Why do we use the past simple instead of the present perfect in the last sentence (WAS AWARDED)?

When the Beijing Olympic pool was first built, it was called the water cube due to its extraordinary cube-shaped exterior. Now, several years after the Olympics, the inside is just as incredible. The place where Michael Phelps WAS AWARDED eight gold medals has transformed into an enormous indoor water park.

  • We use Present Perfect ...has transformed... because the primary focus of the text is the Olympic pool as it is now, so there's a clear link between that past "act of transforming" and the present state of things. There's no such direct link to Phelps's (passive) past "act" (of being awarded medals). Commented Sep 18, 2022 at 11:20
  • Thank you for the explanation :) Commented Sep 19, 2022 at 18:24

1 Answer 1


We use the past (preterite) tense because we are talking about an event in the past. Indeed there is a clearly implied time in the past: "the time of the Beijing Olympics".

When we are talking about an event at a particular time in the past the preterite is used. The present perfect can be used to talk about the present state resulting from past events, or other situations in which there is a clear link to the present.

  • That was clear. Thank you for the explanation James! Commented Sep 19, 2022 at 17:41

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