Learning English verb forms
It’s the weekend and we continue our look at English verb forms through short explanations and video examples. Today we find out how we can describe what these little ones are reacting to.
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The perfect: looking back in time
This continues our look at the concept behind the perfect aspect in English. You should first check out the previous lesson (http://bit.ly/Ve4bJj) and, of course the chapter on the perfect in my book Understanding English verb forms (http://bit.ly/9Kr9aT).
Remember, with the perfect we look back in time from another point in time. With the present perfect that time is now and with the past perfect it is some time in the past.
In this lesson, we will look at events that have just happened, so recently we can still see their effects of the faces of the people – all babies – involved.
Since we are going to watch videos for the first time, it will seem like the events are happening now. Thus, it is natural to use the present perfect. If we watch them again, however, it will be just as natural to use the past perfect.
He/she has just…..
Let’s try to explain the looks on each of these babies.
Why do they look this way. Watch the videos and then try to explain, beginning your explanation with “He/She has just…… There are many ways to do this and I’ll have some possible explanations below.
Here are some possible explanations:
He has just tasted a lemon.
He has just tried to eat some lemon.
She has just had a shot/jab
She has just been vaccinated.
He has just been startled by a dog’s bark (a bark of a dog)
He has just been woken (by) by a dog’s bark.
He has just been frightened by a dog’s bark.
Now look at each of the photos at the beginning and explain them again. Since you have seen the videos already, it seems more natural to talk about them as past events. Thus, past perfect is the choice. Simply change “have” to “had”.
What had happened?
Now that you have the idea, let’s try one more video example. In this case the date is 2005, so we’ll use the past perfect. Watch the video and try to explain the look on Miss Canada’s face.
Here are some possibilities:
She had just won the Miss Universe contest.
She had just been announced as the winner of the Miss Universe contest.
Photos from 2012
Let’s end with four photos from our Bangkok Post photographers. All of them were taken last year, so we a starting with a point in the past and then thinking back to event that happened shortly before. Look at each photo and think of a way of describing them using the past perfect.
Here are some possibilities:
A. There had just been an accident. (Photo by Sanoh Worarak)
B. He had just been arrested. (Somchai Poomlard)
C. They had just been/got married (Pawat Laopaisarntaksin)
D. Psy had just arrived in Bangkok (Somchai Poomlard)
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