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Enough with the Present Perfect...
Teaching is (also ) repeating again and again, patiently, and repeat other times for learners to get the impression that they've perhaps already heard about the topic the teacher is developing ...
but not heard enough to be able not to make the same mistakes again...
This is what came to my mind again while I was reading a question from a very 'advanced learner' : 'The assessment of an action'?... What do you exactly mean by that, please? '
Therefore I realised that the 'delicate question of the present perfect' had to be practised again, especially as the tense doesn't exist in French and in other languages...
THE PRESENT PERFECT SIMPLE :
1) How to make it: It's built with the auxiliary: to HAVE, only: have/has (in the 3rd pers. sing.) + the past participle of the main verb:
The past participle is either the main Verb + ed (for regular verbs), or the 3rd column of the irregular verbs ( to be known by heart! )
- In the interrogative form you simply have to do the auxiliary/subject inversion, and in the negative form, you simply have to add not !
ex : Have you finished your exercise? Yes, I have, but look at Paul, he hasn't finished yet.
2) When to use it: A) When the moment when the action takes place is not mentioned, to express a link or consequence between a past action and the present situation:
ex : He can't leave for his holiday because he has caught mumps.
(He is sick and contagious... = the past action has a consequence on the present. He mustn't spread his disease and therefore, must stay at home, not leave for a holiday! )
B) When an ACTION is ASSESSED because the ACTION IS STRESSED (have you done this action, or not? have you or haven't you DONE it? )
ex : Have you seen this film ? ('Have you seen it, or not?', is implied)
ex : She hasn't met my brother (The meeting is the important point. Has she, or not, met him? The moment of the action (the meeting) is of no interest.
C) The action started in the past and has a visible result in the present.
ex : Look! Somebody has thrown up in the classroom! (and didn't report it... therefore, it wasn't cleaned! ) Disgusting! => result in the present.
D ) The sentence in the present perfect may contain an adverb expressing an idea of time: already, ever / never, not... yet, so far ...
(Be careful where to place the adverb : between the auxiliary and the main verb!)
ex : Have you ever seen Star Wars? Of course! I have already watched this film several times !
E ) Used with FOR and SINCE :
FOR is used to express a duration (a week, three months, ten years) and SINCE to indicate a starting point (Xmas, 2001, 6 o'clock...)
ex : I've been here for one hour. (= 60 minutes)
A few verbs : to be, to know, to want, to like etc, cannot be in the present perfect in the -ing form.
ex: I have liked this singer since I attended one of his concerts.
THE PRESENT PERFECT in – ing :
The present perfect in –ing = have / has been VERB + ing
ex : He's been practising the piano for ten years, now.
(He started 10 years ago, is still doing it in the present and the duration of the training is long.)
The two forms (simple or in - ing) are sometimes possible.
Well! I do hope things are clearer ... Good luck for the exercise! Go for it!
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