How can we decide? Past simple or Present Perfect?
The use of the Present Perfect Tense is like the marriage of the past and present. When you use Present perfect Tense, you mention both present and past at the same time. Past Simple is only for talking about the past. It is a completed past event. The time period is finished in the past simple. However, in the Present Perfect tense, there is a connection with the present: the action or state is finished but the time isn't finished.
I lived in Rome in 2002. (The year 2002 is finished, and I’m not living in Rome.)
I’ve lived in Rome since I was born. (I lived in Rome in the past and I’m still living in Rome in present. The time period isn’t finished.)
It's 11 o'clock and I've drunk six cups of tea this morning. (It means it is still morning. Morning is not finished.)
I drank six cups of tea this morning. It's eight o'clock in the evening now I don't want to drink anymore. (Morning is finished. He can't drink tea anymore in the morning period.
I have never listened to Country music. (It means my life period isn't finished I haven't listened but I can in the future.)
He didn't listen to Country music when he was in the USA. (His time in the USA finished and he can't listen to the Country music in the USA anymore.)
Present Perfect tense talks about actions that connect past and present.
It has rained. vs. It rained. (In the first sentence, the effects of rain can still be seen, such as the raining has stopped but the ground is still wet. In the second sentence, there is no connection with the present.)
In the Present Perfect tense, we don't know the time when the action happened. There is not an exact time reference. On the other hand, in Past Simple, we might know when or where the action happened. So we cannot ask a question with "when" in Present Perfect tense, but in Past Simple, it is OK to ask with when;
When did you finish your homework?
What time did you go to school yesterday?
Practice 2 (Reading Text)