Present Perfect through Conversation


Does this make sense to you?  Good go here:

I speak this language and I don’t really get this picture.  Teaching English grammar, especially its verb tenses is challenging.  For academics and those passionate about grammar it can be very fun studying the many grammar rules and all their exceptions.  For the rest of us who just want to learn the language, I offer an alternative:

Grammar through use and conversation

We go through common sentence forms that use the various tenses.  I don’t necessarily explain why.  After the student recognizes the patterns of use, they themselves will have their own understanding of why.  Just like a native speaker.  In fact, I don’t think I could have identified Present Perfect tense before I began teaching English.

All I do is give several examples and ask the student to give me examples of their own.  They should only have to change the verb and the object. We repeat ad nauseam. We focus on one form per lesson. I do not confuse the lesson with contractions. They will learn this in time.  I focus on one goal: knowing when this tense is appropriate.

Present Perfect

(to have) + (past participle)

Lesson 1: Experience and Bragging

I have been to Disneyland.
I have loved many women.
I have won several competitions.
I have mastered cooking.
I have seen every movie this year.
He has not lost a game.
Have you killed a dragon?



Lesson 2: for / since

I have lived in Russia for 5 years.
I have lived in Russia since 2009.
I have studied English for 6 months.
It has rained since last night.
Has the milk been here since yesterday?
They have not won for 2 years.



Lesson 3: yet / already

I have not eaten dinner yet.
I have already seen this movie.
He has not done his homework yet.
Has she arrived yet?



Lesson 4: Change

I have cut my hair.
My! You have grown.
I have changed jobs.
They have moved to a new office.
He has not gotten* a new job.
Has she had her car fixed?

*ESL books and teachers are mostly commonly British.  Their irregular verb forms are often different from the American version.  This particular word gotten grates on their ears.  I can suppress my Americanisms by request, but most of the time I revel in them.

There are other uses of Present Perfect, but these are a good base for a new learner.




About ltpickens

Private English tutor for children and adults in Krasnodar, Russia.

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