This website uses cookies. A cookie is a small piece of code that gives your computer a unique identity, but it does not contain any information that allows us to identify you personally. For more information on how TESOL International Association uses cookies, please read our privacy policy. Most browsers automatically accept cookies, but if you prefer, you can opt out by changing your browser settings.


Why we use Present Perfect

by Insights to English | 26 Jan 2018
Resource Description: This video talks about when and why we use the Present Perfect Simple tense, complete with timelines as visual aids.
Audience: Adult, Elementary, Secondary, Teacher Training
Audience Language Proficiency: Intermediate
Teaching Tip:

ESL/EFL books tend to introduce the Present Perfect form in a few different ways, focusing on different time expressions with each way.  But for learners who don't see the common link among them, the various ways can seem disjointed, which makes it hard to remember when to use that tense.

The key is to show that the Present Perfect tense allows us to express verbs that began in the past but are still relevant in the present.  There are three ways we usually see the past and the present working together:

  1. verbs that have happened in the past and might happen again (experiences)
  2. verbs that started in the past and are still continuing now (status)
  3. past verbs that cause present effects (results)

The video shows timelines to help those who are visual learners.  It also compares/contrasts the Present Perfect usage with Past Simple usage.

If your students forget the details, at least make sure they know that if they can connect the past and the present for any verb, they should probably apply the Present Perfect tense.

Watch this video to get all the details.