One easy way to know if you should use the Present Perfect or the Past Simple is by looking at adverbs of time. We can call them keywords (KW).
Some time words are specific and concrete, which means you can easily find them on a calender, clock, etc. They go with the Past Simple.
Other adverbs of time are less specific, which means it is hard to say exactly what time they refer to. This non-specific time in the past means that the results of this situation/action in the past is important now or still present now. This means they go with the Present Perfect.
Take our little quiz and see if you can begin to feel the difference between specific (Past Simple) and non-specific (Present Simple) time.
0 of 15 Questions completed
You have already completed the quiz before. Hence you can not start it again.
Quiz is loading…
You must sign in or sign up to start the quiz.
You must first complete the following:
0 of 15 Questions answered correctly
Time has elapsed
You have reached 0 of 0 point(s), (0)
Earned Point(s): 0 of 0, (0)
0 Essay(s) Pending (Possible Point(s): 0)
three weeks ago
10 seconds ago
over the last few days
10 weeks ago
over the last 10 years