Follow Tom in his everyday life and teach the present perfect tense by contrasting it with the past simple to pre-intermediate level ESL learners.
If you love our videos, please support us at Patreon:
For more creative, engaging and interactive animated grammar teaching videos, please visit our website.
For the “No Music” version of this video, please click here:
Title of English / ESL Video:
Target English Grammar:
Present Perfect Tense vs. Past Simple Tense
Student Proficiency Level:
Pre-intermediate level grammar
– Play the video in class after delivering a warm-up activity first.
– Pause the video whenever the narrator asks students a question to give students time to answer. For example, after elicitations and concept checking questions (CCQs).
Summary of English Grammar: Present Perfect Tense vs. Past Simple
Approximate chronological order:
Rules and Explanation:
– Past events
– Recent past events
– Unfinished states
Timeline: Past Events
– The present perfect simple tense indicates that something happened in the past.
– We don’t know when it happened. We just know it happened in the past some time between the day that you were born until now.
Visual Representation of Example:
– Example: I’ve been to Australia.
– This means some time in the past, you went to Australia.
– been vs. gone: Gone means you went there, but you’re still not back yet. Been means you went there, and then you left.
– We often use never to emphasize negatives and ever to emphasize questions.
– Example: Have you ever been to America? (No, I’ve never been to America.)
Recent Past Events:
– Example 1: Mum, have you finished cooking dinner?
– Example 2: Yes boys, I’ve made your favourite!
– We can also use just, yet and already for emphasis.
– Example 1: Mum, have you finished cooking dinner yet?
– Example 2: Yes boys, I’ve just made your favourite!
– Example: We’ve known each other for two weeks now.
– We use for for a period of time.
– Examples: for an hour, for two days, for the last 10 years.
– We use since for a starting point in time.
– Examples: since last night, since three months ago, since the 1980s.
Timeline: Unfinished States
– We’ve known each other for two weeks now.
– The boy met the girl at a certain point in the past, and they still know each other in the present.
– They have known each other for two weeks, which means they met two weeks ago.
Simple Past: Function
– To talk about finished events where the time is known.
– Example 1: How was your date honey?
– Example 2: We broke up…
– In these examples, although the time is not mentioned, both the boy and his mother know the time of the date.
– We can use just for emphasis that an event recently happened.
– Example: We just broke up.
Subject + have/has (+ never/just/already) + past participle + … (+ for/since, time word, yet)
I + ‘ve + been + to Australia.
I + ‘ve + never + been + to America.
I + haven’t + made + dinner + yet.
We + ‘ve + known + each other + for two weeks now.
Wh-/How + have/has + subject + past participle + … (+ for) + ?
How long + have + we + known + each other + for?
*Wh-/how question words and for are for open questions.
Have/has + subject (+ ever) + past participle + … (+ yet, time word) + ?
Have + you + ever + been + to Australia?
Have + you + finished + cooking + dinner + yet?
*Ever, yet and time words are for yes/no questions.