Present Perfect - ESL EFL Teaching Resources
Find Someone Who...
ESL EFL Speaking Activity - Elementary - 25 Minutes
This productive speaking exercise teaches students how to construct 'Have you ever...?' questions. Students walk around the classroom and ask questions to their classmates using the present perfect tense. When a classmate answers 'Yes, I have', the student writes that person's name on their worksheet. Then, they ask a follow-up question in order to gain more information. When everyone has finished, the students tell the class what they found out.
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Find Someone Who Has
ESL EFL Speaking Activity - Elementary - 25 Minutes
In this teaching activity, students practice asking and answering 'Have you ever...?' questions. When someone responds with a 'Yes, I have' answer, the student writes down that person's name and asks a follow-up question. Finally, students make statements about the people they spoke to using 'has'.
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Have you ever...?
ESL EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Elementary - 45 Minutes
In this amusing teaching activity, students create present perfect questions. The students then play a true or false card game where they ask and answer questions using the present perfect and past simple. Students work in teams (A and B) and create present perfect questions from verb cards. After that, Team A starts and picks up one of Team B’s verb cards. Team B then asks a player on Team A the corresponding 'Have you ever…?' question. The player answers 'Yes, I have', regardless of whether it’s true or not. Team B then asks three follow-up questions using the past simple. After the three questions have been asked, Team B decides if the player’s answer is true or false. The player then reveals the truth. If Team B is correct, they win a point. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins.
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Have You Ever Survey
ESL EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Elementary - 30 Minutes
In this fun class activity, students practice asking and answering questions using the present perfect and past simple. Each student is given a question card. The students are then told that they are going to do a class survey and ask questions using the present perfect and past simple tense. The students ask every student in their class or group the first question on their card. When a student answers 'Yes, I have', they ask past simple follow-up questions and note down the answers. At the end of the activity, the students report back their results to the class.
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How long have you...?
ESL EFL Reading, Writing and Speaking Activity - Elementary - 35 Minutes
In this fun teaching activity, students practice the present perfect with for and since by asking and answering ‘How long have you…?’ questions in a class survey. Each student is given a copy of the worksheet. The students begin by changing the verbs in the questions on their worksheet into their past participle forms to create interview questions, e.g. How long have you been awake? Students then stand up and walk around the classroom asking the questions to their classmates. They ask a different question to each student and write the student’s name in the ‘Name’ column of the worksheet. When a student replies to a question, they give two answers, one using the word ‘for’ and one using the word ‘since’. These answers are recorded on the worksheet by the person asking the question. When everyone has finished, there is a class feedback session. Students report back to the class on what they found out about their classmates using the third person singular, e.g. Kim has been awake for four hours. She has been awake since 7 o’clock.
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Present Perfect + Yet / Just / Already
ESL EFL Reading and Speaking Activity - Elementary - 20 Minutes
In this pairwork activity, students make questions and statements and reply using the present perfect + yet / just / already. The students are divided into pairs (A and B) and each student is given a corresponding part of the worksheet. The students take a few minutes to look at their picture and word prompts, and prepare what they are going to say. Then, they take it in turns to make questions and statements from picture prompts and to reply using present perfect word prompts. When everyone has finished, the answers are checked as a class.
ESL EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 45 Minutes
This enjoyable guessing game teaches students how to use the present perfect to talk about experiences. Students begin by writing down twelve present perfect sentences about things that they have and haven't done in their lives. Some of the sentences should be true and some should be false. When all the students have finished, they are given true and false cards. Next, the class is split into teams. Each team plays against another team. A student reads one of his or her sentences. The opposing team's players each put down a true or false card, depending on whether they think the statement is true or not. Then, the student reveals the answer. The opposing team gets one point for each correct guess. Then, one student on the other team says one of their sentences, and so on. This continues back and forth with one team giving a sentence and the other team guessing whether it is true or false, until all the sentences have been used. The winning team is the one with the most points at the end.
Have just and Haven't yet
ESL EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 20 Minutes
This supplementary worksheet is ideal for teaching students how to use the present perfect phrases: 'have just' and 'haven't yet'. Students write down five things they have done very recently and five things they plan to do, but haven't done yet. Then, they guess five things their partner has just done and hasn’t done yet and write them down. After that, the students work in pairs asking and answering questions to see if their guesses were right.
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How have you been?
ESL EFL Speaking and Miming Activity - Pre-intermediate - 30 Minutes
Here is an enjoyable miming game to help students practice using the present perfect for giving news about recent events. The students are put in groups of four and each group is given a set of news cards. Students take it in turns to take a card from the top of the pack. Another student asks 'How have you been?' The student with the card replies with either 'Pretty good' or 'Not too good', depending on whether their card represents good news or bad news. After that, they must be silent and mime the present perfect sentence on their card using actions and gestures. The first student to say the sentence on the card wins. He or she then keeps the card. The student with the most cards at the end of the game is the winner.
Just Say Yes
ESL EFL Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 20 Minutes
In this amusing guessing game, students practice the present perfect by talking about experiences at an unspecified time in the past. Students then use the past simple to find out more details. Each group of three is given a set of question cards. The students take it in turns to interview the other people in their group. Their task is to find out who is lying and who is telling the truth. One student begins by taking the top card from the pile. This student asks the other two students the question on the card using the present perfect, e.g. Have you ever won a competition? The other students answer Yes, I have, even if it’s not true. The interviewer then asks three follow-up questions in the past simple and tries to work out if they are lying or telling the truth. The interviewer scores one point for every correct answer. Then, the next student then picks up a card, and so on. The student with the most points at the end is the winner.
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ESL EFL Reading and Writing Activity - Pre-intermediate - 25 Minutes
In this ESL activity, students play a present perfect grammar game and read a love story at the same time. The class is separated into teams of three. Each team is given a set of jumbled up words about a love story. Students start with the first sentence on their worksheet. They put the words into the correct order to make an appropriate sentence, adding any necessary punctuation and correcting any grammar mistakes. The first team to call out the correct sentence wins points. Teams also lose points for wrong answers. The team with the highest score at the end wins.
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Present Perfect Time Expressions
ESL EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 30 Minutes
This class activity helps students to associate certain time expressions with the present perfect. Students are invited to come to the front of the class and take a card. The student with the card then makes a present perfect sentence or question using the time expression. The other students judge and suggest improvements or corrections. When all the cards have been used, the teacher writes all of the time expressions on the board. The students then write down a different present perfect sentence for each time expression. Finally, students check each other's sentences and give feedback.
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Talk about it
ESL EFL Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 30 Minutes
Here is an excellent board game to help students practice talking about topics in the present perfect tense. Students must talk about different topics for one minute. Players take it in turns to move along the board. When they land on a present perfect square, they read the topic and then talk about it for one minute. Students should use the present perfect tense to talk about the topic. They may also use other tenses if need be. If they manage to keep talking for one minute, they remain on the square. If not, they must go back to their previous square. The winner is the first student to reach the finish.
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What have you done?
ESL EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 35 Minutes
In this entertaining teaching activity, students write positive and negative present perfect sentences about themselves. Half the sentences are true and half are false. A classmate then tries to work out which sentences are true or false by asking past simple follow up questions. Each student is given a copy of the worksheet. The students complete the present perfect sentences using the verbs in brackets. Half the sentences must be true and half of them false. When they have finished, the students are divided into pairs. The students' task is to find out which of their partner’s statements are true and which are false. One student goes first and reads their present perfect sentences to their partner. Their partner asks past simple questions to find out if each sentence is true or false. Then, the answer is revealed. Students score one point for each correct guess. Afterwards, the students swap roles. The student with the most points at the end is the winner.
What's been changed?
ESL EFL Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 20 Minutes
This speaking exercise teaches students how to use the present perfect passive to talk about things that have changed. The class is divided into two teams (A and B). The students begin by memorizing the position and state of everything in the room for two minutes. A student from one of the teams leaves the room for one minute. During that time, the other students change five things in the room. When the student comes back, they have to identify what has been changed, e.g. The lights have been switched off. When the student returns and begins identifying changes, the other students must listen carefully and confirm or deny the changes. The student scores one point for each correct answer. Then a student from the other team leaves the room and so on. The team with the most points at the end is the winner.
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Present Perfect Speculation
ESL EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Intermediate - 40 Minutes
In this teaching activity, students make present perfect sentences to talk about how many people in their group have done various things. The class is divided into groups and each student is given a copy of the worksheet. Working alone, students try to guess how many people in their group have done the various things written on their worksheet. Students then take it in turns to ask their group members 'Have you ever...?' questions in order to find out the exact number of people who have done each activity, e.g. Have you ever stayed up all night? Based on their results, the students complete each statement using a phrase on the worksheet, e.g. All of us, Some of us, etc.
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ESL EFL Speaking Activity - Intermediate - 40 Minutes
This job interview activity helps students practice asking and answering questions using the present perfect. The students are told that they are going to conduct job interviews using the present perfect tense. The class is divided into pairs. One student is the interviewer and the other is the interviewee. Each interviewee is given a role card. On the interviewee’s role card is the reason why they are unemployable. The interviewer’s job is to ask questions using the present perfect. They have to try to think of the right question to find out their partner’s secret. The interviewees are not allowed to lie, but they can try to avoid difficult questions. After the interviews are complete, the interviewers say whether they would employ the people they interviewed. Finally, the interviewees reveal their secrets.