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!


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.

What happened?

I have been doing a lot of thinking regarding the schedule of introducing different verb tenses and here is what I am almost completely convinced of: The past should be introduced almost immediately and simultaneously with the present.

IF we are truly using a communicative approach you will find that your students have a real need to use the past from the very beginning. Which is why, I have complete beginners learning the past right now. How do we do this?

Well, with film, with music, and with storytelling.

For example: Watch the following video. (first with no sound)

What did you see? What did your peers see?

Then play the video again, but this time with sound. Close your eyes and listen to the music.

What did you hear? What did your peers hear?

How did you feel when you watched the movie?

Did it make want to travel?

Gerund or Infinitive?

Do you often get confused about when to use the Infinitive or Gerund? It is normal! The key is memorization, but, here is a quick little review.

Infinitive: I love to run along the river

Gerund: I love running along the river.

Common Verbs Followed by an Infinitive

turn out
can’t afford
can’t bear
would like
can’t stand
can’t wait
grow up

Common verbs followed by Gerund

feel like
can’t help
give up

And some words can be used by both structures:

*begin* *like* *hate* *want* *try*

Watch the video below (only the first two sections of Infinitive and Gerund – not Bare Infinitive)  Then complete the exercise with either Gerund or Infinitive.

Fill in the blanks with either GERUND OR INFINITIVE.


  1. I want_________________(break) free.
  2. I can’t help________________(fall) in love with you.
  3. I need ________________(feel) real love.
  4. I know I tend________________(get) so insecure.
  5. I’d like _________________(make) myself believe.
  6. I don’t mind_______________(spend) every day.
  7. …struggling______________(pay) rent…
  8. Today I don’t feel like_______________(do) anything.
  9. There was a time I used________________(look) into my father’s eyes.
  10. I hate_____________(turn) up out of the blue uninvited.
  11. We refused ________________(run).
  12. A tiger’s waiting_____________(be) tamed, singing…
  13. So I cross my heart and I hope____________(die).
  14. Now, I’m done______________(believe) you.
  15. Tonight we’re going________________(be) getting on the floor.
  16. What am I supposed_______________(do)

The meaning of “pretty”


Adjective: attractive in a delicate way without being beautiful.

ej: Will I be pretty when I grow up mommy?

Adverb: To a moderately high degree. (synonyms – quite, rather, enough, fairly, plenty, sufficiently)

ej: He looks pretty good for his age.

What defines our idea of “pretty?”

Are there specific characteristics that most all societies deem pretty? For example, big eyes?

Are there characteristics that, based on the society we live in, are considered ugly?

How are WE defined by the use of this word?

Watch the video below and see how one woman views this word. Do you agree?

What did you do?

The verb “do” presents tons of problems for the majority of new English speakers, but, in fact, it is easy to learn, if done properly.

In Spanish we have 1 verb (hacer) to say what in English is divided between 2 words: Make and Do. The difference between the two are the following:

Make is something that needs constructing of involves a process: 

Make a cake, make your bed, make a cup of coffee, etc.

Do is used for activities or daily chores:

Do your hair, do the dishes, do exercise, etc.

There are also a large amount of phrases that are set using do and make. You can see those here.


But that is not the confusing part. That we understand. The part that confuses us is when the verb do is used as an auxiliary verb.


An auxiliary verb is a verb used to give support to another verb. We could call it a helper verb. The helper verb used to ask questions and make negative responses is do.

Do you want to go dancing tonight?

or we can use it in the past form:

Did you go dancing last night?

Do you like coffee?

No, I do not like coffee (No I don’t like coffee)

Take a look at the structure below.






Auxiliary verb

Subject pronoun





So, you can never ever ever ever never say:

Know you him?

Firstly because there is no auxiliary word that makes it a questions.

Secondly because the pronoun is out of order

The correct way to ask the question is:

Do you know him?

Take note

When you ask a questions using do in the past, you will use did, in which case, the verb will be in present simple tense.

Did you do the dishes?

If the answer is a negative response you will use the same structure

No, I did not do the dishes.

If the answer is a positive response, the verb will conjugate into the simple past tense.

Yes, I did the dishes (no auxiliary verb)

A fun way to practice this is by asking your friends what they did last night and taking turns answering the questions.

  • Did you drink wine last night?
  • Did you eat in a restaurant last night?
  • Did you sleep in your bed last night?
  • Did you call your mother last night?
  • Did you make a cake last night?