September 28

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EP13: Present Perfect Simple (2)

 

Hello hello, fellow learners of English, how are you doing out there? This is Kristian here, nice to be with you again, and welcome to the Learners of English Podcast, episode number 13.

Today we continue with the present perfect simple. Before we begin, let me just remind you that you can get in touch with me via email, kristian@learnersofenglish.com. You can also get in touch with me on Twitter, or on Facebook. You can find all this information on my website and in the description of the podcast.

OK, that’s enough admin, let’s crack on.

In episode number 12 we talked about how to use the present perfect simple in three different situations. Today we’re talking about how to use this tense in four other ways.

But first, let’s repeat the main rule: the present perfect describes the present in some way, usually with reference to past actions and events. But it always describes the present. Not the past.

OK, let’s continue with situation number 4:

4. You can describe past actions which are still happening now 

I’ve lived in Prague for two years.

I’ve worked at this language school for one year.

(You can also use the present perfect continuous in these examples, but I’m going to talk about this topic in a future episode)

5. You can describe very recent actions with the PPS

I’ve just seen your father in the supermarket

Unfortunately she’s not in school yet, I have just checked. (Imagine the teacher is late)

6. You can describe “Unfinished time periods” with the PPS

What exactly are unfinished time periods? These are expressions such as, your whole life, this morning, today, this year, so far.

Here are some examples:

I haven’t done anything today. (It’s still today and now I have to stay longer in the office)

I’ve drunk 2 Red Bulls this morning (and it’s still morning and now I’m hyper)

I’ve seen no rain at all this month (and it’s still this month and now the plants and trees are in trouble)

I’ve produced 10 podcast episodes this month (and it’s still this month and now I’m starting to work on number 11.)

OK, you got that? Unfinished time periods.

7. You can also use the present perfect simple with other time expressions

There are also other time expressions: just, already, yet, ever, never, still, the first time, always, for, since. These are often used with the present perfect simple, but not always. For example: I’ve lived in London for 2 years versus I lived in London for 2 years.

What’s the difference?

I’ve lived in London for 2 years and I still live there. 

I lived in London for 2 years, then I lived in Rotterdam and now I live in Prague.

Now, I’ve got many examples for these time expressions, but I don’t want to go through them in this episode, because it would take too long. I will do that in episode number 14.

So, here’s a summary of the seven different situations in which you can use the present perfect simple:

  1. You describe a past action with present effect
  2. You describe a life experience
  3. You describe “How many times?”
  4. You can describe past actions which are still happening now
  5. You can describe very recent actions with the PPS
  6. You can describe “Unfinished time periods”
  7. You can use the present perfect simple with other time expressions

Now it’s time for you to start practicing. You can check out the transcript on my website, or you can listen to this episode again and pause the podcast when you write down your own examples. Can you do that? It will only take 15 minutes or so.

Remember, only if you do the work you’ll become a successful learner of English, and you can fulfil your dreams in life.

OK, that’s it. Let me know your thoughts on this episode in the comments or via email.

All right. Take care of yourself, and each other, and I’ll catch you in the next episode!


About the author 

Kristian

Kristian is a Dutch guy who teaches English online. He relaxes with audiobooks, music and podcasts. Kristian still has a lot to learn, but he's happy to share what he has learnt along the way.

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