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ESL go.com's "Cruise" free online grammar class: present perfect

People love talking about vacation experiences, but sometimes it can be hard to know when to use the present perfect and when to use past simple. Here's one difference: use past simple for a definite past time, but present perfect for an indefinite time.

For example "Have you ever been to Bermuda?" is asking about one's entire life, not a specific time; we use present perfect. The answer "Yes, I've been to Bermuda" does not tell us when; we use present perfect. "I went there in 1986" tells us when so we use past simple.

Here's a dialogue about going on a cruise. Type the correct verb form into each box (use the verb I give you in parentheses after the box). Do not use contractions (use "I have" rather than "I've").

JIM: you ever (be) on a cruise?

TED: No, have you?

JIM: Yeah, I (go) on one when I was 12.

TED: How (be) it?

JIM: Awesome! The ship (be) huge and I (meet) so many people.

TED: I never (be) on a really big ship.

JIM: You should go on a cruise.

TED: I know! I always (want) to go on a cruise.

As I always say, the only way to learn this stuff perfectly is to try it. You can tell us one of your stories on the free practice English message boards. If you have been on a cruise, tell us about it on the travel message board. The more you use English to communicate, the easier it will be to remember grammar and vocabulary!

English travel and English tourism links

If you want to study English for travel or English for tourism, you might enjoy my Vacation in Las Vegas NV website or my English travel guide book store. Another holiday site worth checking is Holiday Rentals & Lettings a British website.