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Verbs - Present Perfect Tense - 2

Verbs - Present Perfect Tense - 2

 

 

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Requirements

 

Present perfect – 2 (irregular participles)

 

 

Hello! In this lesson, we will continue learning to use the present perfect tense. As we learned in a previous lesson, the present perfect tense helps us discuss the past from the viewpoint of the present.  It covers a span of time stretching from now backwards into the past.

The present perfect is formed with the conjugated form of the verb "to have" and a participle. The participle may either be regular or irregular. Regular participles look the same as the simple past tense. They end with the familiar "-ed". In this lesson, we will learn how to use the present perfect tense with an irregular participle.

As we have seen in previous lessons, the verb "to be" is an irregular verb. Its participle – "been" is also irregular.  Here are some sample sentences with the present perfect tense of the verb "to be".

I have been tired all day.

Jennifer's cousin has been in elementary school for five years.

We have been at the party for two hours.

As we see, the participles are not predictable, but the formation of the present perfect tense is predictable. There are basically three group of irregular participles. In the first group, the past participle looks exactly the same as the simple past tense. Here is a list of the verbs in the first group we have learned in previous lessons as well as several useful new verbs, their simple past tenses, and their past participles:

Base form              Simple past              Past Participle

"cost                        cost                        cost

cut                        cut                        cut

hurt                        hurt                        hurt

let                        let                        let

quit                        quit                        quit"

send                        sent                        sent

spend                        spent                        spent

bring                        brought                        brought

buy                        bought                        bought

catch                        caught                        caught

teach                        taught                        taught

feel                        felt                        felt

keep                        kept                        kept

leave                        left                        left

read                        read                        read

sleep                        slept                        slept

find                        found                        found

hear                        hear                        heard

hold                        held                        held

lose                        lost                        lost

sell                        sold                        sold

sit                        sat                        sat

stand                        stood                        stood

tell                        told                        told

understand              understood              understood

            
pay                        paid                        paid

In the second group, the verbs undergo similar vowel changes. Here are some irregular verbs we have learned in previous lessons, their simple past tenses, and their past participles.  

"begin                        began                        begun

come                        came                        come

drink                        drank                         drunk

swim                        swam                        swum

run                        ran                        run

sing                        sang                        sung"

In the final group, the participles end with the "n" sound. Some are spelled with a final "e" which has no sound.

be                        was/were              been

blow                        blew                        blown

break                        broke                        broken

do                        did                        done

draw                        drew                        drawn

drive                        drove                        driven

eat                        ate                        eaten

fall                        fell                        fallen

fly                        flew                        flown

forget                        forgot                        forgotten

freeze                        froze                        frozen

get                        got                        gotten (got is the participle in British

English)

give                        gave                        given

go                        went                        gone

grow                        grew                        grown

know                        knew                        known

ride                        rode                        ridden

see                        saw                        seen

shake                        shook                        shaken

speak                        spoke                        spoken

take                        took                        taken

throw                        threw                        thrown

wear                        wore                        worn

write                        wrote                        written

            

David:  Have you seen my car keys?

Jennifer:  Have you lost your keys again?

David:  I haven't exactly lost them. I've forgotten where I put them.                         
Jennifer: Where did you put them?

David: I've put them in my jacket pocket every day all week.

Jennifer: Okay … which jacket?

David:  I've worn my red jacket every day.

Jennifer: Aha! I found them in your blue jacket pocket.

David: Uh, I said I've worn my blue jacket every day this week, right?

David starts this conversation by asking Jennifer "Have you seen my car keys?".We see that David uses the present perfect tense. In this case, the present perfect tense expresses a sense of hope that eventually Jennifer will see his keys – that the search is not complete.

Jennifer asks "Have you lost your keys again?". Jennifer's utterance in the present perfect seems to indicate that David' habit of losing his keys started in the past and continues into the present moment. She considers this activity to be one that continues into the current moment.

David answers "I haven't exactly lost them. I've forgotten where I put them.".

David' comment "I've forgotten where I put them." shows that he does not consider forgetting to be a complete, finished act. He has forgotten until now, but this is subject to change, since it is not yet complete. Losing the keys is not complete either. However, David uses the simple past tense for the verb "put" – which means that he definitely "put" the keys somewhere. That act is complete. The keys cannot and will not change places since David "put" them somewhere, and that act is finished.

Jennifer asks "Where did you put them?". Since Jennifer realizes that the simple past tense indicates that the act is finished, she knows that she can find the keys if she only knows where David "put" them.

Rather than answering directly, David answers "I've put them in my jacket pocket every day all week.". David does not tell Jennifer exactly where he put his car keys, because he does not remember. He remembers that he has had the habit for a week of putting the car keys in his jacket pocket.

David's answer is the beginning of Jennifer's detective work. "Okay .." she says "which jacket?".   

David says "I've worn my red jacket every day.". David's statement means that he has had the habit of wearing his red jacket every day this week.

Jennifer answers "Aha! I found them in your blue jacket!". We notice that Jennifer uses the simple past tense. She means that she found the car keys. This act of finding the keys is finished. That she found the car keys in the blue jacket is not inconsistent with David's statement that he has worn his red jacket every day. He did not say that he has worn only his red jacket every day or that he has not worn his blue jacket during the week. Jennifer took advantage of this linguistic loophole to find the car keys.

However, David jokes about the situation by saying "Uh, I said I've worn my blue jacket every day this week, right?". Notice that he uses "said" – the past participle of the verb "to say" because what he "said" is complete. However he stays with "have worn" because he wants to convince himself that he was actually in the habit of wearing his blue jacket, not his red jacket, all week.

Now that we have examined the sentences in the dialog, let us listen again. Listen for the usages of the simple past tense and the present perfect. Notice which actions are complete and which extend into the present moment.

David:  Have you seen my car keys?

Jennifer:  Have you lost your keys again?

David:  I haven't exactly lost them. I've forgotten where I put them.                           
Jennifer: Where did you put them?

David: I've put them in my jacket pocket every day all week.

Jennifer: Okay … which jacket?

David:  I've worn my red jacket every day.

Jennifer: Aha! I found them in your blue jacket pocket.

David: Uh, I said I've worn my blue jacket every day this week, right?

Very good! You have mastered the present perfect tense with both the regular verbs and irregular verbs. Use the present perfect tense in your conversations in English. "You have done a great job!"