1st pair of sentences:
1a) She’s lived there for years.
1b) She lived there for years.
1a)’s conventional grammar term is ‘present perfect’, and its constituent parts are: subject + auxiliary verb has (conjugated here for ‘She’ i.e. has) + _____ed (i.e. past participle)
1b)’s conventional grammar term is ‘past simple’, and its constituent parts are: subject + ______ ed (i.e. past tense)
The meaning of 1a) is that ‘she’ lived ‘there’ in the past, she lives there now, and she will presumably be living there for some indeterminable time in the future, whereas the meaning of 1b) is that ‘she’ lived ‘there’ in the past, for some years, and is not living there now.
An estate agent, after showing somebody around a house.
This could be just a dialogue on a CD, a video or on paper, with pictures:
Interested party A) So, when was the last time someone lived there then?
Estate agent B) Hmmmmm, well, it was lived in briefly a couple of years ago by a mother and her young son, but before that, well that takes us back a few years…. From 1976 there was a lady - she lived there for years.
It’s a lot to take on – there’s a lot of improvements to be made… Do you know anything about the neighbours?
Well there’s a lovely family next door that side… they’ve only lived here for a year or two, but in that house there, (points) there’s an old chap – he’s lived there for years…
Anticipated problems with form
• The contractions of ‘has’ to ‘s and ‘have’ to ‘ve in the present perfect maybe difficult for learners to deal with, therefore they may avoid using them, consequently appearing too formal. • Irregular verbs.
• The different times present perfect is used, and the meanings it can infer.
• With the past simple, the meaning is more straightforward, but deciding which of the two to use may cause problems therefore highlighting the importance of defining differences within the lesson.
• The word ‘for’ is a weak form.
• The ‘v’ in‘lived’ could be a hard word for some learners. • They could pronounce the ‘-ed’ as ‘liv/ɛd/ instead of ‘liv/d/. • ‘Years’ could be a hard word to master as it is a dipthong.
In this case I would ask concept questions (CCQs), in both cases: • ‘Does she still live there?’ a) Yes. B) No. ‘
• ‘Will she live there tomorrow?’ a) yes b) no
• ‘Did she live there yesterday?’ a) yes
• ‘What tense is it?’ Present perfect/Past tense
2nd set of sentences:
2a) The students had left when the bell rang
2b) The students left when the bell rang
2c) The students were leaving when the bell rang
Conventional grammar term: Past perfect. Constituent parts: subject + had + ____ (i.e. past participle) Conventional grammar term: Past simple. Constituent parts: subject + _____ (i.e. past tense) Conventional grammar term: Past continuous. Constituent parts: subject + was/were + ____ing (i.e. gerund)
It refers to the past and expresses the fact that something happened before some kind of interruption or event, also in the past. It refers to an event in the past. In this case an event in the past signalled the onset of another event in the past. It refers to an event happening and still happening at the time of some kind of interruption of the time.
Ideally there would be 3 separate videos showing students leaving school at the different times. If this was not possible a soundtrack could work instead.
Anticipated problems with form:
• Learners may find it difficult to remember when and where to put the ‘had’, and the ’were’. • They may mix up use of the inflections ‘ing’, past tense and past participle. • The use of ‘ing’ in the past could pose a particular problem.