segunda-feira, 6 de julho de 2009
Practice Makes Perfect - Talkers and Thinkers
Let's take a quick look at the present perfect, shall we?
We tend to have trouble with that verb tense for two simple reasons: 1. we don't have anything like that in Portuguese; 2. we fear it! we dread it!
Yeah, admit it! You are too scared to use present perfect. And I'll tell you this, most of the times, so am I!
The good news is, it isn't as difficult as it seems, or as important. You'll see a lot of so-called fluent speakers avoiding it and yet communicanting effectively. Nevertheless, let's try to use it whenever possible. The more you use it, the more comfortable you'll feel by using it, the better you'll use it.
You can use it to:
1. Talk about something that has happened. "When" is not important or you simply don't know, so you don't talk about it. You might, however, indicate a period of time. It's very common to use it to check preparations, tasks, and to talk about life experience. Check it out.
Mom: Have you done your homework (yet)?
Son: No, not yet. But I've already taken the trash out.
Husband: Have you packed everything you'll need?
Wife: I can't be sure. Let's see... I've packed my hair-straightener, my hairdryer, my make-up kit... oh, I haven't packed my Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus book!
Brazilian Exchange Student: Have you taken a shower today?
French Exchange Student: No, I haven't. But I've already taken a shower this week.
Bumper Stick (Adesivo de Pára-Choque): Have you hugged your child today?
John: Have you ever kissed a Lebanese girl?
Mark: No, I've never done that. Have you?
John: Yes, I have.
Mark: When did you do it?
John: Last night.
Perceba que no último diálogo o present perfect dá lugar pro simple past quando os caras entram em detalhes.
Voltarei a falar dos perfect tenses em breve.