Have You Ever…?

A blog on my life experiences with practice on the Present Perfect Simple tense.

Have you ever been to a place which you fell in love with the moment you set eyes upon it?

I have visited countries which have left me amazed by their beauty to this very day.

I have never visited Japan. However, I have visited France many times.

I have already been to Greece twice, though I haven’t been to Turkey yet. 

So here it is! First of all, this is a blog. It’s not a grammar website, so I’m not going to bore you with the rules on how to use the Present Perfect tense (I do know them as I have been teaching it for the last 13 years and using it for a lot more). Google it. Everyone is trying so hard to explain how to use it, though what they are missing is you guys just need to practise it. How do you do that? Well, I’ll tell you very soon…

Have you ever wanted to say something to someone but didn’t because you were scared that you wouldn’t be able to understand their answer?

This is probably one of the most common issues I hear from my students. Before they know it, they have built up a subconscious fear of going beyond their comfort zone when they have only just begun to study the language.


However, this is one way how you can learn languages. You need to step outside of your comfort zone, embarrass yourself a few times when you make a mistake, and most importantly make the first move to start conversation with someone. Here’s what I say to my students when I see them for the first time since the last lesson I had with them.

Hi Zee (fictitious name: any reference to a real person is bla bla bla.)! Have you had a good day?”

“Zee” generally replies, “uh, yeah. I have a good day.”

To which I smile patiently and correct him.

“I’m happy to hear you have had a good day, Zee.

I have had a good day too, though I haven’t finished my work! 

Why have you had a good day?

What have you done today?”

So what have I just done here? I’ve just demonstrated how we can start up a simple conversation from one very basic question. The problem most students have here is continuing the dialogue.

Zee says, “I have had breakfast at six o’clock this morning.”

Patiently correcting him with the correct phrase;

“I have had breakfast today.”

“I had it at 6 o’clock this morning.” 

So the conversation continues like this. You see, if you want to learn English really well, you need to practise real conversations. Conversations which can practise English in specific situations, like the uses of the Present Perfect tense. To which you protest – “Hey! You said you weren’t going to go into boring detail about the grammar!” Well I’m not because we are going to practise it together.

“What have you done today?” This should be something you ask yourself every day. Write it down, record it, tweet it, or snapchat it to friends. What is important is that you are communicating new phrases and expressions every day, using the right structures.

“I have been to that new Sushi restaurant in town, SushiDom (again, this is a fictitious  name and bla bla bla…no reference made is intentional…bla bla bla.) Have you ever been there?” 

When we start a conversation with someone we sometimes ask them about their experience in life. Have they ever experienced the delicious food in SushiDom, for example. Once we have established if they have or not, we move to getting specific details from them.

“So, when did you go to SushiDom?”

Here we move from the present perfect simple tense to the past simple. We are getting specific information on something which happened at a specific time in the past. It’s also finished. (“Hey! You are boring me again with grammar rules!” – Ooops. Sorry!) Look at this sentence.

“So, how many times have you been to SushiDom?”

This is a good way to continue the conversation, asking about the number of experiences you have had from the past until now.

When the conversation dries up you could always ask about problems you had at that restaurant.

“Have you ever had a bad experience there?”

“No, I have never had any problems. In fact, they’ve just received an award for excellent health standards.”

Here, you can see I’m stretching out the conversation by adding extra information. I’m also using the present perfect tense with the adverb just. This is giving more information to the fact that this happened recently. Very recently.

Other ways to use this tense is to tell people of news. When we talk about recent events we use the Present Perfect tense.

“I’ve just bought a new car!

“We have already taken it for a drive into the country and it hasn’t  used much petrol at all!”

Also talking about changes can be a great way to use this tense. We are witnessing rapid changes in technology, sport, film, and also environmental changes. This can be a great way to start the conversation if we focus on simple common topics.

“The mobile phone industry has just introduced 6G! (I don’t think this is true. It’s fictitious.)

“The sports world has always been a challenging environment for women. Don’t you agree?”

“They have just launched another Christmas film. Have you seen it?”

“Have they reached an agreement on the climate change talks yet?”

There are countless resources for practising this sometimes complex tense. Here is a link I often use in class;

Conversation Questions – Have You Ever…

Well, that’s all folks. If you want to learn more about the Present Perfect tense and other ways to improve your conversation you can click the link below and book an English Class with me. You will learn faster with my methods. You will also experience a totally new way of learning as I have an interesting approach to learning which guarantees fast results.

Book some English lessons with me right now!

Click here to book English lessons with me, Teacher Dominic.

Thanks for reading.

© Dominic Christopher Elliston and http://www.teacherdom.com 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Dominic Christopher Elliston and http://www.teacherdom.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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