Scenario 1:

I just met my friend and he asked me to play soccer at night and I just told him, "I haven't played soccer in a long time."

Scenario 2:

We just started to play and I couldn't pass the ball right, so my friend told me, "You are bad at this," and I just answered, "I haven't played soccer in a long time."

In Scenario 1, I know that I have to use present perfect, because I'm talking about the past up until the present.

But I'm not sure if I should use the present perfect in Scenario 2, because actually I was playing and doing the action, so should I use the past simple or just stick to the present perfect?


You can stick with the present perfect. It will be understood that you mean until just before the present moment, and it's the best choice.

Note the correct spelling of "soccer", and "a long time". That phrase is a determiner "a", an adjective "long", and a noun "time". When you write "along", it's a preposition, an entirely different word.

  • 1
    I edited the question for clarity, correcting the mistakes you mention too, and then saw your answer. It's up to you if you want to remove your second paragraph or not … – Jason Bassford May 25 '20 at 21:37
  • Might as well leave it, in case the OP hasn't noticed. – Jack O'Flaherty May 25 '20 at 22:56
  • "for a long time' may be preferred to "in a long time". – Ram Pillai May 26 '20 at 0:45

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