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English Grammar Lesson – Present Perfect February 15th, 2014

The English Present Perfect:

The perfect tenses are challenging for both high and low level students. However, the present perfect is particularly important for students to know! This is because the present perfect links the past to the present. We make the present perfect with the correct form of the verb have/has and the past participle of a verb.

I bet you are asked this question at least once a week: how long have you been in the United States?” Well, this is a perfect example of the present perfect.

An example answer is: “I have been in the United States for 2 months.

Timeline Practice:

To practice present perfect, try making a timeline of your life. For example:

– I was born in 1990

– I lived in Saudi Arabia until 2011

– I came to study and live in Los Angeles in 2011

So, you have lived in Los Angeles for3 years.

Or, you have lived in Los Angeles since2011.

What is the difference between “for” and “since?”

We can only use “for” with a period of time. For example, for six years or five days.

Since” is used with actual dates. For example, since January 20th or 2012.

I Have Never Game:

Another fun way to practice the present perfect is to play the “I have never game” with your friends. In this game, you think of three things you have never done in your life. For example: “I have never eaten snake.” In this case we use the word neverbecause in the past until now, you have not done this thing.

Remember, your statements should be true for you but not impossible. So, in your example, most people have never eaten a snake. Anyone who has eaten a snake must tell the story. After they tell the story and their classmates ask follow-up questions, they receive a penny or card. Play continues to the right as the next person says, “I’ve never…” Again, people who have done this receive a penny or card. At the end, see who has the most pennies and joke about this person being the most experienced.

Whether you are playing a game with friends or having a casual conversation with a native speaker, the present perfect will always be useful!