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Let’s Play With English; Introduction to Level 3: Present Perfect, Past Perfect, and Past Progressive Tenses and Gerunds

There are three types of past tenses on this level: Present Perfect, Past Perfect, and Past Progressive. There are also gerunds. Gerunds look like verbs, but they aren’t.

When we talked about Simple Past Tense, it happened in the past, and then it finished. Some examples of Simple Past Tense are: went, ate, looked, was, were, jumped, etc. The rule is to have “-ed” on the end, but the verbs we use most of the time are irregular, and that is why these verbs need to be studied. If you don’t know them yet, you can look back at the second blog in this series. They are also on the chart in this blog.

The difference between Present Perfect Tense and Simple Past Tense is that Present Perfect began in the past and went over a period of time, and comes into the present. As I said, Simple Past tense happened in the past and is finished, but Present Perfect Tense is a past tense that doesn’t finish until now. It only takes one word to express Simple Past Tense, but it takes two words to express Present Perfect Tense. To make Present Perfect Tense, you need “has or have” and the past participle. Many of the past participles are the same as the Simple Past Tense Verbs, so you have a little to study, but not as must as when you learned Simple Past Tense. There is less and less studying as the verbs get more and more complicated.

Here are some examples of Present Perfect Tense:

I have gone = I went and continued until now or went at a time in the past that is indefinite.

He has seen = He saw it and continued until now or saw it at an indefinite time int he past.

We have eaten = We ate and it continued until now, but we are finished. It happened over an unspecified time in the past.

“Has and Have” are “helping verbs.” They help this verb. You have to use them according to the person: I have, you have, he has, she has, it has, we have, they have. and then you add the past participle.

Here is a chart that tells you what the past participles and simple past tense of the red verbs are:

Verb: …………………………….Simple Past Tense.………………………..Past Participle

jump ……………………………..jumped…………………………………………..jumped

do……………………………………did…………………………………………………done

start……………………………….started……………………………………………started

begin………………………………began……………………………………………began

write……………………………….wrote……………………………………………..written

cook……………………………….cooked…………………………………………..cooked

make……………………………..made……………………………………………..made

run…………………………………ran………………………………………………….ran

wake up ……………………….woke up………………………………………..woken up

dress………………………………dressed……………………………………….dressed

put on…………………………..put on………………………………………….put on

listen……………………………..listened………………………………………..listened

put………………………………….put……………………………………………..put

sleep……………………………..slept……………………………………………slept

read………………………………read………………………………………………read

sing……………………………….sang………………………………………………sung

sit………………………………….sat…………………………………………………sat

find……………………………..found……………………………………………..found

wait……………………………..waited…………………………………………..waited

answer………………………..answered……………………………………..answered

have…………………………..had……………………………………………….had

close…………………………..closed…………………………………………closed

speak…………………………spoke………………………………………….spoken

drink………………………….drank…………………………………………..drunk

take……………………………took……………………………………………taken

buy……………………………..bought………………………………………bought

eat………………………………ate……………………………………………..eaten

look……………………………looked……………………………………looked

teach…………………………taught……………………………………….taught

call……………………………called…………………………………………called

laugh………………………..laughed…………………………………….laughed

come………………………..came………………………………………..come

like…………………………..liked………………………………………….liked

get…………………………..got……………………………………………..got or gotten

say…………………………..said……………………………………………said

play…………………………played……………………………………….played

learn………………………..learned…………………………………….learned

want………………………….wanted…………………………………..wanted

live……………………………..lived………………………………………..lived

love…………………………..loved……………………………………….loved

be………………………….was, were……………………………………been

meet………………………..met………………………………………….met

work………………………..worked…………………………………….worked

ask……………………………asked………………………………………asked

give…………………………..gave………………………………………..given

smile……………………….smiled……………………………………..smiled

win……………………………won………………………………………won

call…………………………..called…………………………………….called

hear………………………….heard……………………………………..heard

Present Perfect Tense is not the only tense that used the past participle. Past Perfect also uses the past participle. Past Perfect is different from Present Perfect Tense in that Present Perfect ends in the present, but Past Perfect Tense begins in the past, continues for a time, and then ends int he past. You form Past Perfect Tense by using “had” and a past participle.

Here are some examples of Past Perfect Tense:

I had seen = I saw it in the past, and I looked at it for a while, but I stopped looking at it in the past. I am not seeing it now.

I had eaten = I ate in the past, and it took time, but it finished it the past. Maybe I want to eat again. I am not eating now.

I had heard= I heard in the past, and it continued a bit, but then it finished in the past. What I heard may not be true now.

She had gone= She went some time in the past, but she might be back by now. She isn’t gone anymore.

She had listened = She listened for a while in the past, but she doesn’t listen now.

The next past tense is Past Progressive Tense, sometimes called Past Continuous Tense. the different between this tense Past Perfect and Present Perfect Tense is that Past Perfect and Present Perfect are more concrete. If I am talking about Present Progressive Tense, it is happening right now! “right now” is the clue to understanding Present Progressive Tense. I can get up and walk across the room and say, “I am going to the door” while I am walking. The word that connects these two tenses, Present Progressive and Past Progressive, is “while.” “While” means “in the time.”

Example: “While I was at school, I was listening to my teacher.” = “In the period of time I was at school, I listened to my teacher over a period of time.”

Example: “While I was at home, I was doing my homework.” = “In the time I was at home, I did my homework over a period of time.” My homework wasn’t done and then automatically finished, I had to take time to finish it.

Example: “While I was walking down the street, I was singing.” I did them both over a period of time at the same time.

Example: “While we were running, we were getting really tired.”

The last thing you have to know on this level is a gerund. A gerund is not a verb, but it looks like a verb. A gerund can be noun or an adjective. A noun is a person, place, or thing. An adjective is a verb that tells about the noun. Gerunds look like a progressive verb, but they don’t have a state of being verb before them. State of being verbs: is, am, are, was, were, be.

Examples of Gerunds:

Going to school is fun. //”Going” is the gerund. It is a noun, but it looks like a verb.

We liked eating pizza. //”eating” is the gerund. It looks like a verb, but it is a noun.

Preaching is difficult. //”Preaching” is the gerund. It looks like a verb, but it is a noun.

The studying student makes good grades./// “Studying” is the gerund. It looks like a verb, but it an adjective that tells about the student.

It was interesting. // This can be understood two different ways. “was interesting” can be a Past Progressive Verb. However, “was” can be the verb, and “interesting” can be the adjective that tells about “it.” You might be able to see it better if I say “It was funny.” In this sentence “funny” is an adjective that tells about “it.” If I say, “The girl is pretty,” “pretty” is the adjective that tells about the girl. In “The story was interesting,” “interesting” can be the gerund used as an adjective telling about the story.

As you work on level three of the verb quizzes, you need to know all of these. Everyone speaks a different first language, so I have explained it in English. If I were in a classroom where the students all poke the same language, I have been know to explain this all in more than one foreign language. If it is hard to understand in English, and you know I speak your language, leave me a comment.

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