Present perfect tense activities

Posted on Nov 28 2015 - 7:26pm by Zdenda

The present perfect tense is one of the most difficult tenses for learners of English. It is not easy to form the tense correctly as you need the verb HAVE or HAS and the past participle. Moreover, the usage is very specific and many students feel that they could do with the past simple tense only. Thus teaching this tense is not easy.


In this post I do not aim to explain anything about the present perfect tense. Here, I would like to share a set of activities to help you teach this tense. You will find here two speaking activities and a worksheet with five more activities to help your students master the present perfect tense.

Present perfect tense – speaking activities

The following worksheet contains two speaking activities. I have tried both of them in my classes and they worked very well.

The first activity is a very simple one. It should be used if your students know just how to form the present perfect tense and you want to practise it with them. Print the first exercise and cut it in the middle. The students have to write whether they HAVE or HAVE NOT done the activities in the pictures. (Check that the students form the tense correctly).
Then students work in pairs and read their sentences to their partners. They listen and tick the activities their partner has done.

In the last phase students write the sentences about their partner.

The second activity is called Clock speaking. I has been very successful in my classes and it always leads to a lot of speaking in English.

Print the second page of the worksheet and hand it out. In the first part students have to arrange a partner for each time. Set the following rules:

  1. You may have only one person for each time.
  2. Write the name of your partner next to the time.
  3. You cannot have the same person on the paper twice.

Do not worry about the chaos. In the end there will be some people who will not have a partner for one or two of the times. Elicit the times and pair the students yourself.

Then call out one of the times. The students find their partner for the time and ask the questions for the given time. They ask the questions in italics only if their partner answers yes to the first question (emphasize this). After a couple of minutes call another time.

Present perfect tense – speaking

Present perfect tense – worksheet

The following worksheet contains 5 activities. They are based on the verbs contained in the fifth Unit of the textbook Project 3 (third edition) by Oxford University Press. The activities are in random order and you can order them in any way you like.

The first activity is a crossword. Students should fill in the past participle of the verbs.

The second activity is a gap fill. Students should choose the correct option for each sentence.

In the third activity students should fill in HAVE or HAS.

In the fourth activity students have to write the past participle of each verb.

In the fifth activity students have to complete the text either with the present perfect tense or the past simple tense.

Present perfect tense – worksheet

Present perfect tense – links

If you need a mind map and a video, you will find them at Present perfect post.
If you decide to teach the activities above, certainly start with the following song.

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