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单元 1: The Grammar Gameshow
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  1. 1 The Grammar Gameshow

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Welcome to the Grammar Gameshow! Test your knowledge in this crazy quiz! The presenter is a bit strange, the points don't make sense and the prizes could use some improvement, but at least the grammar is correct!

 

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Episode 4: The Present Perfect Simple and Continuous

This time, our clever competitors will be just perfect! Present perfect and present perfect continuous tenses to be exact! Mike is looking for a third win in a row… the longest winning streak so far. Can Mya stop him in his tracks? Are you clever enough to beat them both? Watch this episode and find out!

Watch the video and then test yourself below with our quiz

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Will 
Hello, and welcome to today’s Grammar Gameshow! I’m your host, Will. But I’m no auxiliary! And, of course, let’s not forget Leslie, our all-knowing voice in the sky.

Leslie
Hello, everyone!

Will
Tonight, we’re going to ask you three questions about…

Leslie
The present perfect simple and continuous tenses. Yes, those past to present tenses using have plus a past participle!

Will
OK! Now, let’s meet our contestants!

Mya
Hi everyone. I’m Mya!

Will
And contestant number two?

Mike
Hi, Will. My name’s Mike!

Will
Welcome back Mike. OK! Let’s get going. And don’t forget you can play along at home too. Question one: True or false? The present perfect continuous has a use that is the same as the present perfect simple.

Mya
True!

Will
Leslie?

Leslie
It is true. Both can be used for an activity which started in the past and continues into the present.

Will
Well done. You score 2 points. And for a bonus 19 points, can you give us an example?

Mya
Errr… I’ve been working as an accountant for 8 years?

Will
And?

Mya
Err… I’ve worked as an accountant for 8 years?

Will
Leslie?

Leslie
Yep. Both correct and with the same meaning.

Will
Well done Mya. You score six points.

Mya
But you said…

Will
Question 2: As we have just said, the present perfect simple and continuous can have the same use. However, sometimes the present perfect continuous cannot be used but the present perfect simple can. Why?

Mike
Trick question! They can always be used the same!

Will
Leslie?

Leslie
Nope! Sorry! Because of its continuous form, the present perfect continuous cannot usually be used with state verbs. This means you must use the simple form. Even if you mean continuous.

Will
Mike, if you can give us an example of some state verbs, you can still score.

Mike
Know, need, want?

Will
That’ll do nicely! 1 point for you. OK, time for our final question. This one is a picture question. Have a look at this picture, and make two sentences with it; one in the present perfect simple and one in the continuous.

Mya
He’s been writing letters for an hour. He’s written a number of letters.

Will
Leslie?

Leslie
Absolutely right again. The present perfect simple looks at completed actions, and often counts how many or how much, whereas the present perfect continuous tends to see one action in duration, and cares about how long.

Will
Good job.  33 points to you. Well that brings us to the end of today’s Grammar gameshow. Let’s count the points. And the winner is… Mya with 37 and a half. Well done! Here’s what you’ve won!

Leslie
It’s a toothbrush!

Will
That should help you ‘brush up’ on your English. We’ll see you again next week, where you can play for an even bigger prize. And Mike? You got totally destroyed, didn’t you?

Mike
I just wanted to say…

Will
Bring out the venomous snakes. It looks like we’ll need another contestant. Thanks for joining us. Say goodbye, Leslie.

Leslie
Goodbye, Leslie.

Will
Every time! We’ll see you next time!

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The Present Perfect Simple and Continuous 

The present perfect simple and continuous are are perfect tenses. That means they are constructed using have:

Present perfect simple
have / has + past participle (verb 3)
I've eaten lunch.
He hasn't been here very long.
Have we ever gone to Germany?

Present perfect continuous
Have/ has + been + (verb)ING
I've been studying for the last hour
You haven't been trying to fix the car. You've been sleeping!
Has it been raining very long?


One meaning the same
Both the present perfect simple and continuous tenses have one use which is the same: To talk about an action which started in the past and continues into the present.

I've studied English for 8 years.
I've been studying English for 8 years.
She's played football since she was a child.
She's been playing football since she was a child. 


State verbs
Some verbs cannot be used continuously. These are called state verbs. For example: need, know, want, have (possess). They are usually used in the simple form, even if we would normally use the continuous. In this case, that means using the present perfect simple tense where we might wish to use the present perfect continuous.

I have needed a good cup of tea since this morning
We've known each other for 12 years now
He's wanted to buy that car his whole life.

Quantity or duration?
Both the present perfect simple and continuous can look at the same action, but from different views. The present perfect simple is concerned with change and looks at completed actions - often counting quantity by using how much or how many. The present perfect continuous assumes that an action is in progress, or very recently finished, and looks at how long something has been happening.

How long have you been writing
 letters to your friend in America?
We've been writing for 15 years.
Wow! How many letters have you written, do you think?
I don't know. Maybe we've written over 100 letters to each other.

To do

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The Grammar Gameshow Quiz

3 Questions

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Downloads

You can download the audio and PDF document for this episode here

More

That's all from Leslie and the contestants for this episode. Why not go to The Grammar Gameshow homepage to watch another one?