Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Learn English/ About the use of tenses (3)

In some of my articles herehere, and here I have developed some aspects concerning the use of tenses based also on the difficulties that, from time to time, my students experience.
The Present Perfect Simple is perceived by Romanian students as a difficult tense mainly because we do not have a tense in Romanian with such a description. Also it is difficult to use it in English mainly because its translation in Romanian is similar with the translation of the Past Tense Simple.
A few tips: whenever you need to express a sentence, think at the right tense to use in context. Keep in mind that the Present Perfect Tense is a present tense, so use it in a present meaning. If in a sentence there are adverbs of time indicating a moment in the past, you certainly use the Past Tense and not the Present Perfect tense, which is, I repeat, a present tense.
Do not say: “I have visited Japan two years ago”. In this sentence the clue is “ago”, which tells you that you need the Past Tense and not the Present Perfect.

So say: “I have visited Japan” or “I visited Japan two years ago”.
I can prolong analyzing this tense for a long, long time, but I can see the first lights of dawn, so on Friday I will post the promised article about the Cambridge FCE.

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