When present simple is too simple

Bali’s unique culture and traditions lead to an enormous increase in tourism. As a result, the number of job opportunities grows significantly.

This is grammatically correct, but the choice of present simple tense has – I think – resulted in meanings quite different from those intended by the writer. Continue reading

Time around now

Now I am planning to take my masters degree in public health. I prepare for all requirements especially IELTS. I am studying English so that I can improve my skills and can be accepted by an Australia university.

Occasionally it’s difficult to decide between present simple and present continuous tense, even when using a straightforward time expression like now. There are several possibilities: Continue reading

Past and present importance

Indonesia and Australia have concluded their Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) in August 2018.

Sometimes past events, although finished, are somehow important in the present, and we can communicate this importance using present perfect tense, often in conjunction with related time expressions.

Continue reading

Japan earthquake – tenses

There have been a lot of earthquakes recently, including this one on Japan’s Hokkaido island. Current news stories – although often tragic – are full of interesting grammar as they include past and finished, recently finished, as well as ongoing events and situations. See if you can choose the correct tenses from the news coverage. Continue reading

Recounting Rainy Rugby

In this post we practice the recount genre. This is a very common generic text form in IELTS Speaking Part 2, when you are asked to recount some kind of experience.

In this example the candidate might have been asked to describe a time when they experienced very bad weather. If you’ve experienced bad weather, why not tell us about it in the comments below?

Fill in the gaps with the correct forms of the verbs in brackets. then click ‘Check your answers!’. Continue reading

Since I discovered present perfect

Since 2010, I am IT Specialist at Purwodadi Botanical Gardens.

Here we need to think about (1) meaning and (2) form.

1. Meaning

The word since means from a time in the past up to and including now.

2. Form

If you mean up to and including now then you need one of these:

How do I know I mean up to and including now?!

  1. You mean up to and including now if you use the word since followed by a time expression describing a past point in time.

Since 2010 I have been an IT specialist at Purwodadi Botanical Gardens.

  1. You mean up to and including now if you use the word ‘for’ followed by a time expression describing a period of time that began in the past and includes now.

For 8 years I have been an IT specialist at Purwodadi Botanical Gardens.

  1. You mean up to and including now if you don’t use a signal (since, for) and you don’t use a time expression, but you do imply past time up to and including now.

I have repaired many computers.

In example (3) you are using present perfect to assure us that NOW (in the present) you are an experienced computer repair person, and we can trust you! We don’t need to know exactly when you did the repairs, or exactly how many computers you repaired – we just want to make sure that you are experienced!