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TIME AND TENSE IN ENGLISH Prof.ssa B. Hughes

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Title: TIME AND TENSE IN ENGLISH Prof.ssa B. Hughes


1
TIME AND TENSE IN ENGLISHProf.ssa B. Hughes
  • PRESENT FUTURE - PAST

2
  • THE PRESENTI) THE PRESENT SIMPLE
  • The auxiliaries to be and to have

THE AUXILIARY TO BE THE AUXILIARY TO BE THE AUXILIARY TO BE
POSITIVE NEGATIVE INTERROGATIVE
I am I am not (Im not) Am I?
You are You are not (youre not) Are you?
He is/She is/It is He/She/It is not (He/She/It isnt) Is he/she/it?
We are We are not (We arent or Were not) Are we?
You are You are not (You arent or Youre not) Are you?
They are They are not (They arent or Theyre not) Are they?
3
THE AUXILIARY TO HAVE THE AUXILIARY TO HAVE THE AUXILIARY TO HAVE
POSITIVE NEGATIVE INTERROGATIVE
I have I have not (I havent) Have I? or Do I have?
You have You have not (You havent) Have you? or Do you have?
He/She/It has He/She/It has not (He/She/It hasnt) Has he/she/it? or Does he/she/it have?)
We have We have not (We havent) Have we? or Do we have)
You have You have not (You havent) Have you? or Do you have?
They have They have not (They havent) Have they? or Do they have?
4
  • Please note that the auxiliary to have is
    followed by got when it indicates possession,
    but when forming the interrogative and negative
    you can always use the do form as an
    alternative.
  • - He has got a new car
  • - He hasnt got a Ferrari / He doesnt have a
    Ferrari
  • - Has he got a Ferrari? /Does he have a Ferrari?
  • In speaking, or writing, you can also alternate
    the two forms
  • . He hasnt got a Ferrari and he doesnt have a
    Bugatti, but he has got a Fiat 500!

5
  • THE PRESENT SIMPLE OF NON-AUXILIARY VERBS

THE VERB TO PLAY THE VERB TO PLAY THE VERB TO PLAY
POSITIVE NEGATIVE INTERROGATIVE
I play I dont play Do I play?
You play You dont play Do you play?
He/She/It plays He/She/It doesnt play Does he/she/it play?
We play We dont play Do we play?
You play You dont play Do you play?
They play They dont play Do they play?
6
  • Spelling difficulties
  • - Verbs which end in a consonant y (to try,
    to cry, to carry), eliminate the y in the
    third person singular and substitute it with
    ies (he tries, he cries, he carries).
  • Verbs which end in sh/ch/ss/x (to wash, to
    watch, to kiss, to mix), you add es in the
    third person singular (he washes, he watches, he
    kisses, he mixes), notice that the pronunciation
    of the final es in this case is /IZ/.
  • Verbs which end in o (to do, to go), you add
    es in the third person singular (he does, he
    goes)

7
WHEN DO WE USE THE PRESENT SIMPLE?
  • We use the present simple to talk about facts
    and situations that are generally true
  • She lives in Naples
  • Water boils at 100
  • This general truth can express
  • A) A repeated action
  • - He studies every day
  • He goes to the cinema on Saturday
  • B) A permanent situation
  • He is a university student
  • He works in an office in Benevento

8
THE PRESENT SIMPLE WITH ADVERBS OF FREQUENCY
  • We often use the present simple with adverbs of
    frequency (always, often, sometimes, usually,
    never)
  • I often study in the afternoon
  • He doesnt usually study in the morning
  • He never studies, he isnt a good student.
  • Notice the position of the adverb
  • (positive) He always goes to the cinema on Friday
  • (negative) He doesnt often play tennis
  • (interrogative) Does he usually study in the
    morning?

9
II) The present continuous
  • Form
  • To form the present continuous we use the present
    of the auxiliary to be the ing form of the
    verb

PRESENT CONTINUOUS OF THE VERB TO PLAY PRESENT CONTINUOUS OF THE VERB TO PLAY PRESENT CONTINUOUS OF THE VERB TO PLAY
POSITIVE NEGATIVE INTERROGATIVE
I am playing I am not playing (Im not playing) Am I playing?
You are playing You are not playing (Youre not playing) Are you playing?
He/She/It is playing He/She/it is not playing (isnt playing) Is he/she/it playing?
We are playing We are not playing (were not playing) Are we playing?
You are playing You are not playing (youre not playing) Are you playing?
They are playing They are not playing (Theyre not playing) Are they playing?
10
SPELLING DIFFICULTIES
  • 1) In the present continuous, monosyllabic
    verbs which end in a vowel(a,e,i,o,u) followed by
    a consonant (for example to sit, to run, to
    stop, to chat), double the consonant before the
    final ing.
  • - Enzo is sitting in front of the tv.
  • Ornella is chatting to her friends on facebook.
  • Please note, when pronouncing these verbs you do
    not emphasize the double consonant.
  • 2)Verbs which end in e (to live, to take, to
    give) lose the e before the final ing.
  • I am living with my parents at the moment.
  • I am taking extra lessons to improve my English.

11
3)
  • 3) Verbs which end in double ee (to see, to
    agree) maintain the two es before the final
    ing.
  • I am seeing a new group of friends at the moment.
  • VERBS WHICH DO NOT TAKE THE CONTINUOUS FORM
  • A number of verbs, known as stative verbs, do
    not usually take the continuous form, they can be
    subdivided into the following five categories
  • Verbs of emotion (to love, to like, to hate, to
    detest, to adore)
  • The auxiliaries to be and to have
  • Verbs of the senses (to hear, to taste, to feel,
    to smell, to see)
  • Verbs which indicate possession (to own, to
    possess)
  • Verbs of mental activity (to think, to
    understand, to believe, to remember.)

12
  • Please note that some of the verbs mentioned
    above can be used in the continuous tense, but
    only with a specific meaning
  • For example we can say
  • I am seeing a new group of friends at the moment
    (in this case we mean meeting or frequenting)
  • But we cant say
  • I am seeing that black cat over there ( in this
    case we are using to see as a verb of the
    senses)
  • We can say
  • I am thinking of you (you are in my thoughts)
  • but we cant say
  • - I am thinking you are right (in this case we
    are expressing an opinion, and we must say I
    think you are right).

13
WHEN DO WE USE THE PRESENT CONTINUOUS?
  • We use the present continuous to talk about
  • Actions that are happening at or around the time
    of speaking
  • Luigi is talking to Maria
  • Francesca is studying English this year
  • I am reading an excellent book at the moment
  • 2) Temporary situations
  • Ornella is living in Benevento this year because
    she is attending university.
  • Compare this with
  • Ornella lives in Benevento (in this case we have
    a permanent situation)
  • 3) Changing situations
  • Naples is becoming more dangerous
  • Pasquale is getting fat, he needs to go on a
    diet!

14
  • THE FUTURE
  • The future is a complex area of study in English.
    Some future forms are merely adaptations of
    already-existing present forms, other forms are
    used exclusively with a future meaning.
  • PRESENT TENSES EMPLOYED FOR TALKING ABOUT THE
    FUTURE
  • A) THE PRESENT SIMPLE
  • The present simple is used for future events
    which are in some way part of a timetable, it
    is very often used when talking about means of
    transport
  • The Benetton store opens at 10.00 am and closes
    at seven pm.
  • His new job in Benevento starts on Monday.
  • The train for Rome leaves at 4.00 pm every
    Tuesday.

15
  • B) THE PRESENT CONTINUOUS
  • The present continuous as a future form is used
    to talk about planned or arranged future events,
    the plan or arrangement is pre-meditated and
    previously organized.
  • I phoned Luigi last night, we are having lunch
    together tomorrow (Luigi and I have agreed to
    have lunch together tomorrow)
  • Im seeing Ornella tonight, were going to the
    cinema (Ornella and I have agreed to go to the
    cinema together tonight)
  • - Im spending the summer in Paris, I really
    want to improve my French (in this case I have
    already planned and organized my trip to Paris)

16
  • II) GOING TO TO EXPRESS FUTURE INTENTIONS,
    DECISIONS AND PREDICTIONS
  • FORM
  • Auxiliary to be going full infinitive (
    infinitive with to)
  • I am going to buy a new pair of shoes.
  • USE
  • We use to be going to when we wish to talk
    about future intentions, things we have already
    decided about.
  • Im going to buy a Ferrari.
  • Im going to be a policeman when I grow up.
  • Theres a good film on at the cinema, are you
    going to see it?

17
  • Very often the going to form and the present
    continuous used as a future form are
    interchangeable, there is very little difference
    between the two.
  • Compare for example these two very similar
    statements
  • Im spending my summer in Paris (I have planned
    and organized my trip)
  • Im going to spend my summer in Paris (this is
    what I have decided to do, I may also already
    have organized my trip)
  • In some cases, however, there is, or can be, a
    subtle difference between the two
  • Im meeting Paolo in the pub (Paolo and I have
    made an arrangement and organized our meeting)
  • Im going to meet Paolo in the pub. (Im going to
    the pub, I know Paolo will be there, but we dont
    necessarily have a previous arrangement)

18
  • B) We use to be going to when we express future
    predictions based on factual evidence
  • Its raining outside! You are going to get wet
    (in this case the fact that it is raining
    outside constitutes factual evidence)
  • He hasnt attended his university courses, he
    isnt going to pass his exam (the fact that he
    has not attended any courses allows us to express
    the certain prediction that he will fail his
    exam)
  • She is six months pregnant (incinta), shes going
    to have a baby (the fact that the woman is
    visibly pregnant constitutes factual evidence)
  • The company he works for is going bankrupt, he is
    going to lose his job (the fact that the company
    is closing down constitutes factual evidence)

19
  • III) THE FUTURE WITH WILL
  • FORM
  • POSITIVE Subject will (invariable) bare
    infinitive (infinitive without to)
  • NEGATIVE Subject will not bare
    infinitive (infinitive without to)
  • INTERROGATIVE Will subject bare
    infinitive (infinitive without to)
  • I will go on holiday - (contracted form) Ill
    go on holiday.
  • I will not go on holiday (contracted form) I
    wont go on holiday.
  • Will you go on holiday ?
  • USE
  • The future with will is used to talk about
  • An uncertain future, a future action or event
    not based on a decision that has already been
    taken. In this case will is often accompanied
    by verbs such as think, believe, or adverbs
    such as probably.
  • I think Ill go to the cinema tonight.
  • Ill probably buy a Ferrari, I love fast cars.

20
  • B) Will used for predictions not based on
    factual evidence
  • I dont believe hell pass his exam, he hasnt
    studied very much (its only my opinion, not
    based on any form of factual evidence)
  • I think the shops will be very busy tomorrow
    (there is no tangible evidence to support my
    statement)
  • Compare these two examples to
  • - Hes not going to pass his exam, hes never
    opened a book (we are using the going to form
    because we are basing our statement on factual
    evidence)
  • - The sales start tomorrow, the shops are going
    to be very busy (again we are using the going
    to form to express a prediction based on factual
    evidence)

21
  • C) Will used to express decisions taken at the
    moment of speaking, also known as spontaneous
    will.
  • This particular use of will is often
    associated with offers, promises or responses to
    offers
  • You look tired, dont worry Ill make you a cup
    of tea.
  • Im busy at the moment but I promise Ill study
    with you later.
  • Those bags are so heavy! Ill help you carry
    them.
  • Would you like a cup of coffee?
  • No, Ill have tea please.

22
  • IV) THE FUTURE CONTINUOUS
  • FORM
  • (positive) Subject will (invariable) be
    (invariable) ing form of the verb
  • (negative) Subject will (invariable) not
    be ing form of the verb
  • (interrogative) Will subject be ing
    form of the verb
  • I will be studying all day tomorrow (contracted
    form) Ill be studying
  • I will not be studying all day tomorrow
    (contracted form) I wont be studying
  • Will you be studying all day tomorrow?

23
  • WHEN DO WE USE THE FUTURE CONTINUOUS?
  • To talk about an activity which will be in
    progress, or happening, at a particular time in
    the future
  • At this time next week I will be studying for my
    English exam.
  • Dont phone me tomorrow evening, Ill be watching
    my favourite soap-opera.
  • B) To talk about something we know is happening
    now in some other place
  • My boyfriend will be studying, I dont want to
    disturb him now.
  • - My parents will be sleeping, they go to bed
    very early

24
  • V) THE FUTURE PERFECT
  • FORM
  • (positive) Subject will (invariable) have
    (invariable) past participle
  • (negative) Subject will (invariable) not
    have (invariable) past participle
  • (interrogative) Will (invariable) subject
    have (invariable) past participle
  • He will have finished his exams in June
    (contracted form) Hell have finished
  • He will not have finished his exams in June
    (contracted form) He wont have
  • Will he have finished his exams in June?

25
  • USE
  • We use the future perfect to talk about an event
    that will be completed before a particular time
    in the future, a past, concluded, action from a
    future point of view
  • Enzo will have finished his English course next
    week
  • Naples will have won the football championship by
    the end of the season
  • Maria is on a diet, she will have lost 10 kilos
    by next June.
  • B) We use the future perfect to talk about
    something that you know has already happened
    somewhere else
  • -Its two oclock, the plane from Rome will have
    landed (I know the plane from Rome always lands
    at half past one)

26
  • Its eleven 0clock, Maria will have gone to bed
    (I know that Maria always goes to bed at half
    past ten)
  • C)The future perfect with in and by
  • We use by fixed moments of time with the
    future perfect
  • By next week, I will have finished my English
    course
  • I will have graduated from university by next
    June.
  • 2) We use in a period of time the word
    time with the future perfect
  • In 0ne weeks time, I will have finished this
    book
  • I will have graduated from university in two
    years time

27
  • THE PAST
  • I) THE PAST SIMPLE

THE PAST SIMPLE OF THE AUXILIARY TO BE THE PAST SIMPLE OF THE AUXILIARY TO BE THE PAST SIMPLE OF THE AUXILIARY TO BE
POSITIVE NEGATIVE INTERROGATIVE
I was I was not (I wasnt) Was I?
You were You were not (You werent) Were you?
He/she/it was He/she/it was not (He/she/it wasnt) Was he/she/it?
We were We were not (We werent) Were we?
You were You were not (You werent) Were you?
They were They were not (They werent) Were they?
28
PAST SIMPLE OF THE AUXILIARY TO HAVE PAST SIMPLE OF THE AUXILIARY TO HAVE PAST SIMPLE OF THE AUXILIARY TO HAVE
POSITIVE NEGATIVE INTERROGATIVE
I had I did not have (I didnt have) Did I have?
You had You did not have (You didnt have) Did you have?
He/she/it had He/she/it did not have (He/she/it didnt have) Did he/she/it have?
We had We did not have (We didnt have) Did we have?
You had You did not have (You didnt have) Did you have?
They had They did not have (They didnt have) Did they have?
29
  • Please note that it is IMPOSSIBLE to say, when
    using the auxiliary to have in the simple past
  • When have is used as a stative verb, to
    indicate possession
  • NEGATIVE He hadnt (got) a cat when he was a
    child (this is completely wrong!)
  • INTERROGATIVE Had he (got) a cat when he was a
    child? (this is completely wrong!)
  • When have is used as a dynamic verb
  • NEGATIVE He hadnt a shower yesterday (this is
    again completely wrong!)
  • INTERROGATIVE Had he a shower yesterday? (this
    is completely wrong!)

30
  • When using the auxiliary to have in the simple
    past, you must NECESSARILY say
  • When have is a stative verb and indicates
    possession
  • NEGATIVE He didnt have a cat when he was a
    child (this is now correct)
  • INTERROGATIVE Did he have a cat when he was a
    child? (this is now correct)
  • When have is a dynamic verb
  • NEGATIVE He didnt have a shower yesterday (this
    is now correct)
  • INTERROGATIVE Did he have a shower yesterday?
    (this is now correct)

31
  • THE PAST SIMPLE OF REGULAR VERBS

THE PAST SIMPLE OF THE VERB TO PLAY THE PAST SIMPLE OF THE VERB TO PLAY THE PAST SIMPLE OF THE VERB TO PLAY
POSITIVE NEGATIVE INTERROGATIVE
I played I did not play (I didnt play) Did I play?
You played You did not play (You didnt play) Did you play?
He/she/it played He/she/it did not play (He/she/it didnt play) Did he/she/it play?
We played We did not play (We didnt play) Did we play?
You played You did not play (You didnt play) Did you play?
They played They did not play (They didnt play) Did they play?
32
  • FORM
  • POSITIVE You add ed to the infinitive
  • He played tennis last Saturday.
  • NEGATIVE You use did not (didnt) the bare
    infinitive of the verb (the bare infinitive is
    the infinitive without to)
  • He didnt play tennis last Saturday
  • INTERROGATIVE You use did subject the
    bare infinitive of the verb
  • Did he play tennis last Saturday?

33
  • SPELLING DIFFICULTIES
  • Verbs which end in e (to live, to like, to
    dance), you only add d (He lived, we liked,
    they danced)
  • Verbs which end in a consonant y (to study,
    to carry, to try), you eliminate the y and
    substitute it with ied (I studied, we carried,
    they tried)
  • Monosyllabic verbs which end in a vowel
    (a,e,i,o,u) followed by a final consonant (to
    stop, to chat, to plan), you double the final
    consonant and add ed (We stopped, I chatted,
    they planned)

34
  • PRONUNCIATION OF THE FINAL ED
  • The final ed used to form the past of regular
    verbs has three possible pronunciations
  • 1) After d or t the final ed is pronounced
    /id/
  • He wanted to buy a new car
  • He needed to study for his exam
  • 2) After unvoiced consonants (in Italian these
    are called sorde), such as /k/, /p/ or /s/, the
    final ed is pronounced /t/
  • He talked to his friends on the phone
  • He hoped to pass his exam
  • He missed his bus

35
  • 3) After voiced consonants (in Italian these are
    called sonore), such as /n/, /v/ or /b/, the
    final ed is pronounced /d/
  • He turned the page of his book
  • He loved his dog more than his girlfriend
  • She combed her long, blonde hair
  • Please note that the final ed found at the end
    of regular verbs is NEVER pronounced /ed/!
  • You do not say work-ed or liv-ed, you say
    workt and livd.

36
  • IRREGULAR VERBS
  • Many verbs are irregular in form, in this case
    you need to learn each individual paradigm
  • For example to run ran run or to buy
    bought bought.
  • The second form you find in the paradigm (ran,
    bought) is that of the past simple.
  • POSITIVE He ran very fast
  • NEGATIVE He didnt run very fast (did not bare
    infinitive)
  • INTERROGATIVE Did he run very fast? (did
    subject bare infinitive)

37
  • WHEN DO WE USE THE PAST SIMPLE?
  • We use the past simple to talk about single past
    actions or events
  • - Yesterday, I sat in the classroom and
    listened to my teacher
  • 2) To talk about repeated past events or actions
  • Every day last year I sat in the classroom and
    listened to my teacher
  • 3) To talk about states (situations or feelings)
    which have lasted in time
  • I lived in Benevento for 10 years
  • I loved my dog Bobby all his life

38
  • 4) The past simple is usually used with adverbial
    expressions which indicate finished time. This
    finished time can be in the remote past or very
    recent
  • I studied for my exam yesterday
  • Columbus discovered America in 1492
  • I spoke to Maria on the phone a few minutes ago.
  • 5) Occasionally, the expression of finished
    time is not explicitly mentioned in
    conversation, but implicitly understood by the
    speakers
  • So, was it good? Did you enjoy it?
  • Yes, it was great! There was loud music and lots
    of lovely food!
  • In this case, although there is no explicit time
    expression, the two speakers are clearly talking
    about a party which speaker B has been to at some
    time in the recent past.

39
  • II) THE PAST CONTINUOUS
  • FORM
  • Past form of the auxiliary to be ing form
    of the verb

PAST CONTINUOUS OF TO WORK PAST CONTINUOUS OF TO WORK PAST CONTINUOUS OF TO WORK
POSITIVE NEGATIVE INTERROGATIVE
I was working I was not working (I wasnt working) Was I working?
You were working You were not working (You werent working) Were you working?
He/she/it was working He/she/it was not working (He/she/it wasnt working) Was he/she/it working?
We were working We were not working (we werent working) Were we working?
You were working You were not working (You werent working) Were you working?
They were working They were not working (They werent working Were they working?
40
  • Please remember that several general categories
    of verbs cannot be used in the continuous form
    (the auxiliaries, verbs of emotion, verbs of
    possession, verbs of the senses and verbs which
    indicate mental activity). We have previously
    investigated these categories when looking at the
    present continuous form.
  • Also remember the spelling difficulties that
    certain categories of verbs present in the
    continuous form. Again, if necessary, go back and
    look at the spelling difficulties we investigated
    when looking at the present continuous form.

41
  • WHEN DO WE USE THE PAST CONTINUOUS?
  • 1) We use the past continuous to talk about
    actions or events which were going on around a
    particular time in the past. In this case we are
    not specifically interested in when these
    actions or events began or ended
  • Notice the difference
  • Past continuous
  • Last year I was working in Benevento
  • Past simple
  • I started working in Benevento in January and I
    stopped working there in June
  • 2) We use the past continuous to talk about a
    background action which is very often
    interrupted by an action in the past simple
  • - I was talking to Maria on the phone (background
    action past continuous) when the doorbell rang
    (interrupting action past simple)

42
  • 3) Occasionally, the past continuous and the past
    simple are used in a parallel manner, to talk
    about events which are happening at the same
    time
  • While I was sleeping, my girlfriend prepared my
    dinner
  • While Vincenzo was studying, Maria read her new
    magazine
  • Ornella cooked the pasta while her children were
    watching television
  • 4) The past continuous is very often used with
    as, when or while
  • As I was walking down the street, I saw an old
    friend of mine
  • I met my future wife when I was living in Berlin
  • While you were reading these examples, your
    friends were having fun!

43
  • III) THE PRESENT PERFECT SIMPLE
  • FORM
  • To form the present perfect simple, you use the
    present of the auxiliary to have the past
    participle of the verb.
  • To form the past participle of regular verbs (to
    live, to talk, to open) you add ed to the
    infinitive form (lived, talked, opened). We
    encounter the same spelling difficulties that
    we encountered previously when forming the past
    simple form of regular verbs. If you dont
    remember these difficulties, go back and look at
    the section on spelling for the past simple of
    regular verbs.
  • To form the past participle of irregular verbs
    (to be, to speak, to buy) you need to learn each
    individual paradigm to be was been --- to
    speak spoke spoken The past participle is
    the third form which you find in each paradigm.

44
PRESENT PERFECT OF THE VERB TO LIVE PRESENT PERFECT OF THE VERB TO LIVE PRESENT PERFECT OF THE VERB TO LIVE
POSITIVE NEGATIVE INTERROGATIVE
I have lived I have not lived (I havent lived) Have I lived?
You have lived You have not lived (You havent lived) Have you lived?
He/she/it has lived He/she/it has not lived (He/she/it hasnt lived) Has he/she/it lived?
We have lived We have not lived (We havent lived) Have we lived?
You have lived You have not lived (You havent lived) Have you lived?
They have lived They have not lived (They havent lived) Have they lived?
45
  • When do we use the present perfect simple?
  • We generally use the present perfect simple when
    we wish to establish a link between the past and
    the present.
  • Compare the following examples
  • PAST SIMPLE
  • I met Maria two years ago
  • I moved to Benevento in June
  • PRESENT PERFECT SIMPLE
  • I have known Maria for two years
  • I have lived in Benevento since June

46
  • As is evident from the examples, when we use the
    past simple we are interested in the when of
    actions or events, the time at which they
    happened.
  • When we use the present perfect simple we are
    more interested in the what - the actions or
    events themselves - not the specific time at
    which they happened.
  • We use the present perfect simple to talk about
    something that began in the past and is still
    continuing now. In this case we often use these
    time expressions
  • for (to indicate the duration of the action or
    event)
  • I have lived in Benevento for six months.
  • since (to indicate the moment at which the
    action began)
  • I have lived in Benevento since November
  • always (to indicate the permanent nature of the
    action or event)
  • I have always lived in Benevento

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  • We use the present perfect simple to talk about
    something that has happened in the past and is
    now part of our life experience. In this case
    we often use the following time expressions
  • before (to indicate at some time in your past
    life)
  • I have looked after children before
  • ever (only in interrogative forms, to indicate
    at any time in your life before now
  • Have you ever smoked?
  • Has she ever met your sister?
  • never (only in negative forms, to indicate
    something you have never done, something that is
    not part of your life experience)
  • I have never lived in France
  • She has never met a VIP!

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  • 3) We use the present perfect simple to talk
    about something that has happened in the past,
    but whose result is important now. This
    particular use is often referred to as the
    present perfect for giving or announcing news.
    In this case we often use the following time
    expressions
  • recently (to indicate something that happened
    in the near past but whose result is important
    now)
  • A) I saw Maria three months ago, she was feeling
    a bit depressed
  • B) Oh, I have seen her recently, shes fine
    now
  • just (to indicate something that happened a
    short time before now)
  • Ive just passed my English exam, I feel
    wonderful!
  • Vincenzo has just met a new girl, hes probably
    going to marry her.
  • President Berlusconi has just come back from
    Afghanistan.

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  • already (to indicate something that has
    happened before now only used in the positive
    and interrogative forms)
  • I have already passed my English exam, I only
    have three more exams to do.
  • Have you already bought my birthday present?
  • They have already decided what to do this
    summer, theyre going to Greece.
  • yet (to indicate something that has not
    happened before now only used in the
    interrogative and negative forms. Notice the
    position of yet at the end of the sentence)
  • Im in a hurry! Have you finished your homework
    yet?
  • I havent been to England yet but Im going
    there soon!
  • I havent met my new colleagues yet, I hope
    theyre friendly!

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  • 4) SOME IMPORTANT POINTS TO REMEMBER WHEN USING
    THE PRESENT PERFECT SIMPLE
  • 1) The present perfect with or without an
    expression of time
  • When the present perfect is accompanied by a
    time expression, it means that the action or
    event is still continuing (this is the case we
    examined at point 1 above)
  • I have lived in Benevento for six years (I still
    live there)
  • When the present perfect is not accompanied by a
    time expression, it means that the action or
    event happened some time before now but is no
    longer in course (this is the case we examined
    at point 2 above)
  • I have lived in Benevento

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  • 2) Has been and Has gone
  • Giovanni has been to university
  • Lucia has been to France
  • We use has been an indication of place to
    say that a person has visited a certain place
    but has now come back, he is no longer there.
  • Giovanni has gone to university
  • Lucia has gone to France
  • We use has gone an indication of place to
    say that a person is now in that place, he is no
    longer here.

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  • 3) Tense changes in conversations and when
    announcing news
  • Conversations and news announcements often start
    in the present perfect (point 3 in the list of
    uses above) and continue in the simple past.
    This is because we are usually initially
    interested in the event itself, the what, and
    only at a later point in the details, the when.
    Look at the following examples
  • News announcer
  • President Berlusconi has gone to Washington. He
    has decided to participate in the United Nations
    peace conference. He left two days ago, spent the
    first day with the Obama family and then met
    some prominent members of the Italian community.
  • Conversation
  • Ive bought a really nice jacket, and Ive spent
    all my salary! I went to that new shop on the
    High Street yesterday, and I saw it in the
    window. It was really expensive, but I needed a
    new jacket!

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  • IV) THE PRESENT PERFECT CONTINUOUS
  • A) FORM
  • To form the present perfect continuous we use
    the present of the auxiliary to have been
    (invariable) the ing form of the verb.

PRESENT PERFECT CONTINUOUS OF THE VERB TO PLAY PRESENT PERFECT CONTINUOUS OF THE VERB TO PLAY PRESENT PERFECT CONTINUOUS OF THE VERB TO PLAY
POSITIVE NEGATIVE INTERROGATIVE
I have been playing I have not been playing (I havent been playing) Have I been playing?
You have been playing You have not been playing (You havent been playing) Have you been playing?
He/she/it has been playing He/she/it has not been playing (He/she/it hasnt been playing) Has he/she/it been playing?
We have been playing We have not been playing (We havent been playing) Have we been playing?
You have been playing You have not been playing (You havent been playing Have you been playing?
They have been playing They have not been playing (They havent been playing) Have they been playing?
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  • Please remember that some verbs never take the
    continuous form (look back at the five categories
    of non-continuous verbs we described when
    looking at the present continuous)
  • I have seen Giovanni, hes standing at the bus
    stop (the use of the present perfect simple here
    is absolutely correct)
  • I have been seeing Giovanni, hes standing at the
    bus stop (the use of the present perfect
    continuous with to see which is, in this case,
    a verb of the senses is absolutely wrong!)
  • Also remember that certain verbs, or categories
    of verbs, present spelling difficulties in the
    continuous form (again, look back at the
    categories presented when looking at the present
    continuous)

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  • B) When do we use the present perfect continuous?
  • Very often the present perfect simple and the
    present perfect continuous can be used
    interchangeably
  • The present perfect continuous is used to
    describe activities which have been happening in
    a period up to now
  • -1) We use the present perfect continuous to say
    how long an activity or event has been in
    progress, in this case we usually use since or
    for
  • I have been living in Benevento for five years
  • She has been working for Alitalia since 1995
  • In this case the present perfect simple would
    also be possible
  • I have lived in Benevento for five years
  • She has worked for Alitalia since 1995

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  • In the previous examples, by using the present
    perfect continuous, we simply emphasise or
    underline the duration of the action.
  • -2) There are, however, two specific cases in
    which the present perfect simple and the present
    perfect continuous have different functions
  • We cannot use the continuous form to talk about
    how many times an activity or event has taken
    place
  • I have drunk six cups of coffee this morning
    (each cup of coffee constitutes a single action
    which begins and ends, we therefore lose the
    idea of continuity)
  • I have been drinking coffee all morning (in this
    case the present perfect continuous underlines
    the idea of an uninterrupted activity, the action
    does not begin and end)

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  • B) We use the present perfect continuous to talk
    about the activity itself but we use the present
    perfect simple to talk about the result or the
    completion of an activity
  • Mario Hey Luca, what have you been doing this
    afternoon?
  • Luca Ive been studying for my English exam
    (this is what Luca has been doing this afternoon,
    but the activity is not necessarily completed)
  • Mario Hey Luca, what have you been doing this
    afternoon?
  • Luca Ive studied for my English exam (Luca
    has finished studying, the activity is now
    complete)

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  • V) THE PAST PERFECT
  • FORM
  • Past of the auxiliary to have past
    participle of the verb

PAST PERFECT OF THE VERB TO PLAY PAST PERFECT OF THE VERB TO PLAY PAST PERFECT OF THE VERB TO PLAY
POSITIVE NEGATIVE INTERROGATIVE
I had played I had not played (I hadnt played) Had I played?
You had played You had not played (You hadnt played) Had you played?
He/she/it had played He/she/it had not played (He/she/it hadnt played) Had he/she/it played?
We had played We had not played (We hadnt played) Had we played?
You had played You had not played (You hadnt played) Had you played?
They had played They had not played (They hadnt played) Had they played?
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  • When do we use the past perfect?
  • The past perfect is intrinsically linked to the
    simple past.
  • We use the past perfect to talk or write about a
    time which precedes the past simple.
  • This form of anterior past is more often found in
    written narratives than in everyday conversation.
  • Maria was very tired, she had gone to bed very
    late the night before
  • It had rained, the ground was wet and the sky was
    grey
  • They hadnt studied and the exam was very
    difficult!
  • Maria Luigi didnt pass his exam!
  • Carlo I dont think he had studied very much

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  • VI) THE PAST PERFECT CONTINUOUS
  • FORM
  • Past of the auxiliary to have been
    (invariable) ing form of the verb

PAST PERFECT CONTINUOUS OF THE VERB TO PLAY PAST PERFECT CONTINUOUS OF THE VERB TO PLAY PAST PERFECT CONTINUOUS OF THE VERB TO PLAY
POSITIVE NEGATIVE INTERROGATIVE
I had been playing I had not been playing (I hadnt been playing) Had I been playing?
You had been playing You had not been playing (You hadnt been playing) Had you been playing?
He/she/it had been playing He/she/it had not been playing (He/she/it hadnt been playing) Had he/she/it been playing?
We had been playing We had not been playing (We hadnt been playing) Had we been playing?
You had been playing You had not been playing (You hadnt been playing) Had you been playing?
They had been playing They had not been playing (They hadnt been playing) Had they been playing?
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  • When do we use the past perfect continuous?
  • We use the past perfect continuous to talk about
    an action or event which lasted for a period of
    time up to the past, in this case we often use
    for and since.
  • Just like the present perfect simple and
    the present perfect continuous, the past perfect
    simple and the past perfect continuous are often
    interchangeable, but the past perfect continuous
    places more emphasis on the duration of the
    action or event.
  • Francesco had been living in Benevento for three
    years when he met his wife
  • Sofia had been crying for so long that her eyes
    were all red
  • They had been working for Alitalia since its
    inauguration but they still lost their jobs
  • Lucia and Massimo had been studying for six hours
    when they decided to have a break

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  • B) We use the past perfect continuous to talk
    about the activity itself but we use the past
    perfect simple to talk about the result or the
    completion of an activity
  • I had been cleaning my room and I was very tired
    (the past perfect continuous describes the
    action, but I had not necessarily finished
    cleaning my room)
  • I had cleaned my room and I was very tired (the
    past perfect simple describes the result of the
    action I had finished cleaning my room)
  • C) In the same manner as the present perfect
    continuous, we cannot use the past continuous
    form to talk about how many times an activity
    or event has taken place
  • I had been writing letters all morning and I was
    very tired (continuous action)
  • I had written five letters and I was very tired
    (here the past perfect continuous cannot be used
    as each letter constitutes an action which
    begins and ends)
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