If somebody asks you something like the samples below…
- What will you have achieved by the time you reach forty?
- How many books will you have read by Christmas?
- How many English class assignments will I have given you by the end of the term ? 😦
…they are using the future perfect and we’d usually answer this in the following way
- By the time I reach forty I will have set up my own company.
- By Christmas I will have read three books.
- By the end of the term my teacher will have given us tons of English assignments because she is very picky.
- That is: time expression + subject + will + have + past participle
Here’s a fun way to do some language drills.
HOW TO PLAY
- Pick a partner or ask somebody randomly.
- Turn the wheel. Say for example you get How many showers (have).
- Turn the second wheel for time expressions. Say for example you get ‘in one year’
- Make a question with these expressions. Example: How many showers will you have had in a year ?
- Your partner should answer your question.
- Example: In a year I will have had about ….. showers. (if the partners says he/she has a very low number of showers, choose another person quickly).
In the first wheel you will find expressions related to actions.
Click for action wheel
In this wheel you will find expressions related to time.
Click for time expression wheel
travel (uncountable noun) term used to refer to the act or activity of travelling.
travel (verb intransitive transitive) to go from one place to another. When meaning long distances, we usually use travel instead of trip. We also use this word when we talk about travelling for a reason such as work, etc.
- I love travelling – I’d love to travel around the world – Tomorrow I have to get up early. I’m travelling.
trip (countable noun) an excursion or a journey somewhere and back, especially for pleasure.
- We went on a boat trip to the island.
journey (countable noun) the act of travelling from one place and another. Here the focus is placed on talking about what happens between the beginning and ending of these points. For example, if going from Madrid to Paris on a train, you enjoyed it because it was quick, you had a good meal and a nice nap, you would say something like ‘your journey was nice’. But if you had bad weather, the food was horrible and the person on the seat next to you, kept dropping off, snoring almost all the way, you’d probably say that your ‘journey was horrible’.
Click for quiz
Both are verb associated to communication but both are used quite differently. Look at some of the examples of how to use these words.
say something/say something to somebody/say as a reporting verb.
- Ask him to say something in English.
- She didn’t say anything to him about the party
- She said that she liked it very much.
Say in impersonal passive structures
- It is said that many lost their lives in WWII
Say + what/how/when/why
- He didn’t say why he had come.
tell somebody something / tell somebody to do something
- She told him a bedtime story
- They told me to get the job done as soon as possible.
tell somebody about something/tell a joke or a story
- The company manager told them about the strike.
- Mike told us this really funny joke.
We don’t use say to somebody.
- She said to me that I couldn’t go. She told me that I couldn’t go.
It is much more common to use ‘tell’ for orders
- The fireman told us to be careful.
Click for quiz
The song I have chosen here is a song by Jeff Lynne ‘When I was a boy’ to learn how to speak about the past, the dreams and the hopes we had as children. As the lyrics say, the person singing says that as a boy all he really wanted to do was to pick up his guitar and play music. Money wasn’t important because there were other things that made him happy, like listening to the radio and dreaming about his future.
What dreams did you have when you were a child?
One way to learn irregular verbs is to divide them into groups.
According to some grammar books, irrregular English verbs DO seem to have some type of regularity. Here are some tips along with a couple of activities.
In this group, verbs remain nearly the same and change final -d for -t.
For example: build> built > built.
CLASS 1 ACTIVITY
Verbs are the same in Past Simple and Past Participle, receive an -d/-ed/t suffix but change one or more vowels.
For example: leave > left> left
CLASS 2 ACTIVITY
In this group the Past Simple usually has -ed but the Past Participle had -(e)n.
This is a small group and I suppose I’ll be adding some more if I can remember any.
For example: show > showed > shown
CLASS 3 ACTIVITY
The past tense doesn’t have a suffix although it may change a vowel, but the Past Participle has an -(e)n suffix and the base vowel changes or both changes may happen.
For example: give > gave > given
CLASS 4 ACTIVITY
In this group the vowel changes in one or both. There are no other changes.
For example: begin > began > begun
CLASS 5 ACTIVITY
All the verbs are the same!
For example: put > put > put
CLASS 6 ACTIVITY
One or both of the forms is/are completely different.
For example: go > went > gone – Be > was/were > been
Feel like pulling your hair out with English irregular verbs? Well, for God’s sake don’t pull them out with irregular verbs it may be painful! (That was a translation from Spanish. You should pull them out due to/because of irregular verbs).
Maybe the best way to deal with them is to learn them by heart (I hate memorizing stuff!), although there might be another way, I don’t know about. I would even say that it is better to learn both, the past simple and the past participle together (yes, the ones in the third column at the end of your Student’s book). This may seem a pretty daunting activity, but if you set yourself to learning, for example five of them a week, in two months you will have learnt forty of the most important ones, which isn’t too bad, is it?
Click here for the activity
Past perfect or past simple? This is an activity that will help you practise these tenses within a story about Jane, a girl that was looking forward to going to a party, but discovered that being absent-minded wasn’t a good thing ….unless you change the end of the story.
The first part of the activity is to fill in the blanks with the correct form of the verb in brackets. After checking the activity, students can write their own version of the end of the story. (max 50 words).
Once we have all the stories, we’re going to vote the one we like most! 🙂
Click for activity