Present Perfect

Ok so we have been tackling this terribly difficult verb tense to put into practice.

Theoretically we understand it:

1. Unspecific

2. Repetitive action in the past

3. Started in the past but unfinished

Here is why I think it is so confusing for most people.

  • For and since can both be used with the past perfect.
  • Since can only be used with perfect tenses, for can also be used with the simple past.

Here is a great video compilation where you can hear it being used in every day situations.  Enjoy!


What do you suppose it means to be brave?

Can you tell me of a time when you feel/felt brave?

How does the meaning of courageous compare to the meaning of brave? Are they similar?

Watch the video below


How did the song make you feel?

Who do you think the song is written about?

What do you think the words outcast and backlash mean?

What do you suppose the phrase “bow down” means?

If I tell you to “stop holding your tongue,” what am I telling you to do?




Before I introduce you to one of the best advertisements I have seen (present perfect) in a long time, I want you to tell me what you think it will be about (practicing your future tense of course). In the first frame of the ad you can see a young Asian looking girl that appears to be reading something. What do you think she is reading? Where do you think she is? Based on the title I have given (present perfect again) the video, what do you think the video will be about?

Now, start the video but stop it at 0.55 seconds.

What sort of presumptions do you have about this clip?

Start the video again.

After watching the short ad, were your presumptions true?

What do you find interesting about this ad? Did you like it? What did it make you feel?

Who do you think the company TRUE MOVE is?

As a homework or extra writing assignment, tell me of a time someone did something for you that you will never forget, something you would like to repay at some point in your life. Keep in mind the rules of present perfect.

Guy Claxton in Argentina

It is that time of year again and we are blessed to be able to receive the acclaimed professor Guy Claxton! Wait, let me guess, you have no idea who the guy is. Right? (Sorry, pun is totally intended) Well, Guy Claxton is one of my educational hero. He is better known for his bestseller, “What’s the Point of School,” where he basically criticizes the current standardized educational system and provides a new scientifically and psychologically based frame work to change the way we are teaching youth around the world and essentially change the world into a better place while doing so.

Now, in some counties, these changes are already taking place. And, while Argentina is surprisingly progressive in their methodology on a creative and intuitive level, they are lacking this framework that would allow them to work systematically through their creativity, providing a bit more organization. The good news is, there are dozens of schools eager to innovate their current methodology, and some that are even interested in Mr. Claxton’s theory of Building Learning Power.

One of the local schools here in Rosario is so interested in fact, they have sponsored the upcoming event and have plans in place to begin applying Building Learning Power, not only within the classroom, but rather as an overall innovation of their current framework.

This school is El Colegio Espanol de Rosario.  In fact, their goal is not only to begin changing the culture of their school, but to become the first BLP school in Argentina. THAT is what I call innovative!


I am placing flyer here, in the case that any of you are teachers and are interested in attending! Which, I highly recommend you do!

Murder Mystery

This is a story taken out of English File Elementary that I thought was a fantastic way to focus on asking questions about something in the past and answering those questions with irregular verbs.

Read the following passage.

June 22nd 1958 was Jeremy Smith’s sixtieth birthday. He had dinner with his wife, Amanda, his
daughter, Barbara, his business partner, Gordon, and his secretary Claudia. The next morning,
when Amanda Smith went to her husband’s room, she found him in bed…dead.

Based on what you read, who do you suspect killed Jeremy?

crime scene

Now, read the following investigation.

Inspector Granger arrived about 9:00 a.m. He was a tall man with a big black mustache.
Amanda, Barbara, Claudia and Gordon were in the living room. The inspector came in. “Mr.
Smith died between midnight last night and seven o’clock this morning,” he said. “Somebody in
this room killed him.” He looked at them one by one, but nobody spoke.
“Mrs. Smith, I want to talk to you first. Come into the library please.”
Amanda followed the inspector into the library and sat down in the large chair in front of a
“What did your husband do after dinner last night?”
“When we finished dinner, Jeremy said he was tired and he went to bed,” said Amanda.
“Did you go to bed then too?”
“No, i didn’t. I went for a walk in the garden.”
“What time did you go to bed?”
“About quarter to twelve,” responded Amanda.
“Was your husband asleep?”
“I don’t know, inspector, We…we slept in separate rooms. But I saw that his door was closed.”
“Did you hear anything when you were in your room?”
“Yes, I heard Jeremy’s bedroom door. It opened. I thought it was Jeremy. Then it closed again.
I read for about half an hour and then went to sleep.”
“What time did you get up this morning?”
“I got up at about 7:15. I had breakfast and at 8:00 I took my husband a cup of tea.
I found him in bed…he was dead.”
“Tell me, Mrs. Smith, did you love your husband?”
“Jeremy is…was a difficult man.”
“But did you love him Mrs. Smith?”
“No, inspector. I hated him”

Answer the following questions about the text.

What time did the inspector arrive?

What did he look like?

What time did he say Jeremy died?

Who did he question first?

What did Jeremy do after dinner?

What did Amanda do after dinner?

Did Amanda hear anything in the night?

How did Amanda feel about Jeremy?

Now, write your own investigation – both questions and answers – of someone else that was present the night of the murder.

To Do List

How many of you make a “to do list” each day?

How many things on average do you have on your list each day?

Are all of those things very important?

Do they all need to be done TODAY?

Watch the video and see if you agree with the author’s to do list.

What did the author want to do more of and less of?

IF you could make a change today, what would you do MORE of and what would you do LESS of?  Why?

Make a similar list for your self and then share it with the class.

Telling a Story

This is a fantastic way to get people talking about their dreams as well as practicing present and past simple.

To begin

Do you often/ever make wishes?

Do you believe that wishes come true?

Have you wished upon a shooting star?


What happened in the video?

Who were the people in the video?

When you were a child, did you ever wonder what the moon was?
For homework, write a dialogue between the three characters.