B2 First: present perfect

There are several ways of writing the same sentence using present perfect or past simple tenses. These three sentences have the same meaning:

  • I haven't seen my brother for five years.
  • It has been five years since I saw my brother.
  • The last time I saw my brother was five years ago.

Pay attention to the use of I and it, and for and since. Basically, these are the three structures you need to remember.

  • I haven't ... for ...
  • It has been ... since I ...
  • The last time I ... was ...

If this looks difficult, you can learn more about the present perfect in my general grammar pages.

Practice: key transformations (use of English part 4)

Rewrite each of these sentences so they have the same meaning as the first. Use between 2 and 5 words, and do not change the word in brackets.

1. I haven't been on holiday for three years.

  • It I went on holiday. (since)
  • The last time I years ago. (went)

2. It has been six months since she visited us.

  • She six months. (not)
  • The last time she months ago. (was)

3. The last time I ate chocolate was last week.

  • I last week. (eaten)
  • It I last ate chocolate. (been)

4. It hasn't rained for four weeks.

  • The last time ago. (weeks)
  • It it rained. (four)