Students often confuse the present perfect and present perfect continuous. This lesson employs an imaginary biography to get students asking questions and speaking about completed accomplishments (present perfect) and duration of activity (present perfect continuous).
The main difference between the present perfect and present perfect continuous that students need to acquire is the difference between the amount of time the current activity has been in progress, and the amount of activity that has been done. In the first case, we use the present perfect continuous to express how long the current activity has been going on. In the second case, use the present perfect to express how many or how much has been accomplished. These guides on how to teach the present perfect continuous and how to teach the present perfect can help with further exercises and teaching suggestions.
Aim: Correct use of present perfect and present perfect continuous, contrasted with simple past
Activity: Use of an imaginary chart of life events to elicit questions and answers using both the present perfect and present perfect continuous, as well as the simple past
- Review the present perfect and present perfect continuous with the class. Focus on the difference between present perfect to express an amount finished up to the present moment (I've read three books by Hemingway), and the present perfect continuous to express the duration of the current activity (She's been reading for three hours).
- Ask students to take a look at the sentences in exercise 1 and decide if they are correct or incorrect.
- Make a point of discussing the use of BOTH the present perfect and present perfect continuous with common verbs such as live, work, play, drive, etc.
- Ask students to read the life chart of John Anderson.
- Have students pair up and use the question cues. Ask students to use the present perfect continuous when asking about the duration of an activity.
- To check if students are doing the activity correctly, ask the students to write out the questions once they have finished.
Started magazine delivery service
Started playing tennis
Hired four other boys for magazine delivery service
Sold magazine delivery service for $20,000
Went to Harvard Business School
Won New York State tennis championship
Started 'Supersoft' software company with roommate
Sold 'Supersoft' for $400,000
Graduated with honors from Harvard
Received Masters of International Business from Yale
Started work for Brown and Bran Inc. in New York City
Married first wife, Josine
First son born, Josh
Promoted to Vice President of International Sales
Won New York Business Club's International Businessman Award
Left Brown and Bran Inc.
Started New Media Associates Inc. in New York City
Won 'New Business Innovation' award
Met and married second wife, Angela
Second son, Philip, born
Won over-thiry tennis tournament of New York City