Transport and Travel Scene 2 - Language Focus


Rob the teacher talks about using the past simple and the present perfect.

 Watch the video and then do the tasks.



Hello! I can't understand why I have had lunch today is correct and I have had lunch yesterday is not correct? Both of actions are finished, isn'it?
Help me :)

Hello mathildavoshka,

In the video, from approximately 1:00–2:00, Rob explains why the present perfect ('have had') can be used with 'today'. After that, he explains when to use the past simple ('had').

Both 'I've had lunch today' and 'I had lunch today' are correct, depending on how you view the action. In the first, you're focusing more on the time period of today, which hasn't finished yet. In the second, you're focusing more on the time period of lunch, which could already be finished. 

But when you're talking about yesterday, which is a time period that is already finished, the present perfect doesn't make any sense in English.

By the way, you can also find other explanations on our present perfect and past simple pages for more.

Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

hello, I have a question ,please? which one is correct ( May 2014 Till December 2014
I Worked As Administration Assistant At FMCG Company
or I have worked as administration assistant) thanks alot in advance

Hello samarrr,

The time reference here is all in the past - it is a completed time period - and so the past simple is required. The first sentence is correct.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Amna,

I'd recommend you start by reading our Help page, which gives suggestions on how to use the site. If you have any questions, please let us know!

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Talking about "your first time..". Rob said: "was it your first time you've been on the London Eye?" because it's the first time Ashlie goes on the L.E. But if I'm talking about my first experience as an actor, which happened ten years ago, may I say "The first time I went on stage was terrible" or I should say "The first time I've been on stage was terrible". Thank you so much for your cooperation, you'd deserve a Nobel Prize for your assistance.

Hello apc,

The standard use here would be 'The first time I went...'. Generally, we would say:

'Is that the first time you've been on...'


'Was that the first time you went on...'

As you can see, Rob's question is a mixture - neither one nor the other, making it a non-standard form. This is something which often happens when we are chatting - our language is rarely perfect when we speak quickly.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team

hello,,thank you very much for all team of british council,especially word on the street
I have a question, can you help me, please? what is the different meaning between "I've been to two weddings this year and I've gone to two weddings this year"?

thank you

Hello niken.rizky,

When we talk about a current situation, 'have been to' means that the person has come back from the trip, while 'has gone to' means that the person has not yet returned. However, in the particular context you give - a person talking about their experience in life (or in a certain part of their life) up to now, there is no difference.

I hope that clarifies it for you.

Best wishes,



The LearnEnglish Team