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Transcript of tenses
The present perfect
Looks back from the present into the past, and expresses what has happened before now.
The action happened at an indefinite time in the past.
Present perfect form
have/has + -ed ( past participle)
I have driven I've driven
You have driven you've driven
He has driven He's driven
We have driven We've driven
They have driven They've driven
The past participle of regular verbs end in -ed.
There are many common irregular past participles.
Yesterday, I washed the dishes.
I've washed dishes for many years.
Yesterday, I played the piano.
I've played the piano for many years.
Yesterday, I bought oranges from Florida.
I've bought oranges from Florida for many years.
tense is formed with a present form of have ( has or have) and a past participle of the main verb. It occurs with a time expression of duration.
for six years, since 1999, over the last six months, and so on.
Present perfect to talk about activities that started and finished in the past, but we might repeat them in the future.
I have traveled to Europe 3 times.
( I might go there again)
She has lived there for 20 years.
( and she still does)
They have lived in Chicago since 1976 ( and they still do)
My father has been a Cubs fan for over 30 years. ( and he still is)
I have loved her since the day I first saw her. ( and I still do )
She has worked for that company for 15 years. ( and she still does)
Affirmative and Negative
form : subject + Auxiliary ( have/has/ haven't/ hasn't)+ past participle+complement
Have I /we/ you/ they
been to the United States?
been to the United States?
Yes, I have / No, I haven't ( contractions can be used)
refers to an action that happened at a definite time in the past.
He died in 1882.
She got married when she was 22.
We played tennis last Sunday.
Vicky left 5 minutes ago.
The action is finished-
I lived in Bangkok for a year ( But not now)
I did it
two months ago
on March 22
for two years
Main site -
chomp chomp irregular verb exercise
simple present tense -exercises by Randal's ESL
Spelling of regular verbs
Add -ed or -d
short verbs with one syllable/ double the consonants
stopped / planned /skipped/ripped
Verbs ending in consonant + -y
Change the -y to -ied
was/were + verb +-ing (present participial)
The Past Continuous expresses a past activity that has duration
The activity was in progress before, and probably after, a time in the past.
I had a good time while living in the US.
What were you doing this past weekend?
" I was playing with my children."
When I woke up this morning it was raining.
Present Simple is used to express -
An action that happens again and again = a habit
I go to work by car.
A fact that is always true.
My son has blue eyes.
A fact that is true for a long time.
He works at a school.
I am playing tennis.
He is cooking lunch.
is used to express- an activity that is happening now
Don't turn the TV off. I am watching it .
an activity that is not happening at the moment of speaking but is happening around now.
Don't take that book, Jane is reading it.
a temporary activity
Peter is a student but he is working as a waiter during the summer.
a planned future arrangement
I'm having lunch with Robin, tomorrow.
Phone conversations would be a
real life situation
present continuous tense is used quite often
so in order to give students practice with this tense as well as basic phone conversation, make a short model dialogue for students to practice in pairs. This could be very simple where Student A asks Student B for someone and Student B replies “I’m sorry. He’s not here right now. He’s playing baseball with Ben.” It could also be more complex. Adjust the conversation to suit your students’ ability level and encourage them to create part of the conversation, preferably the present continuous part of the conversation, on their own. Have students volunteer to present their dialogues to the class at the end of the activity
Present perfect is expressing -
a situation that started in the past and continues to the present
- I've been sick
a recently completed action
- I've eaten lunch.
an action that occurred at an unspecified time and has current relevance.
- I've driven trucks
an action that occurred over a period of time that is complete at the time of speaking.
-Mary has played the piano
an action can continue to the present and probably into the future.
-She has lived there
( and she still does)
simple present - She works
simple past - She worked
future - She will work
present progressive - She is working
past progressive - She was working
future progressive - She will be working
present perfect - She has worked
past perfect - She had worked
future perfect - She will have worked
present perfect progressive - She has been working
past perfect progressive - She had been working
future perfect progressive - She will have been working.
While + Past Continuous
When+ Past Simple
I woke up and took a shower
He came home while I was cooking
I came home when I heard the news
When the present perfect tense is used with
, it describes a situation that began in the past and continues until the present.
For is followed by a length of time.
I've driven trucks
for many years
( I continue to drive trucks)
I've written reports
for many years
( I continue to write reports)
a long time
two years ago
It's been a long time since...
How long have you been ...
has/he or she
Since I was a little boy/girl ...
Have you always....
present perfect progressive
past perfect progressive
future perfect progressive
She will work
She is working
She was working
She will be working
She has worked
She had worked
She will have worked
She has been working
She had been working
She will have been working
Tenses in English Language
Present Perfect Continuous
form - has or have + been+ the present participle
The present perfect continuous expresses
the past activity that extends to the present
Time expressions of duration may be included.
The present perfect and present perfect continuous are sometimes interchangeable.
The main difference is, with present perfect continuous, the activity seems more continuous and ongoing.
- He has been working with our company for over 20 years.
- He has worked with our company for over 20 years.
Here, the two tenses are not interchangeable
-He has been working with our company.
-He has worked with our company.
The "for" prepositional phrase of duration has been omitted.
a. She has been writing a novel. - still writing
b. She has written a novel. - completed action.
c. She has been writing a novel
for more than 20 years.
d. *She has written a novel for more than 20 years.
*When a phrase indicating duration is used with accomplishment verb, the present perfect is not possible. ( singular vs. plural)
a. She has been writing novels.
b. She has written novels.
c. She has been writing novels for more than 20 years.
d. She has written novels for more than 20 years.
Present perfect continuous suggests duration, it is preferred over perfect for questions beginning with "
Stative verbs- believe, know, posses, understand, want) do not usually appear in the continuous aspect
a. How long have you studied?
b. How long have you been studying?
c. How long has it rained?
d. How long has it been raining?
How long have you known him?
* How long have you been knowing him?
An action that will occur at some time in the future can be expressed a number of ways in English, but the two most common are with the modal
and the semi-modal
be going to
Will and Be going to
a.He will go to the ball
b.He is going to the ball
The choice between the two depends largely upon whether the speaker is expressing just probable occurrence or planned activity.
-will tends to be used for the former and be going to for the latter.
a. I'm going to go to Paris next week. I have business there.
b. I'll go to Paris next week. I have business there
a. is preferable than b.
Will expresses future time, including predictions about the future, and has several extended meanings.
Will, followed by a main verb is used to talk about future time. Sometimes this takes the form of making a prediction and it is often contracted with a preceding pronoun.
a. Sarah will retire in one or two years.
b.They'll go on to win the championship.
c. By this time tomorrow, we'll be in Boston.
Be going to
Be going to is a semi-modal
In addition to "will," it is also used to express future action, predictions, and volition (A power to make your own decision)
Planned action -
I'm going to leave a little after seven o'clock
= I plan to leave a little after seven o'clock
"plan to," be going to is similar to the modal "will"
be going to
- tend to be used when the speaker wants to talk about something that is fairly "
- when speakers refer to future actions that are still not firm or depend on conditions that are "
unknown or beyond their control
," they use will with ; probably, maybe, I think, etc. instead of be going to .
am going to
visit Siena in October. I
spend sometime in Tuscan countryside around San Gimignano. And then
go on to Florence.
The tendency to use
be going to
for planned future action and
for future action that is less certain or less controllable is just that - a tendency.
Thus, you may hear native speakers use be going to , it is often claimed that
be going to is less formal than will
when use to speak of future events and actions, but this is hard to prove.
While it is true that
is used more often in writing than be going to, the fact is that will is used more frequently in speaking as well.
Future time- Immediately Imminent Action ( about to happen)
Be going to is used when speaking about an action that appears to be immediately imminent or has already started.
a. Look out ! We're going to hit that car!
b. Look out! # We'll hit that car.
owl city , fire flies
Jason Mraz ft Colbie Caillat
The past perfect tense is formed with the past tense form of the verb have (i.e., had) and a past participle.
Basic meaning of past perfect.
The past perfect expresses a past action completed prior to another event or time in the past.
The past perfect often occurs in sentences with a main clause and a subordinate clause, where both clauses express the events in the past. ( After, before, by the time that, when..)
the book to his brother after she
the letter when Tom
The order in which the clauses appear does not affect the interpretation of which the action occurred first.
When she arrived, he had already left.
He had already left when she arrived.
By the time she arrived, he had already left.
He had already left by the time she arrived.
The subordinate clauses introduced by certain subordinators, such as
as soon as,
it is often possible to use the simple past instead of the past perfect.
a. John left as soon as he had spoken to Kim.
b. John left as soon as he spoke to Kim.
In some contexts however, the past perfect is required.
As soon as establishes the temporal sequence between events that are comparatively short duration.
If the second event has a long duration, such as accomplishment write a dissertation the past perfect is required.
o - John left the country as soon as he had written his dissertation.
x - John left the country as soon as he wrote dissertation
Additional Meaning for Past Perfect
Past perfect also appears in counterfatual conditional sentences, which express speculations or regrets about unfilled events
If I had only worked harder, I would have been promoted.
Past Perfect Continuous Tense
had been eating.
Past Perfect Progressive ( Continuous)
had + been + the present participal.
Expresses an ongoing action in the past that is related to another past action, which is often expressed in the simple past tense. This other action frequently occurs in a subordinate clause, particularly with
Time expressions of duration are common.
At that point , Jack had already been studying for 20 hours straight.
When I came downstairs, I saw there was at least a foot of water in the basement jack was standing under a pipe, and a steady stream cascaded into his face for the past 45 minutes, he had been working unsuccessfully to staunch the leak.
A : Did you ?
B : No. By the time I got to ,
had already .
Past Perfect Practice
catch your plane
cash the check
buy the milk
see the play
return the book
mail the letter
talk to the mechanic
take the train
enjoy the lecture
see the doctor
A : I saw at yesterday,
and ( he/she) looked very (upset/ sad/ excited/ happy.)
B: I know. He/She had just .
A: No wonder ( he/she) looked so !
work with a partner.
What did your classmate do yesterday from 8 am to 11 pm?
Write down as many sentences.
By 9:00 am she/ he had already
A : Hi, . What's new?
B : .
A : That's great! had been ing.
That's a shame! had been ing.
Write about something you accomplished:
What did you accomplish?
How long had you been preparing for it?
How had you been preparing?
Dear Side by Side,
We've been studying the present perfect and present perfect continuous tenses in our class for the past several weeks. I think I finally understand this grammar bit now we have begun learning the past perfect tense, and to tell the truth, I don;t understand when to use it. Can you help?
" Life was Perfect Before the Past Perfect
Dear " Life was Perfect,"
We understand your problem because we use both the present perfect past perfect tenses to talk about things that happened in the past. Here's the difference. we use the present perfect tense to talk about things that happened before now. For example:
I don't want to see that movie today.
I have already seen it.
We use the past perfect tense to talk about things that happened before another time in the past. For example:
I didn't want to see that movie yesterday.
I had already seen it.
We're glad uo have learned the present perfect tense, and we're sure you'll do well with the past perfect!
Side by Side