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Time to focus on the language, as we learn how to make sentences with the present perfect and just, already and yet. Let's practise the rules!

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6 Minute Grammar

Just, already and yet with the present perfect tense

Finn and Alice present this edition of 6 Minute Grammar, but they keep getting interrupted by phone calls from Alice's friend Hamish. Thankfully, in his phone calls he uses a lot of the language we're studying in this session – the present perfect with just, already and yet.

Nghe file âm thanh

Hiển thị văn bản ghi âm (hay video) Giấu văn bản ghi âm (hay video)

Finn
Hello again. Welcome to 6 Minute Grammar with me, Finn.

Alice
And me, Alice. Hello.
 

Finn
Today’s programme is all about the present perfect tense…

Alice
…and how to use it with the words just, already and yet.

Finn
That’s right, and there’ll be a quiz for you at the end to see how much you remember.

Alice
Yes. So let’s get started! Now, the present perfect with just… [sound of mobile phone ringing] Oh, hold on… Sorry.

Hamish (on the phone)
Hey Alice. It’s Hamish, yeah, I'm here! I’ve just arrived at Kings Cross Station.

Alice
Oh…King’s Cross… King’s Cross here? In London?

Hamish (on the phone)
Yeah, London town. Here I am! My train got in an hour ago. I’ve already visited Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square…

Alice
What, already?

Hamish (on the phone)
Yeah, but I haven’t been on the London Eye yet. I want to go there next. Can you meet me in there in 10 minutes?

Alice
(To Hamish) Sorry Hamish, we’ve just started the programme… (To Finn) Sorry about that…

Finn
Don't worry, Alice, those were great examples of the present perfect with just, already and yet! And here’s Catherine, hello…

Catherine
Hello.

Finn
…to repeat those examples for us. Catherine. 

Catherine
I’ve just arrived at Kings Cross Station.

I’ve already visited Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square.

But I haven’t been on the London Eye yet.

Finn
Now, you may have spotted that the sentences with just and already are positive, but the sentence with yet is negative.

Alice
Yes: we use just and already mainly in positive sentences.

Finn
And yet in negative sentences, and in questions.

Alice
Ok. Now let’s look at some other differences between just, already and yet.

Finn
First: we use just with the present perfect for something that happened only a short time ago – Hamish has just phoned. He’s just arrived in London.

Alice
And I’ve just told him to call back later.

Finn
Now we use already with the present perfect when an action has happened before now - or before we expected it to happen.

Alice
Yes, Hamish has already been to Buckingham Palace!

Finn 
Now let’s look at word order. Both just and already come between the auxiliary and the past participle. Catherine, can we have some examples again, please:

Catherine
Hamish has just phoned.

He’s already visited Buckingham Palace.

Alice
Thanks Catherine.

Hamish (on the phone)
Hey Alice, it’s me – Hamish – again. So…

Alice
I’m sorry, Hamish. I’ve already told you. I’m doing 6 Minute Grammar. I’ll call you in a few minutes.

Finn
Great! Another example of already, Alice! I’ve already told you.

Hamish (on the phone)
(can't hear what he says)

Alice
Have I finished yet? No, sorry, we haven’t finished yet. Bye…

Finn
Hamish?

Alice
Hamish again… Aha! He asked: "Have you finished yet?"

Finn
And you said: "We haven’t finished yet."

Alice
Yes, yet with present perfect. We use yet to 
ask if something has happened before now – or to say something has not happened up to now.

Finn
So: that’s yet for negative sentences or questions with the present perfect. And yet always comes at the end of the sentence. By the way, Alice, we haven’t explained how to form the present perfect yet.

Alice
You’re right, Finn. So, we make the present perfect with the subject plus have, has, haven’t, hasn’t and the past participle.

Finn
Remember, we put just and already between have or has and the past participle.

Alice
And we put yet at the end of a negative sentence or question.

IDENT
You’re listening to BBC Learning English.

Hamish (on the phone)
(can't hear what he says) 

Finn
Hamish?

Alice
Hamish. He’s in reception.

Finn
Has he got here already? That was quick.

Alice
So, sometimes we can put already at the end of a question to show surprise.

Finn
I think it's time for a quiz now! Number one. I’m going to say a sentence and you have to fill in the gap. Here goes. I haven’t seen Spiderman 2 ______.

Alice
It’s I haven’t seen Spiderman 2 yet. Because you haven’t seen the film before now.

Finn
Correct. Number 2: Hamish has only been in London for one hour and he‘s ______ been to Trafalgar Square.

Alice
It’s already. Because we are stressing the fact that he’s done something before we expected it.

Finn
Great. Now, question 3. [Phone rings] Your phone has ______ rung.

Alice
Just
.

Finn
No, really, your phone has just rung. Pass me the phone, Alice… Hamish, Alice has just told you that we haven’t finished yet!.... Oh, oh, sorry…

Alice
What’s the matter?

Finn
It’s not Hamish - it’s your mum!

Alice
Finn! Never mind. There’s more about this on our website at bbclearningenglish.com. Join us again for more 6 Minute Grammar.

All
Bye.
 

Download

You can download 6 Minute Grammar from our Unit 14 Downloads page (size 5.7MB). Remember, you can also subscribe to the podcast version.

End of Session 2

That's the end of this session. Next we're going to practise using just, already and yet in the context of a business meeting. You'll learn some good business language along the way. Bye for now!