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Present Perfect


Listen to the verses of Queen’s classic song We Are the Champions. What sort of actions are they referring to?

They all refer to actions and states that occurred at an indefinite time in the past. To describe these concepts we use the Present Perfect tense.

We construct this tense by using the present simple form of the auxiliary verb to have together with the past participle form of the verb that describes our action.

I + [to have] + [to pay] ===> I have paid my dues, time after time

I + [to have] + [to do] ===> I have done my sentence

But [Ì’ve] committed no crime

And bad mistakes: I’ve made a few.

I’ve had my share of sand kicked in my face

But I’ve come through

Remember that you cannot use the Present Perfect if you want to be specific about when this action happened – we have the Past Simple for that:

“Have you had lunch yet?” Present Perfect – we’re talking about an unspecified time in the past.

“Yes, I ate a sandwich at 2 o’clock” Past Simple – we’re talking about the exact time that the sandwich was eaten.


We also use the Present Perfect to refer to states that began in the past, and continue to be true today:

“I have lived in Madrid for three years”.

“I haven’t slept for days… I’m exhausted!”

The song We Are The Champions is reproduced for educational purposes only, and is the property of Queen and Sony/ATV


LIKE phrasal verbs- there are many idiomatic phrases in English that can be quite difficult for non-native speakers.

For example what does this phrase mean and what sport does it refer to?


The run-up to the election was neck and neck.  It was very close. 

Image result for neck and neck


Guessed it?

Neck and neck means to have an equal chance in winning  a race or a competition.  It comes from horse racing!

Synonyms are: equal, tied, level, side by side


ALOT OF IDIOMS in English are based around SPORTS.

Match the following idioms with the sport it originates from ( you will use one sport twice)

tennis                      boxing

hunting                       cards

  1. She´s always had the upper hand in the relationship.
  2. His career was on the ropes once he was embroiled in the scandal.
  3. ¨You´re barking up the wrong tree , mate.  I´m not interested!¨
  4. ¨I´ve done everything I could- the ball is in your court now.  It´s up to you.¨
  5.  Your comment was a bit below the belt.  Not only is it irrelevant to what we are talking about, but it also hurt my feelings!

  1. cards
  2. boxing
  3. hunting (is it a sport these days or just cruel?!)
  4. tennis
  5. boxing


NOW match the meanings to the idioms:

  1. to have the upper hand
  2. to be on the ropes
  3. to bark up the wrong tree
  4. the ball is in your court
  5. to hit below the belt

a.  to do or say something that is unfair or cruel, and usually irrelevant

b. to have a better chance at winning

c. it´s your responsibility to do something

d. on the verge of defeat or collapse

e. you´ve got the wrong person or idea


  1. to hit below the belt
  2. to have the upper hand
  3. the ball is in your court
  4. to be on the ropes
  5. to bark up the wrong tree


The past simple in English takes two forms:  regular and irregular
Regular verbs take -ed endings:   play-played, show-showed, live-lived
Irregular verbs take different endings, here are some common ones: give gave, take took, be was
1. played
2. visited
3. did
4. did, buy
5. were

Phrasal Verb Answers!


1. F

come across= to find

While hiking in the mountains, we came across a small restaurant, and decided to have lunch.




2.  E

bring up= to raise ( a child)

I was brought up by my sisters, because my parents died when I was young. 


3. B

look after= take care of

The neighbors are looking after the cat while they´re away on holiday. 


4. A

come up to= approach

Madrid is full of people coming up to you on the street to ask for donations to charity.  


5. C

keep up= go at the same speed/maintain

Because my brother kept his grades up, he is allowed to play his video games on school nights. 


6. D

take away= remove

If you take away his pessimism, he isn´t so bad a friend. 


Photo credits:










Make or Do?
Which activities use ´make´? ´do´?

1. ______ the laundry
2. _______ a phone call
3. ______ work
4. _______ an assumption
5. _______ the dishes

See below for answers!



1. do the laundry  

I do the laundry on my days off.  

(we use the present simple ´do´ for routines.)



2. make a phone call

I used to make phone calls from our home phone.  

´used to´ describes something that was a habit in the past

descarga-6 work

I´m sorry, I can´t  join you for dinner.  I´ve got too much work to do.  

 We do work at our job or for school or in the house, but if you make work for somebody, you create work for them.

e.g. My co-worker is always making work for me; he never does what he should.


4.  make an assumption

I quickly realized I had made a false assumption when I saw he was telling the truth. 

The past perfect is used (had+past participle) with the past simple to describe a sequence of events in the past.

descarga-7 the dishes

As a child, I hated doing the dishes!

Who doesn´t hate doing the dishes? **But if you make dishes, you are creating them ( from ceramics, glass etc.)



Photo Credits:








Sing-a-long with “Frosty the Snowman”


It’s Christmas again and in many shops you can hear all the festive songs playing. At the Language Corner academy in La Elipa we have a singing snowman sitting next to our Christmas tree. But do you know what song he is singing? It is “Frosty the Snowman,” written by Jack Rollins and Steve Nelson in 1950 and now an Amercian Christmas classic. Now, everyone knows that listening to(and sometimes singing!) songs is a great way to learn English, so here below we have the lyrics to the song, if you want to sing along, you can do that here…


Frosty the Snowman

Frosty the Snowman, was a jolly happy soul,
With a corn cob pipe and a button nose, and two eyes made of coal.Frosty the Snowman, is a fairytale, they say.
He was made of snow, but the children know he came to life one day.There must have been some magic in that old silk hat they found,

For when they placed it on his head, he began to dance around!

Oh, Frosty, the Snowman, was alive as he could be;
and the children say he could laugh and play,
just the same as you and me.

Thumpety thump, thump, thumpety thump, thump,
look at Frosty go.

Thumpety thump, thump, thumpety thump, thump,
over the hills of snow.

Frosty the Snowman, knew the sun was hot that day,
so he said, “Let’s run, and we’ll have some fun now, before I melt away.”

Down to the village, with a broomstick in his hand,
Running here and there, all around the square,
sayin’, “Catch me if you can.”

He led them down the streets of town, right to the traffic cop;

and only paused a moment, when he heard him holler, “Stop!”

For Frosty, the Snowman, had to hurry on his way,
But he waved goodbye, sayin’ “Don’t cry, I’ll be back again some day.”