Unit 20: The Cult of Celebrity
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- 1 Nice to meet you!
- 2 What to wear
- 3 Like this, like that
- 4 The daily grind
- 5 Christmas every day
- 6 Great achievers
- 7 The Titanic
- 8 Travel
- 9 The big wedding
- 10 Sunny's job hunt
- 11 The bucket list
- 12 Moving and migration
- 13 Welcome to BBC Broadcasting House
- 14 New Year, New Project
- 15 From Handel to Hendrix
- 16 What's the weather like?
- 17 The Digital Revolution
- 18 A detective story
- 19 A place to live
- 20 The Cult of Celebrity
- 21 Welcome to your new job
- 22 Beyond the planets
- 23 Great expectations!
- 24 Eco-tourism
- 25 Moving house
- 26 It must be love
- 27 Job hunting success... and failure
- 28 Speeding into the future
- 29 Lost arts
- 30 Tales of survival
Daisy's in The Box! Find out what she's doing in there, and remind yourself of the rules of the present simple, present continuous, present perfect and past simple tenses as well as the 'going to' future.
Neil and Catherine go on on a 'tense tour' of six very important English tenses. Listen to their examples and explanations and see if you can get top marks in the quiz!
Listen to the audio
Welcome to 6 Minute Grammar with me, Neil…
And me, Catherine. Hello.
In this programme we’re looking at six different English tenses.
And our first tense is: the present simple. So, Neil, a question: Where do you live?
I live in London. And the present simple I live tells us that this is a fact, or a permanent situation. London is home.
Good - and as well as facts, we use the present simple for regular activities too, with phrases like every day or on Saturdays. For example we bring you 6 Minute Grammar on Tuesdays!
Indeed, and words like usually, sometimes, always, and often go with the present simple.
Here’s Harry with an example.
6 Minute Grammar usually finishes with a quiz!
That’s true, it does. And our second tense is: the present continuous.
Yes, and one of the uses of the present continuous tense to talk about activities happening now. Here’s Harry, with an example.
You’re listening to 6 Minute Grammar right now.
That’s an activity happening now. But here’s a different example.
I’m from near Bristol, but I’m living in London at the moment.
The present continuous I’m living tells us that this is a temporary situation. London isn’t Harry’s permanent home. With this use of the present continuous, look out for time expressions like at the moment, this year, these days.
And a sentence like I’m studying Russian this month doesn’t mean I’m studying it right this minute. It means I’m doing it off and on, around this time.
So far so good. But Neil: if we use the present continuous tense for things happening now, why do we say things like I understand and that coffee smells good? That’s happening now - but we used the present simple.
Good question! And the answer is, some verbs don’t take a continuous form. They’re often verbs of thinking or feeling like understand or smell, or know, believe, remember, hear, sound, want, need. We keep them in the simple tense.
6 Minute Grammar from BBC Learning English.
And we’re talking about tenses. Now for tenses three and four: that’s the past simple and the present perfect. And our examples are from a postcard that our colleague Finn sent us – and he’s on holiday in India, the lucky man. So Harry, can you read it for us please?
Hello from Goa! Have you ever been here? We arrived two days ago. It’s been really hot since then. I’ve already done some sunbathing but we haven’t seen much yet.
Lucky Finn. So: let’s look at the tenses. The sentence we arrived two days ago is past simple.
Yes: use the past simple when something clearly finished in the past. It often goes with phrases like two days ago, yesterday,and last month.
But with the present perfect, we don’t usually say when things happened. We just want to know whether something has happened or not.
So, Finn’s sentences I’ve already done some sunbathing and we haven’t seen much yet are good examples of this.
Exactly. And the words already, yet and just often go with the present perfect. Examples please Harry…
Have you ever been here? It’s been really hot since then.
With the present perfect, we’re interested in past experiences more than past times or dates. So we use ever and never. Have you ever been to Goa, Catherine?
No: I’ve never been to Goa Neil. I’d like to, but I never have. And if we need to talk about when things happened, we can use the words for and since with the present perfect. Finn’s been in Goa for two days; and it’s been really hot since he arrived. Now for our next tense, and here’s Harry with more of Finn’s postcard.
We’re going to visit the market tomorrow, and we’re coming home next Wednesday.
We use going to with an infinitive verb for things you plan or expect to happen. Finn has a plan to visit the market tomorrow.
Yes, and Finn also says we’re coming home next Wednesday. And that’s tense six, the present continuous for future arrangements.
Yes. It’s like going to but it’s a definite arrangement. He’s probably got his plane tickets.
Right. So that’s our six tenses. And now it’s quiz time!! Question one. Which is correct? Is it a) I’m needing some new shoes or b) I need some new shoes?
It’s b) I need some new shoes. Question two: which is correct: a) Did you see Luke since Saturday? Or b) Have you seen Luke since Saturday?
And it’s b) Have you seen Luke since Saturday. And the last one: which is correct? Is it a) It’s going to rain tomorrow. Or b) It’s raining tomorrow.
It’s a) It’s going to rain tomorrow.
Well done if you got those right. That brings us to the end of the programme.
There’s more about this on our website at bbclearningenglish.com. Join us again for more 6 Minute Grammar.
End of Session 2
That's it for Session 2. In the next session, find out if Daisy wins the reality TV competition and becomes famous. Plus you can remind yourself how to use 'going to' to describe future plans.
I do not swim.
Present simple question
Do you swim?
I am swimming.
I am not swimming.
Present continuous question
Are you swimming?
I did not start.
Past simple question
Did you start?
I have started.
I have not started.
Present perfect question
Have you started?
Going to + infinitive
I am going to stay.
I am not going to stay.
Going to question
Are you going to stay?