Common mistakes – present perfect

Common mistakes present perfect tense

Students make a lot of mistakes in present perfect tense. I have tried to collect the most typical ones and I have put them into a mind map and tried to explain the rules there. Moreover, I have added two games to give the students a chance to practice the grammar one more time.
To be able to form the present perfect tense correctly, it is necessary to know the past participles. Students can learn the past participles in the following posts:


Common mistakes – Mind map

I have collected the following mistakes my students make:

Common mistakes present perfect tense

In the first bubble there is the wrong sentence, then there is the correct sentence and at the end of each branch there is the explanation.
For teaching purposes it might be a good idea to leave the end of the branch empty and ask the students to come up with their own explanation. You can find the mind map here:
Common mistakes present perfect tense - em

Common mistakes – Games

All the mistakes can be divided into three categories:

  1. bad knowledge of the past participles
  2. Not using has
  3. wrong subject in the answers.

If you feel that you have problems with the past participles I recommend the following video:

If you need more practise of past participles and irregular verbs go to Irregular verbs straightforward and Irregular verbs straightforward#2.
To deal with problems 2 and 3 I have prepared two games. The first one is an HTML5 quiz and your task is to answer the tasks correctly. At the end there is a game as a reward for your effort.

Common mistakes – present perfect quiz
[showmyadsa] The second game is more game like, but it is in Flash and it will work only on your desktop. It is called On Target and your task is to answer the questions and then shoot the bad ducks.

Common mistakes – present perfect On Target

By now you should know the grammar well.

Common mistakes – Share

If you would like to use the games in a classroom with no internet connection you can download the following files. You can share these games on your website too.

Common Mistakes_present perfect (Web)

Common Mistakes_present perfect_ontarget

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    29/11/2014 at 5:31 pm
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    I love to download your video?i need it to teach my's interesting..
    09/12/2014 at 9:20 pm
  10. This is so funny and informative! I'm a writnig tutor. I work with a lot of ESL students and I'm just starting to learn about teaching and tutoring ESL and really dissecting my own language to view it from an outside perspective. I wouldn't have known how to explain that type of mistake to a student, but now I do! Thanks!
    14/02/2016 at 7:54 pm
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    30/09/2020 at 12:49 pm

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