8 Perfect Activities for Practicing the Present Perfect


Susan Verner

by Susan Verner

Try These 8 Perfect Activities for Practicing the Present Perfect

8 Perfect Activities for Practicing the Present Perfect

  1. 1

    Great Accomplishments

    What are some of the things your students have already accomplished at this time in their lives? Ask your students to share two or three things they have done that they are most proud of, and have them do it in front of the class. Allow the rest of the class to ask questions of each classmate after the presentation. Encourage your students to use the adverb ‘already’ in their presentations.

  2. 2

    Have you ever?

    Have each student write five sentences stating something he or she did in the past at a specific time. These sentences should be written in the simple past and include the time of the event. For example, a student might write ‘I walked my dog yesterday’. Then have students exchange papers and rewrite those sentences using the Present Perfect and the adverb ‘before’. They should also omit the time marker in the rewritten sentences. For example, ‘Hyun has walked his dog before’.

  3. 3

    How many times since

    How often do your students do daily activities like brushing their teeth, changing their clothes and eating a meal? Review with your class how to use the adverb ‘since’ and then ask them how many times they have done daily activities since yesterday, last week, last month and last year.

  4. Activities for Practicing the Present Perfect

  5. 4

    Great Ambitions

    What do your students want to do that they have not done yet? Review with your class the proper use of the adverb ‘yet’ and then ask them to share with a partner three things they have not done yet that they would like to do.You can suggest subjects such as sports, travel, study, music, singing, art, meeting famous people.

  6. 5

    Most Deprived

    This game gets your students moving while practicing the negative use of the present perfect. Arrange chairs facing into a circle for all but one of your students. That student stands in the middle and announces something he has never done using the present perfect. Anyone in the circle who has done that activity must get out of his or her seat and races to find a new seat. The person in the middle tries to sit in one of the empty seats as well. The person left standing after everyone else is sitting takes the next turn in the middle of the circle.

  7. 6

    Bucket Lists

    As a class, brainstorm every activity you have done or would like to do. You may want to explain the term ‘bucket list’ and encourage your students to think about what they would include on theirs. Then, let your students take turns asking if their classmates have done each of these activities. They should start with the phrase ‘have you ever’ and answer the questions with the present perfect. Encourage your students to share any surprising answers with the class after their discussion time is complete.

  8. 7

    Since or For

    Since and for are often used with the present perfect to express a length of time a person has done a particular activity.

    • Use ‘since’ when offering a specific time
    • Use ‘for’ for an amount of time
  9. 8

    Sentence Building

    Play this sentence building game is a great way for students to join the lesson. Begin by asking a question in the present perfect. For example, “Have you ever been to the beach?” Ask each student in succession to make the question longer: e.g. “Have you ever been to the beach in a car?” The next student makes the sentence even longer, e.g. “Have you ever been to the beach in a car with your cousins?” Students continue to make the question longer and longer until you have the longest question possible. This can end up with some very funny questions. Students can also answer, “No I haven’t!” or “Yes, I have.” after each question.


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