Introduction

Learn about the present perfect in this episode from Grammar Course Chapter 2 Perfect and Perfect Progressive Tenses from English Plus Podcast. You will also learn some tips and tricks about irregular verbs and there is a lot of practice right here on the website.


Audio Podcast


Pretest

Correct the mistakes in the following sentences or write 'Correct' if the sentence is correct.

How long have you know my sister?
We have been in this meeting since 7:00 A.M.
Did you ever seen a ghost?
How you been? I haven't seen you for a while.
Jonas owned his home since last year, but his parents helped him buy it.
How long you have been waiting for me?
I am watching TV since I got home.
I had felt sick after dinner, so I went to bed.
We'd wanted to go out to breakfast, but we overslept.
Tony's eyes were itchy and red because he had been working in a dusty room.

The Past Participle: Regular and Irregular Verbs

We need to know about the past participle because it is the form we need to use with all perfect tenses. If the verb you want to use is regular, there is no change between the simple past form and the past participle. You just add -ed the same way you do with the simple past, but irregular verbs is another story.

There are no rules to tell you how to change verbs or what to add or not add to them, but you can group irregular verbs in categories to make it easy for you to remember those verbs.

Irregular Verbs Group 1: All three forms are the same

In this group, irregular verbs stay the same; they don’t change in the simple past form or in the past participle form.

e.g.

set – set – set

put -put – put

Irregular Verbs Group 2: Past Participle ends in -en

In this group, past participles ends in -en

e.g.

bite – bit – bitten

fall – fell – fallen

Irregular Verbs Group 3: Vowel changes from a in the simple past to u in the past participle

In this group the vowel changes to ‘a’ in the simple past and to ‘u’ in the past participle.

e.g.

drink – drank – drunk

swim – swam – swum

Irregular Verbs Group 4: Past tense and past participle forms are the same

This group is definitely the most common in irregular verbs where both the simple past and the past participle have the same form

e.g.

keep – kept – kept

stand – stood – stood

Irregular Verbs Group 5: Past participle adds final -n

In this group, the past participle adds final -n, with or without a spelling change.

e.g.

draw – drew – drawn

wear – wore – worn

Irregular Verbs Group 6: The first and third forms are the same

In this group, the first and third forms of irregular verbs are just the same, only the simple past form is different.

e.g.

become – became – become

run – ran – run

Irregular Verbs Group 7: One of the three forms is very different

In this group, we only have two verbs, and very commonly used verbs I have to add, where one of the three forms is totally different with nothing in common with the other two.

e.g.

be – was, were – been

go – went – gone

Irregular Verbs Group 8: Both regular and irregular forms are used

In this group, verbs have both regular and irregular forms. In this case, we usually use the regular form in American English and the irregular form in British English.

e.g.

awake – awakened/awoke – awakened/awoken

learn – learned/learnt – learned/learnt


Present Perfect with Since and For

The present perfect is often used with since and for to talk about situations that began in the past and continue up to now.

Since and for have practically the same meaning but they are not used the same way. Since is used with a specific point in time, while for is used with a length of time.

e.g.

I have known her since 2002.

I have known her for 19 years.


Present Perfect for Unspecified Time and Repeated Events

The present perfect can talk about events that have (or haven’t happened) before now.

e.g.

I have never been to Paris before.

I have seen this movie before.

The present perfect can also express an event that has occurred repeatedly from a point in the past up to the present time, and the event may happen again.

e.g.

We have had three tests so far this term. (We may still have other tests before the term ends.)

I’ve met many people since I came here. (I’m still here and I may still meet more people.)


Exercise 1

Complete each sentence with the past participle form of a verb from the ones below. Some sentences have more than one possibility.

ace - develop - own - show - teach - become - dream - play - sleep - witness

Have you ever ______ in English?
Have you ever ______ in a tent?
Have you ever _____ someone a skill?
Have you ever ______ an unusual pet?
Have you ever ______ a crime?
Have you ever ______ a test?
Have you ever ______ in a rock band?
Have you ever ______ someone around your city?
Have you ever ______ software?
Have you ever ______ seasick?

Exercise 2

Complete the sentences with the correct form of the present perfect or simple past tense.

An Experience Studying AbroadGabriel is the first person in his family to study abroad. He (be) a student at Oxford University for the past year. He is studying international relations there on a scholarship. His parents are very proud. No one in the family (receive, ever) a scholarship before. Gabriel (want) to study overseas since his family (take) a trip to Asia when he was a teenager. He enjoyed meeting people from other cultures and finding out more about them. Since he (come) to Oxford, he (meet) students from around the world. During this time, he (discover) common interests among his classmates. He (hear, also) a variety of opinions very different from his. He (learn) much about the world, both inside and outside the classroom.
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