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Actually, as you may guess, I'm not a native English speaker, in fact it's third language that I've leaned. Persian and Azari Turkish are my mother tongues. By the way, I have to get an IELTS cert and I should prepare myself to do so. But I have problem with tenses. I always get confused about perfect tenses. I really can't know whether I should use simple present/past or present/past perfect. I'm looking for some sort of flowcharts to check which tense should be used. For example I think I should use simple past when there is a "certain time", e.g. "yesterday" or "on March 9th". Could you please help me understand usage of perfect tenses. Here are some sentences you may use to explain the situation:

Concorde, the world’s fastest passenger plane, (develop) ____ by France and Britain together.

In the 1950s, both countries dreamed of having a supersonic plane, and the project (start) ____ in 1962.

£1.5 billion (spend) ____ on developing the Concorde, and it (test) ____ for over 5.000 hours, which makes it the most tested plane in history.

The first passenger plane (introduce) ____ by British Airways and Air France in 1976.

I know these are passive voices, but that's not the thing I'm talking about. Thank you in advance.

  • Mehdi, I have edited my answer. – Tasneem ZH May 10 at 19:29
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You are correct that the past simple is used when there's a definite period (such as in 19__ or so) in the past. It is a key to indicate that all the actions happened at that time and thus are considered finished.

Concorde, the world’s fastest passenger plane, (1)was developed by France and Britain together.

In the 1950s, both countries dreamed of having a supersonic plane, and the project (2)started in 1962.

£1.5 billion (3)was spent on developing the Concorde, and it (4)was tested for over 5.000 hours, which makes it the most tested plane in history.

The first passenger plane (5)was introduced by British Airways and Air France in 1976.


1- The process of developing the plane has been finished and completed in the past; it is past simple tense.

2- The project of the completed and developed plane has also happened in the past. In other words, it started and finished in the past entirely.

3- The money has been spent in the past. It is a finished action.

4- Didn't they finished it alongside all its procedure steps!? The testing action is one of the steps of making and developing the plane. It happened and finished in the past too.

5- Whatever was introduced as anything, it is something that happened in the past in 1976 which is a period that has been passed.

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