Curso Avanzado de Inglés de Negocios



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Grammar: Present Perfect and Past Simple


We use the present perfect tense when there is a connection between the past and the present. It has two main uses:

a) It is used when we are interested in the present result of something that happened at an unspecified time in the past:


He's decided to look for a new job.
I'm afraid I've forgotten your name.

b) It is used to talk about an action or situation which started in the past and is still continuing:


How long have you worked here?
She's been away on business since last week.
I haven't seen him for several years

With the present perfect we use How long...? in questions about duration and for or since in the answer.


How long have you worked for Harper & Grant?

Notice that we use for to show the duration of an action, and since to show when it began.


-  I've worked here for twelve months (for twenty years, etc).
-  I've worked here since January (since 1990, since Christmas, etc).

The present perfect is often used with adverbs such as just, yet, still, already, ever, never, recently, lately, so far, up to now.


They 've just signed an important contract.
She hasn't received an answer yet.
Have you ever used this type of machine?
We've had good results so far.


We use the past simple tense to talk about something which happened in the past and which has no connection with the present. It refers to a finished period of time:


Pasteur made important medical discoveries.
you go to the meeting yesterday?
She worked in Paris for five years before moving to Rome.

With the past simple we use When...? and How long...? to ask questions about the timing and duration of events in the past:


When did you come to the States? (TIMING)
How long did you live in Holland? (DURATION)

We can answer the first question by giving the exact time in the past or by giving the total number of units of time that separate the event from the present:


-  I came in 1995.
I came ten years ago.




Grammar: Activity with Answer


Complete the following article with either the present perfect or past simple tense choosing the best alternative from the menu.





William Colgate   the Colgate Company in 1806

as a starch, soap and candle business in New York City. For the

first one hundred years, the company   all its

business in the United States. However, in the early 1900s, the

company    an aggressive expansion programme



that    to the establishment of Colgate operations in countries



throughout Europe, Latin America and the Far East. Recently it 



operations in Turkey, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and China.



Their main sector of business is Oral Care and, in this area, Colgate-Palmolive is



the world leader in toothpaste. Since 1980, the company    its



share of this market by more than 12% to over 40% today.



Oral care revenues    significantly in recent years and in 1991



they    $ 1.3 billion.



The company    close attention to the environment. In 1990



the American Council on Economic Priorities    them as one of



the four most socially responsible companies in the United States.


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