Complete the following sentences using appropriate verb forms:
My friend (i) ______ (read) a lot. He (ii) ______ (be) fond of reading since he was a boy. Last Sunday he (iii) ______ (take) two books from the library. He (iv) ______ (finish) reading them in two days.
(i) My friend reads a lot.
We use the simple present tense here because we are talking about a habit. This is the tense form used to talk about habits, facts and general truths.
Here the subject (friend) is a singular noun and therefore the verb takes the marker -s.
(ii) He has been fond of reading since he was a boy.
Here we are talking about something that has been going on for a lot of time. Therefore we use the present perfect tense here.
Here the conjunction since also acts as a clue. In sentences with since and for, the perfect and perfect continuous tenses are common.
The present perfect and the present perfect continuous tenses are used to talk about an action or situation that started in the past and has continued up to the present moment.
(iii) Last Sunday, he took two books from the library.
To say that something happened some time ago, we use the simple past tense.
The simple past tense is commonly used with a past time expression (e.g. last Sunday). If there is no time expression referring to the past, we are more likely to use a present perfect tense.
He has taken two books from the library. (We don't say when he took the books.)
He took two books from the library yesterday. (NOT He has taken two books from the library yesterday.)
(iv) He finished reading them in two days.
Here again we use the simple past tense because we are talking about a completely finished action in the past.