Academic English not only for Indonesians
Perfect tenses explained

Video animation contrasting perfect tenses. Includes examples and timelines to illustrate meaning. (more…)

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Babies, trends, and past perfect

This story from the BBC features some useful language for IELTS candidates. Click on the highlighted words for separate analysis. Alternatively, jump straight to the summary analyisis at the bottom! (more…)

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Eyeing the perfect past

In this post we’re looking closely at, or eyeing, past perfect tense. In a previous post I showed that past perfect tense is probably not very useful in IELTS writing and speaking. It belongs more to the narrative genre, and in IELTS we don’t write stories!
When I explain this to students and they look at me as though they don’t really believe me, and so we go ahead and look at a story to see how past perfect works. (more…)

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Less than perfect past

Through television broadcasting many people had known about the president’s vision and mission.

Even without looking at the surrounding text, it’s extremely unlikely that past perfect tense was the right choice here. (more…)

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Task 1 Past Perfect

Past perfect tense needs to be handled with care. It is most useful in the narrative genre and is seldom needed in Task 2 writing. However, Task 1 essays occasionally present an opportunity to use past perfect.
Let’s try an exercise! Follow my instructions carefully and attempt the tasks before reading my sample texts. (more…)