Did you know that it is possible to have fun while learning grammar? In this lesson, I will teach you my favorite game for practicing the present perfect tense in English. You will learn how to use it to talk about past experiences. For example, when using the verb “to drink” in the present perfect, do we say, “Have you ever drank?” or “Have you ever drunk?” Watch the video to find out. You will also hear many more examples in conversation with a surprise guest. That’s right! There will be a surprise guest who will also help you to learn and remember the present perfect tense. Test your understanding with the quiz at
NEXT, watch one of my other grammar lessons:
1. Take the Present Perfect Progressive Challenge:
2. Learn English Tenses – 4 ways to talk about the future:
Emma: Hello. My name is Emma, and we have a very special video for you today. Okay? In today’s video you’re going to learn a little bit of grammar about the present perfect, and then you are going to play a really fun game. Not only are you going to get to play a fun game, you’re also going to get to meet my sister. Yes, Emma has a sister, so you’ll get to see my sister a little bit later because she is going to play the game with us as well. So, let’s get started and let me teach you this grammar point, so then we can get to the fun stuff. Okay?
So, today we’re going to talk about the present perfect. The present perfect is a bit of grammar. Okay? It’s a type of tense that many students get very frustrated with. They don’t know: “Do I use the present perfect? Do I use the past tense?” It can be really difficult. So, when do we use the present perfect, and what is the present perfect?
Well, let me first give you an example of a present perfect sentence, because maybe you’ve seen something like this before. “Have you ever been to France?”, “Have you ever lived in a different city?”, “Has your sister ever been on TV?” These are three examples of the present perfect.
So, when do we use the present perfect? Well, there’s different times we use the present perfect in English. In today’s lesson, we’re going to focus on using the present perfect to talk about a past experience. So, this is something interesting. An experience is usually an interesting experience; although it doesn’t have to be. So, it’s an experience that has happened in the past. So, it’s not happening now, it’s not happening in the future; it’s already happened. It happened before, in the past. That’s why a lot of students have a hard time with the present perfect because they see the word “present”, and they get confused. “But how can we be talking about the past?”
Well, the present perfect can be used to talk about a past experience, and we use it to talk about a past experience when we’re just talking about something that happened, but we’re not talking about when it happened. We’re not talking about a specific time; we’re not talking about a date. We’re talking generally about an experience that happened in the past.
So, I wanted to focus on present perfect questions to ask people about their experiences, because a lot of conversations start this way or have this in them. So, when we ask a person a question about the past experience, we can ask them: “Have you ever…?” This indicates we want to know something about somebody’s past. “Have you ever been to France?” for example. So I’m asking you: “In the past, have you been to France?”
So, to create the present perfect, let’s talk about form now. We have: “Have you ever” and then we add something called a past participle to make it the present perfect. So, what’s a past participle? Well, a “past participle” is a form of the verb. So, for example, in this case we have the verb “be”, “to be”. The past participle form of the verb “to be” is “been”. Okay? In this case, we have: “Have you ever” and we have our past participle. What’s a past participle again? It’s a verb in a specific form. Okay? So it’s a specific form of a verb. In this case, “lived” is the past participle of “live” or “to live”. And our last example. Oh, we have “been” again, which I’ve already discussed.
So, we use past participles in the present perfect. Now, this is where it gets a little bit challenging. There are two different types of past participles; we have our regular past participles and our irregular past participles. So, what’s a “regular past participle”? Well, this is a verb where we just add “ed”. Okay? So, for example: “play” becomes “played”, and I add “ed”, and that makes it a past participle. Another example is just down here: “lived”. “Live”, we add “ed” and it becomes “lived”, and that’s an example of a regular past participle. Okay? So, have you ever…? […]
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