the present moment. Same thing in question 9.

Okay, so now that we’re clear on these two tenses, as said, I’ll go over the questions with you:

1 You can’t find your keys. You saw them on the table only a few minutes ago. You say:

A Who’s seen my keys? Correct, because you want to ask about when someone saw the keys from the moment they disappeared, until now when you need them. For this you use present perfect, so the question is: Who has seen my keys?

B Who sees my keys? Incorrect. Using present simple here makes this question a general situation. It’s as if you’re asking, in general, who can see keys? That’s a strange question, isn’t it? In general, most people can see, but they don’t always see your keys, and that’s a good thing.

2 You finally come home after a long day, and find the living room full of people watching a silly TV series. You turn down the volume and say:

A Who is watching that crap? Incorrect. You’re using present progressive tense here, which is describing something happening now. But you can see exactly who is watching this series, so there would be no need to ask it.

B Who watches that crap anyway? Correct. Here you’re using present simple to describe, with humour, your frustration that people in general watch crap shows.

3 You’re phoning your friend Carrie, but you get her boyfriend on the line. He says:

A I’m sorry but Carrie is out. Correct, when someone is not home or not in the office, you can say they’re out.

B I’m sorry but Carrie has gone. Would have been correct, if you had added: she has gone out. If you say she has gone, it means she has disappeared.

4 You’re in the shop buying a bag of oranges for a sick friend. The oranges are huge! You say:

A Wow, I never saw oranges before. Incorrect, first of all it’s strange that someone never saw oranges. But you should say: I’ve never seen oranges before, because we mean until now. And when something happens until now, you should use present perfect.

B Wow, I haven’t seen oranges this big in my life! Correct, present perfect is used to describe a situation where someone never saw something until now.

5 You’ve been eating pizza late at night, and when you throw away the box, you see a bunch of raccoons waiting next to the waste bin. You say:

A Do you guys never sleep! Correct, because present simple is used here to describe a general feeling that the raccoons don’t sleep.

B When have you guys last slept! Incorrect, not because of the grammar, because it would be possible to use present perfect to express that these animals don’t seem to have slept until now. But that is not very logical, and that’s why the sentence sounds weird.

6 You want to surprise your family with a short visit (you live abroad). You surf the internet and spend hours researching a cheap ticket, but when you come back with your credit card the fare has changed. You say:

A Bastards, they’re changing the prices! Incorrect. Present progressive is used for things that are happening now, so that would mean that the prices are changing all the time, and you don’t know that, because you saw them change only once.

B Bastards, they’ve changed the prices! Correct. Present perfect is used to express that the prices have changed since you last saw them.

7 You notice that your friend is wearing her orange dress, again. You say:

A That orange dress is the perfect thing for you. Correct, present simple is used to express a general statement about the dress.

B You been wearing that orange dress an awful lot. Incorrect, because this sentence seems to use present perfect (progressive), but the “have” is missing.

8 You’re reminding a friend that you’ll meet each other the next day. You say:

A I’m coming tomorrow. Correct, you can use present progressive for future situations.

B I come tomorrow. Incorrect, present simple isn’t used for the future.

9 A friend of yours asks whether you like bungee jumping. You say:

A I’m not sure. I don’t try this. Incorrect, this is present simple which can be used for general situations, but here you want to say that from the past until now you haven’t tried it. So it should be in present perfect.

B I’m not sure. I’ve never tried it. Correct. See explanation at A.

10 A colleague wants to know where your manager is. You say:

A Don’t know. Why are you asking me? Correct, the colleague is asking you now, so you should use present progressive.

B Don’t know. Why have you asked me? Incorrect, using present perfect here sounds as if the colleague asked you in the past.

If you have questions about any of this, send me an email. I’ll be glad to answer.

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