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Grammar Challenge


- Practice quiz 1


- Practice quiz 2


- Use the grammar
Use the grammar

Now is your chance to use this week's grammar!

What have you been doing recently? Tell us a little bit about what you've been up to.

We'll publish the most interesting five.

Thank you for all your comments. This topic has now closed.

Doris, Taiwan
I've been studying for more than one month for the IELTS test, and I've organised a study group last week. I really hope this group will be helpful to my study and help me succeed in this test.

Nuala says:

Hello Doris,

That's a great idea to set up a study group. It's a great way to practise your English and improve your exam skills too. I hope it'll help keep you motivated as well!

You used the present perfect twice in your piece and both were formed correctly. In one of your examples you used the correct time marker – 'I've been studying for more than one month but in the second one you've used a past simple time marker 'last week'. Can you figure out what you should have written instead of I've organised a study group last week'?

Good luck with your IELTS!


Ziad, Saudi Arabia
I've been painting during last weekend. I've been dancing last night. I've been eating one orange after lunch. She's been crying after she had an accident. We haven’t been playing football at all this summer.

Nuala says:

Hi Ziad,

Sounds like you've been very busy painting and dancing. No wonder you've had no time for football!

You formed the present perfect very well in your piece - 'I've been painting', 'I've een dancing', etc. but the time markers we usually use with the present perfect are 'for' and 'since'. The time markers you've used 'last weekend', 'last night' etc. are past simple markers. Can you re-write your sentences using the present perfect + 'for' or 'since' or using the past simple? For example I've been painting since last weekend or I painted last weekend.

Thanks for writing to us!


Ahmed Al Hindi, UAE
I have been working in an Advertisng Agencey recently as an account manager but now I'm working in the same field as a geeral manager.

Nuala says:

Hello Ahmed,

It sounds like you've got an interesting job in advertising.

You used the present perfect correctly here - I have been working. Well done!

There are just a couple of things you might want to look at:

You have some spelling errors here –'Advertisng', 'Agencey' and 'geeral'. And you don't need capital letters on 'Advertisng Agencey'.

Thanks for telling us about your work! Nuala

PW, Thailand
I've been studying English at the British Council Thailand since 3:45 - 6:45 P.M. every Sunday.

Nuala says:

Hi PW,

I used to work in ECC, a school just opposite the British Council in Chulalongkorn, Siam Square, so I can picture exactly where you're studying every Sunday!

You formed the present perfect well with your phrase - I've been studying, but the time reference 'every Sunday' belongs with the present simple. So to make a correct sentence you could say (in the present simple) 'I study every Sunday from 3:45 to 6:45'. Using 'since' and the year or date you started studying at the Council, can you make a correct present perfect sentence?

Thanks for writing in to us! Nuala

Devere, France
Thanks for this grammar rule. I really understand it now. Before, I never used the present perfect continuous because I didn't understand it. "I have been studying this grammar rule" ... is that correct?

Nuala says:

Hi Devere,

Yes, that's correct! But just to be absolutely sure that you've got the hang of it, here's my question for you – should it be (A) "I have been studying this grammar rule last night" or (B) "I have been studying this grammar rule since last night"?

Best wishes, Nuala

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