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# UNIT12. When ...? and How long ...? For and since

A. Compare When ...? (+ past simple) and How long ...? (+ present perfect):

A: When did it start raining?

B: It started raining an hour ago/at 1 o'clock.

A: How long has it been raining?

B: It's been raining for an hour/since 1 o'clock.

A: When did Joe and Carol first meet?

B: They first met a long time ago/when they were at school.

A: How long have Joe and Carol known each other?

B: They've known each other for a long time./since they were at school.

B. We use both for and since to say how long something has been happening.

We use for when we say a period of time (two hours, six weeks etc.):

* I've been waiting for two hours.

for two hours

two hours ago -> now

two hours/a week/20 minutes/50 years/five days/a long time/six months/ages

* Sally's been working here for six months. (not 'since six months')

* I haven't seen Tom for three days. (not 'since three days')

We use since when we say the start of a period (8 o'clock, Monday, 1985 etc.):

* I've been waiting since 8 o'clock.

since 8 o'clock

8 o'clock -> now

since

8 o'clock/1977/Monday/Christmas/12 May/lunchtime/April/they were at school

* Sally's been working here since April. (= from April until now)

* I haven't seen Tom since Monday. (= from Monday until now)

It is possible to leave out for (but not usually in negative sentences):

* They've been married (for) ten years. (with or without for)

* They haven't had a holiday for ten years. (you must use for)

We do not use for + all ... (all day/all my life etc.):

* I've lived here all my life. (not 'for all my life')

C. We say 'It's (a long time/two years etc.) since something happened':

* It's two years since I last saw Joe. (= I haven't seen Joe for two years/the last time I saw Joe was two years ago)

* It's ages since we went to the cinema. (= We haven't been to the cinema for ages)

The question is How long is it since ...?

* How long is it since you last saw Joe? (= When did you last see Joe?)

* How long is it since Mrs Hill died? (= When did Mrs Hill die?)

EXERCISES

12.1 Write questions with how long and when.

1. It's raining.

(how long?) How long has it been raining?

(when?) When did it start raining?

2. Kate is learning Italian.

(how long/learn?)

(when/start/learn?)

3. I know Martin.

(how long/know?)

(when/first/meet?)

4. Bob and Alice are married.

(how long?)

(when?)

12.2 Read the situations and complete the sentences beginning in the way shown.

1. (It's raining now. It's been raining since lunchtime.) It started raining at lunchtime.

2. (Ann and I are friends. We first met years ago.) We've known each other for years.

3. (Mark is ill. He became ill on Sunday.) He has ---

4. (Mark is ill. He became ill a few days ago.) He has ---

5. (Sarah is married. She's been married for two years.) She got ---

6. (You've got a camera. You bought it ten years ago.) I've ---

7. (Sue has been in France for the last three weeks.) She went ---

8. (You're working in a hotel. You started in June.) I've ---

12.3 Put in for or since.

1. It's been raining since lunchtime.

2. Tom's father has been doing the same job --- 20 years.

3. Have you been learning English ---a long time?

4. Sarah has lived in London --- 1985.

5. --- Christmas, the weather has been quite good.

6. Please hurry up! We've been waiting --- an hour.

7. Kevin has been looking for a job --- he left school.

8. The house is very dirty. We haven't cleaned it --- ages.

9. I haven't had a good meal --- last Tuesday.

12.4 Write Bs sentences using the words in brackets.

1. A: Do you often go on holiday?

B: (no/five years) No, I haven't had a holiday for five years.

2. A: Do you often eat in restaurants?

B: (no/ages) No, I ---

3. A: Do you often see Sarah?

4. A: Do you often go to the cinema?

B: (no/a long time) ---

Now write B's answers again. This time use It's ... since...

5. (1) No, it's five years since I had a holiday.

6. (2) No, it's ---

7. (3) No, ---

8. (4) ---

UNIT 13. Present perfect and past (1) (I have done and I did)

A. Study this example situation:

Tom is looking for his key. He can't find it.

He has lost his key. (present perfect)

This means that he doesn't have his key now.

Ten minutes later:

Now Tom has found his key. He has it now.

Has he lost his key? (present perfect)

No, he hasn't. He has found it.

Did he lose his key? (past simple)

Yes, he did.

He lost his key (past simple)

but now he has found it. (present perfect)

The present perfect is a present tense. It always tells us something about now. 'Tom has lost his key' = he doesn't have his key now (see Unit 7).

The past simple tells us only about the past. If somebody says 'Tom lost his key', we don't know whether he has it now or not. We only know that he lost it at some time in the past.

Two more examples:

* Jack grew a beard but now he has shaved it off. (so he doesn't have a beard now)

* They went out after lunch and they've just come back. (so they are back now)

B. Do not use the present perfect if there is no connection with the present (for example, things that happened a long time ago):

* The Chinese invented printing. (not 'have invented')

* How many plays did Shakespeare write? (not 'has Shakespeare written')

* Beethoven was a great composer. (not 'has been')

Compare:

* Shakespeare wrote many plays.

* My sister is a writer. She has written many books. (she still writes books)

C. We use the present perfect to give new information (see Unit 7). But if we continue to talk about it, we normally use the past simple:

* A: Ow! I've burnt myself.

B: How did you do that? (not 'have you done')

A: I picked up a hot dish. (not 'have picked')

* A: Look! Somebody has spilt milk on the carpet.

B: Well, it wasn't me. I didn't do it. (not 'hasn't been ... haven't done')

A: I wonder who it was then. (not 'who it has been')

EXERCISES

13.1 What has happened in these situations?

1. Jack had a beard. Now he hasn't got a beard. He has shaved off his beard.

2. Linda was here five minutes ago. Mow she's in bed. She ---

3. The temperature was 25 degrees. Now it is only 17. The temperature ---

4. The light was off. Now it is on. Somebody ---

5. The tree was only three metres high. Now it is four. The tree ---

6. The plane was on the runway a few minutes ago. Now it is in the air.

The plane ---

13.2 Put the verbs in brackets in the correct form, present perfect or past simple.

1. 'Where's your key?' 'I don't know. I've lost it.' (lose)

2. I was very tired, so I lay down on the bed and went to sleep. (be)

3. Mary --- to Australia for a while but she's back again now. (go)

4. 'Where's Ken?' 'He --- out. He'll be back in about an hour.' (go)

5. I did German at school but I --- most of it. (forget)

6. I meant to phone Diane last night but I --- (forget)

7. I --- a headache earlier but I feel fine now. (have)

8. Look! There's an ambulance over there. There --- an accident. (be)

9. They're still building the new road. They --- it. (not/finish)

10. 'Is Helen still here?' 'No, she --- out.' (just/go)

11. The police --- three people but later they let them go. (arrest)

12. Ann --- me her address but I'm afraid I --- it. (give, lose)

13. Where's my bike? It --- outside the house. It --- (be, disappear)

14. What do you think of my English? Do you think I ---? (improve)

13.3 Are the underlined parts of these sentences right or wrong? Correct the ones that are wrong.

1. Do you know about Sue? _She's given up_ her job. RIGHT

2. The Chinese _have invented_ printing. WRONG: The Chinese invented

3. How many plays _has Shakespeare written?_ ---

4. _Have you read_ any of Shakespeare's plays? ---

5. Aristotle _has been_ a Greek philosopher. ---

6. Ow! _I've cut_ my finger. It's bleeding. ---

7. My grandparents _have got_ married in London. ---

8. Where _have you been born?_ ---

9. Mary isn't at home. _She's gone shopping._ ---

10. Albert Einstein has been the scientist who _has developed_ the theory of relativity. ---

13.4 (Section C) Put the verb into the most suitable form, present perfect or past simple.

1. A: Look! Somebody has split (spill) coffee on the carpet.

B: Well, it wasn't (not/be) me. I didn't do (not/do) it.

2. A: Ben --- (break) his leg.

B: Really? How --- (that/happen)?

A: He --- (fall) off a ladder.

3. A: Your hair looks nice. --- (you/have) a haircut?

B: Yes.

A: Who --- (cut) it? --- (you/go) to the hairdresser?

B: No, a friend of mine --- (do) it for me.

UNIT 14. Present perfect and past (2) (I have done and I did)

A. Do not use the present perfect (I have done) when you talk about a finished time (for example, yesterday/ten minutes ago/in 1985/when I was a child). Use a past tense:

* The weather was nice yesterday. (not 'has been nice')

* They arrived ten minutes ago. (not 'have arrived')

* I ate a lot of sweets when I was a child. (not 'have eaten')

* A: Did you see the news on television last night? (not 'Have you seen')

B: No, I went to bed early. (not 'have gone')

Use a past tense to ask When ...? or What time ...?:

* When did they arrive? (not 'have they arrived')

* What time did you finish work?

Compare:

Present perfect

* Tom has lost his key. He can't get into the house.

Here, we are not thinking of the past action. We are thinking of the present result of the action: Tom doesn't have his key now.

Past simple

* Tom lost his key yesterday. He couldn't get into the house.

Here, we are thinking of the action in the past. We don't know from this sentence whether Tom has his key now.

B. Compare present perfect and past:

Present perfect (have done)

* I've done a lot of work today.

We use the present perfect for a period of time that continues from the past until now. For example, today, this week, since 1985.

* It hasn't rained this week.

* Have you seen Ann this morning? (it is still morning)

* Have you seen Ann recently?

* I don't know where Ann is. I haven't seen her. (= I haven't seen her recently)

* We've been waiting for an hour. (we are still waiting now)

* Ian lives in London. He has lived there for seven years.

* I have never played golf. (in my life)

The present perfect always has a connection with now. See Units 7-12.

Past simple (did)

* I did a lot of work yesterday.

We use the past simple for a finished time in the past. For example, yesterday, last week, from 1985 to 1991.

* It didn't rain last week.

* Did you see Ann this morning? (it is now afternoon or evening)

* Did you see Ann on Sunday?

* A: Was Ann at the party on Sunday?

B: I don't think so. I didn't see her.

* We waited (or were waiting) for an hour. (we are no longer waiting)

* Ian lived in Scotland for ten years.

Now he lives in London.

* I didn't play golf when I was on holiday last summer.

The past simple tells us only about the past. See Units 5-6.

EXERCISES

14.1 Are the underlined parts of these sentences right or wrong? Correct the ones that are wrong.

1. _I've lost_ my key. I can't find it anywhere. RIGHT

2. _Have you seen_ the news on television last night? WRONG: Did you see

3. _I've bought_ a new car. Do you want to see it? ---

4. _I've bought_ a new car last week. ---

5. Where _have you been_ yesterday evening? ---

6. Jenny _has left_ school in 1991. ---

7. I'm looking for Mike. _Have you seen_ him? ---

8. I'm very hungry. _I haven't eaten_ anything today. ---

9. Diane _hasn't been_ at work yesterday. ---

10. When _has this book been_ published? ---

14.2 Make sentences from the words in brackets. Use the present perfect or past simple.

1. (it/not/rain/this week) It hasn't rained this week.

2. (the weather/be/cold/recently) The weather ---

3. (it cold/last week) It ---

4. (I not/read/a newspaper yesterday) I ---

6. (Ann/earn/a lot of money/this year)

7. (she not/earn/so much/last year)

8. (you have/a holiday recently?)

14.3 Put the verb into the correct form, present perfect or past simple.

1. I don't know where Amy is. Have you seen (you/see) her?

2. When I --- (get) home last night, I --- (be) very tired and I --- (go) straight to bed.

3. Your car looks very clean --- (you/wash) it?

4. George --- (not/be) very well last week.

5. Mr Clark --- (work) in a bank for 15 years. Then he gave it up.

6. Molly lives in Dublin. She --- (live) there all her life.

7 --- (you/go) to the cinema last night?' 'Yes, but it --- (be) a mistake. The film (be) awful.

8. My grandfather --- (die) 30 years ago. I --- (never/meet) him.

9. I don't know Carol's husband. I --- (never/meet/him).

10. A: Is your father at home?

B: No, I'm afraid he --- (go) out.

A: When exactly --- (he/go) out? B: About ten minutes ago.

11. A: Where do you live?

B: In Boston.

A: How long --- (you/live) there?

B: Five years.

A: Where --- (you/live) before that?

B: In Chicago.

A: And how long --- (you/live) in Chicago?

B: Two years.

14.4 Write sentences about yourself using the ideas in brackets.

1. (something you haven't done today)

I haven't eaten any fruit today.

2. (something you haven't done today)

3. (something you didn't do yesterday)

4. (something you did yesterday evening)

5. (something you haven't done recently)

6. (something you've done a lot recently)

UNIT 15. Past perfect (I had done)

A. Study this example situation:

Sarah went to a party last week. Paul went to the party too but they didn't see each other. Paul went home at 10.30 and Sarah arrived at 11 o'clock. So:

When Sarah arrived at the party, Paul wasn't there. He had gone home.

Had gone is the past perfect (simple):

I/we/they/you or he/she/it had (= I'd etc./he'd etc.) gone/seen/finished etc.

The past perfect simple is had + past participle (gone/seen/finished etc.). For a list of irregular verbs, see Appendix 1.

Sometimes we talk about something that happened in the past:

* Sarah arrived at the party.

This is the starting point of the story. Then, if we want to talk about things that happened before this time, we use the past perfect (had ... ):

* When Sarah arrived at the party, Paul had already gone home.

Some more examples:

* When we got home last night, we found that somebody had broken into the flat.

* Karen didn't want to come to the cinema with us because she had already seen the film.

* At first I thought I'd done the right thing, but I soon realised that I'd made a serious mistake.

* The man sitting next to me on the plane was very nervous. He hadn't flown before./He had never flown before.

B. Had done (past perfect) is the past of have done (present perfect). Compare:

present perfect

* Who is that woman? I've never seen her before.

* We aren't hungry. We've just had lunch.

* The house is dirty. They haven't cleaned it for weeks.

past perfect

* I didn't know who she was. I'd never seen her before. (= before that time)

* We weren't hungry. We'd just had lunch.

* The house was dirty. They hadn't cleaned it for weeks.

C. Compare the past perfect (I had done) and past simple (I did):

* 'Was Tom at the party when you arrived?' 'No, he had already gone home.'

but 'Was Tom there when you arrived?' 'Yes, but he went home soon afterwards.'

* Ann wasn't at home when I phoned. She was in London.

but Ann had just got home when I phoned. She had been in London.

EXERCISES

15.1 Read the situations and write sentences from the words in brackets.

1. You went to Jill's house but she wasn't there. (she/go/out) She had gone out.

2. You went back to your home town after many years. It wasn't the same as before.

(it/change/a lot)

3. I invited Rachel to the party but she couldn't come.

(she/arrange/to do something else)

4. You went to the cinema last night. You arrived at the cinema late.

5. I was very pleased to see tim again after such a long time.

(I/not/see/him for five years)

6. I offered Sue something to eat but she wasn't hungry.

(she/just/have/breakfast)

15.2 Read the situations and write sentences ending with before. Use the verb given in brackets.

1. The man sitting next to me on the plane was very nervous. It was his first flight.

2. A woman walked into the room. She was a complete stranger to me.

(see) I --- before.

3. Simon played tennis yesterday. He wasn't very good at it because it was his first game.

(play) He ---

4. Last year we went to Denmark. It was our first time there (be) We ---

15.3 Use the sentences on the left to complete the paragraphs on the right. These sentences are in the order in which they happened - so (1) happened before (2), (2) before (3) etc. But your paragraph begins with the underlined sentence, so sometimes you need the past perfect.

1. (1) Somebody broke into the office during the night.

(2) _We arrived at work in the morning._

(3) We called the police

We arrived at work in the morning and found that somebody had broken into the office during the night. So we ---

2. (1) Ann went out.

(2) _I tried to phone her_ this morning.

I tried to phone Ann this morning but --- no answer. She --- out.

3. (1) Jim came back from holiday a few days ago.

(2) _I met him the same day._

(3) He looked very well.

I met Jim a few days ago. He --- just --- He ---

4. (1) Kevin wrote to Sally many times.

(2) She never replied to his letters.

(3) _Yesterday he had a phone call from her._

(4) He was very surprised.

Yesterday Kevin --- He --- very surprised. He --- many times but she ---

15.4 Put the verb into the correct form, past perfect (I had done etc.) or past simple (I did etc.).

1. 'Was Tom at the party when you arrived?' 'No, he had gone (go) home.'

2. I felt very tire when I got home, so I --- (go) straight to bed.

3. The house was very quiet when I got home. Everybody --- (go) to bed.

4. Sorry I'm late. The car --- (break) down on my way here.

5. We were driving along the road when we --- (see) a car which. --- (break) down, so we --- (stop) to see if we could help.

UNIT 16. Past perfect continuous (I had been doing)

A. Study this example situation:

Yesterday morning I got up and looked out of the window. The sun was shining but the ground was very wet.

It was not raining when I looked out of the window; the sun was shining. But it had been raining before. That's why the ground was wet.

Had been ~ing is the past perfect continuous:

I/we/you/they had(= I'd etc.) been doing/working/playing etc.

he/she/it had (= he'd etc.) been doing/working/playing etc.

Some more examples:

* When the boys came into the house, their clothes were dirty, their hair was untidy and one of them had a black eye. They'd been fighting.

* I was very tired when I arrived home. I'd been working hard all day.

B. You can say that something had been happening for a period of time before something else happened:

* Our game of tennis was interrupted. We'd been playing for about half an hour when it started to rain very heavily.

* Ken gave up smoking two years ago. He'd been smoking for 30 years.

C. Had been ~ing (past Perfect continuous) is the past of have been ~ing (present perfect continuous). Compare:

present perfect continuous

* I hope the bus comes soon. I've been waiting for 20 minutes. (before now)

* He's out of breath. He has been running.

past perfect continuous

* At last the bus came. I'd been waiting for 20 minutes. (before the bus came)

* He was out of breath. He had been running.

D. Compare had been doing and was doing (past continuous):

* It wasn't raining when we went out. The sun was shining. But it had been raining, so the ground was wet.

* Ann was sitting in an armchair watching television. She was tired because she'd been working very hard.

E. Some verbs (for example, know and want) are not normally used in the continuous:

* We were good friends. We had known each other for years. (not 'had been knowing')

For a list of these verbs, see Unit 4A.

EXERCISES

16.1 Read the situations and make sentences from the words in brackets.

1. I was very tired when I arrived home.

(I/work/hard all day)

I had been working hard all day.

2. The two boys came into the house. They had a football and they were both very tired.

(they/play/football)

3. There was nobody in the room but there was a smell of cigarettes.

(somebody/smoke/in the room)

4. Ann woke up in the middle of the night. She was frightened and didn't know where she was.

(she/dream)

5. When I got home, Mike was sitting in front of the TV. He had just turned it off.

(he/watch/TV)

16.2 Read the situations and complete the sentences.

1. We played tennis yesterday. Half an hour after we began playing, it started to rain.

We had been playing for half an hour when it started to rain.

2. I had arranged to meet Tom in a restaurant. I arrived and waited for him. After 20 minutes I suddenly realised that I was in the wrong restaurant.

I --- for 20 minutes when I ---

3. Sarah got a job in a factory. Five years later the factory closed down.

At the time the factory ---, Sarah --- there for five years.

4. I went to a concert last week. The orchestra began playing. After about ten minutes a man in the audience suddenly began shouting.

The orchestra --- when ---

5. This time make your own sentence:

I began walking along the road. I --- when ---

16.3 Put the verb into the most suitable form, past continuous (I was doing), past perfect (I had done) or past perfect continuous (I had been doing).

1. It was very noisy next door. Our neighbours were having (have) a party.

2. We were good friends. We had known (know) each other for a long time.

3. John and I went for a walk. I had difficulty keeping up with him because he --- (walk) so fast.

4. Mary was sitting on the ground. She was out of breath. She --- (run)

5. When I arrived, everybody was sitting round the table with their mouths full. They --- (eat).

6. When I arrived, everybody was sitting round the table and talking. Their mouths were empty but their stomachs were full. They --- (eat).

7. Jim was on his hands and knees on the floor. He --- (look) for his contact lens.

8. When I arrived, Kate --- (wait) for me. She was rather annoyed with me because I was late and she --- (wait) for a very long time.

9. I was sad when I sold my car. I --- (have) it for a very long time.

10. We were extremely tired at the end of the journey. We --- (travel) for more than 24 hours.

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