Thursday, 24 April 2008

Excuses, excuses... (Present Perfect)

I am sorry I haven’t written for a while.

I have been busy the last few weeks.

This happens to be true but it is also a good example of English grammar.

First, what am I saying here? Well, I am making an excuse:

I haven’t written for a while = my last post was on March 15th and from then until now I have not posted anything…

And why?

Because from my last post until now I have been busy.

Just have a think about how you would make an excuse like that in your language…

One reader asked me why I always write, “think how you say this in your language”.

The reason is: when you learn a foreign language it is easy to think that it is just funny words and stupid rules and to forget that people really use this language to do things like making excuses or asking how their friends are…

It is very important to remember that English people say things in English not to use a complicated grammar but to communicate something! The same as you do when you speak your language!!

And it is easier to learn the English phrases and sentences if you see that they mean something and realise that it is not just a sack full of mixed up words.

My excuses above are examples of the Present Perfect:

I haven’t written

I have been busy

And I bet that the same excuse looks very different in your language.

In the next couple of weeks we will look more closely at the Present Perfect…yoohoo!

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