Perfective Aspect

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The English Verb System : Aspect:

The English Verb System : Aspect Aspect allows us to indicate what type of event we are talking about :permanent, temporary, repeated, complete, on-going, anterior ….

Perfect Aspect:

Perfect Aspect Quirk et al (The Communicative Grammar of English, Longman) The perfective indicates anterior time – either anterior to a stated point or to the present moment. I have lived here for three years When we got to the airport, the plane had already left When you have fried the onions, add the tomatoes

When is there a choice between simple and perfect aspect and when does the meaning change – and why?:

When is there a choice between simple and perfect aspect and when does the meaning change – and why? I’ve lived in London for 10 years I lived in London for ten years After you fry the onions add the tomatoes After you’ve fried the onions, add the tomatoes When you fry the onions add the tomatoes When you’ve fried the onions, add the tomatoes The plane left before we got to the airport The plane had left before we got to the airport The plane left when we got to the airport The plane had left when we got to the airport

Perfect Aspect:

Perfect Aspect a) I’ve lived here since August . Past to present event Past to present time period b) I’ve read War and Peace this week . Past event Past to present time period c) I’ve cut my finger! Past event Present result (My finger is bleeding) See Richards The Context of Language Teaching CUP Ch. 12

Past time phrases and past to present time phrases:

Past time phrases and past to present time phrases Past time phrases Yesterday, last year, in 1978, two months ago, etc Past to present time phrases Today, this year, since 1978, yet, in the last few days etc And some ambiguous ones … This morning, this afternoon, this evening, this weekend , always, ever/never, for three years etc

Some more examples …:

Some more examples … a) Past to present event + Past to present time period I’ve lived here since August. I’ve known Geoff for three years. I’ve always wanted to go to Hawaii b) Past event + Past to present time period I’ve read War and Peace this week. Have you ever seen a UFO? I’ve been to New York but I’ve never been to the East Coast. c) Past event + Present result I’ve cut my finger! I’ve already done the shopping I haven’t closed the windows yet.

Present Perfect Simple and Continuous:

Present Perfect Simple and Continuous a) Past to present event + Past to present time period I’ve lived here since August. I’ve been living here since August. b) Past event + Past to present time period I’ve read War and Peace this week. I’ve been reading War and Peace this week. c) Past event + Present result I’ve cut my finger! Someone has been cutting pictures out of this book!

So …:

So … If the present perfect simple is taught through the three categories … … the present perfect continuous can be introduced using the same three categories

And the Past Perfect …:

And the Past Perfect … a) “Past to past” event + “Past to past” time period …because I’d only lived there since the previous August. …because I’d only been living there since the previous August. b) “Double Past” event + Time period from anterior past to reference point (also past) … I’d read War and Peace that week … I’d been reading War and Peace that week c) “Double Past” event + Past result I couldn’t write properly because I had cut my finger Somebody had been cutting pictures out of the book and I was really annoyed

A Possible Teaching Order …:

A Possible Teaching Order … Elementary/Pre-Intermediate Present perfect simple – a,b,c Intermediate Revise Present Perfect Simple a, b, c and bring in past perfect simple a,b,c Revise present perfect simple c, b, a and bring in present perfect continuous c, b, a Upper Intermediate Revise present perfect simple/continuous and past perfect simple. Bring in past perfect continuous

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