Present perfect with for and since

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Present perfect with for and since

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So since we started this session, weve talked about using the present perfect with the words for and since . We havent finished though - heres 6 Minute Grammar with Neil, Sophie and Catherine. Theyre talking all about this use of the present perfect and some of their experiences. But can you answer these questions?

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Neil Hello and welcome to 6 Minute Grammar with me, Neil.

Sophie And me, Sophie. Hello.

Neil In this programme, we’re going to show you how to use the words for and since with the present perfect tense.

Sophie That’s right and there’ll be a quiz at the end of the show, so listen carefully!

Neil Let’s get started. Catherine here has got two sentences for us - but: which one uses present perfect?

Catherine I’ve worked at the BBC for 8 years.

I worked at the BBC for 8 years.

Neil Thank you, Catherine. And the first sentence - I’ve worked at the BBC for 8 years is in the present perfect tense. It means that Catherine started work at the BBC 8 years ago and still works at the BBC now.

Sophie The second sentence is in the past simple, and the meaning is different. I worked at the BBC for 8 years means the speaker worked for the BBC in the past, but they don’t work there now. Let’s hear those again.

Catherine
I’ve worked at the BBC for 8 years.

I worked at the BBC for 8 years.

Sophie So: the present perfect helps us talk about situations that started in the past and are still happening now. We make the present perfect tense with the subject plus have or has -

Neil …Or haven’t or hasn’t -

Sophie Yes: subject plus have , has , haven’t or hasn’t , plus the past participle form of the verb. Some more examples please Catherine?

Catherine Alisha has lived in Paris since 1996.

I’ve known Alex for twenty years.

Neil So these situations are still happening - Alisha still lives in Paris…

Sophie …and Catherine and Alex are still friends.

Neil And both examples have a time expression. Here’s the first one again.

Catherine Alisha has lived in Paris since 1996 .

Sophie The word since gives the exact point in the past when the situation started - a particular year, for example: since 1996.

Neil …and the point in the past that we use with since could be a day, a month, a season or a time of day. Catherine.

Catherine They’ve been married since March .

I’ve been ill since last Friday.

Faruk has drunk three cups of coffee since 2 o’clock .

Sophie The point in the past can also be a situation or event.

Catherine I haven’t eaten anything since I got up .

I’ve known Alex since primary school .

Neil So: that’s since to refer to a point in time when a situation started.

Sophie Now let’s look at for . We use for with the present perfect tense to say how long a situation has lasted.

Catherine I’ve known Alex for twenty years.

Sophie … for twenty years. Catherine met Alex twenty years ago, and they still know each other now. So it’s present perfect , plus for , plus a length of time .

Catherine I’ve known Alex for twenty years.

Sophie The length of time could be: for six months , for a week , for two minutes , for ten seconds …

Neil For fifty years , for ten thousand years !

IDENT You’re listening to BBC Learning English.com.

Neil And we’re talking about the present perfect tense with for and since . Did you know Sophie, I’ve worked for the BBC for 13 years.

Sophie Really?

Neil Yes I have. And I haven’t had a day off sick since I started.

Sophie Really?

Neil No, not really. How long have you worked at the BBC, Sophie?

Sophie Well, Neil, I’ve done bits and bobs for about a year.

Neil You can also ask this question with the present perfect continuous tense, like this:

Catherine How long have you been working at the BBC?

Neil It’s very similar to the present perfect simple tense, and is common when we’re asking about temporary or unfinished situations and activities.

Sophie And now, it’s quiz time. Neil will give the answers. Number 1. Which sentence is correct? a) I’ve lived here since two years. Or b) I’ve lived here for two years.

Neil It’s b) I’ve lived here for two years.

Sophie Number 2: a) Mika hasn’t spoken to Jackie for they went on holiday. b) Mika hasn’t spoken to Jackie since they went on holiday.

Neil It’s b) Mika hasn’t spoken to Jackie since they went on holiday.

Sophie …and number 3: a) You have been listening to 6 Minute Grammar for the last 6 minutes b) You’re listening to 6 Minute Grammar for the last 6 minutes.

Neil It’s a) You have been listening to 6 Minute Grammar for the last 6 minutes - because you are still listening…

Sophie …we hope!

Neil There’s lots more about this on our website at bbclearningenglish.com. Join us again for some more 6 Minute Grammar.

All Bye.

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