Gramática: El ‘past simple’ y el ‘present perfect’
I’ve been to Bilbao (present perfect) – Cuando hablas de tu vida hasta ahora.
When did you go? (past simple) – Para hablar de las cosas en el pasado. – Craig went to Bilbao four or five years ago. (past simple)
Have you been to Cuba? (present perfect)
Reza went to Cuba in April. (past simple) La expresión del tiempo AGO se emplea con el past simple.
Have you eaten anything today? (today hasn’t finished yet – present perfect)
When did you have breakfast? (a specific time in the past – past simple)
Job interviews: Have you ever worked for a multi-national company? (present perfect)
When did you work there? (past simple)
How long have you been living in Valencia? (present perfect continuous)
I came here 17 years ago (past simple) I came in 1997 (past simple) – I’ve been living here SINCE 1997. (present perfect)
Estudiar sobre el Pasado (pretérito) en inglés aquí: mansioningles.com
Pronunciación: los consonantes juntos (consonant clusters)
crisps (papas, chips) / structure (edificio) / stretch (estirar, estirarse) – stretcher (camilla) / hitchhiker / crunch, crunchy (crujiente)
Scrimp and save
“Every summer we can rent a cottage
In the Isle of Wight, if it’s not too dear (expensive)
We shall scrimp and save
Grandchildren on your knee
Vera, Chuck, and Dave”
Leer las letras the lyrics) a este canción de los Beatles en YouTube aquí:
Phrasal verb: PUT OFF
to postpone (posponer) – Reza has put off re-wiring his flat. – Craig has been putting off going to the optician. And he has been putting off his flu (gripe) jab.
Las Fallas festival in Valencia puts Reza off (distraer)
Music puts Craig off when he’s trying to work. – Reza’s experience with the girl in the cafe has put him off meeting women. The cockroach in the bar put Craig off eating in the restaurant.
to come as a surprise. – It came as a surprise to Craig to see we had nearly 2,000 downloads (descargas) of the podcast this month. It came as no surprise that the podcast is a success.
to come as a relief – It came as a relief that Craig didn’t have to pay for dinner in that expensive restaurant.
to come as a shock (susto) – It came as a great shock – It came as a terrible shock – It came as a dreadful shock to see a cockroach in a restaurant.
It came as a big surprise – It came as a great surprise – It came as a complete surprise
come to power – A Prime Minister comes to power
come to a decision – Craig has come to the decision to go to Disneyland. “Come off it!” ¡Venga ya! – Estas tomando el pelo – You’re pulling my leg.
Reza’s Top Tips: Label (poner etiquetas)
Pictures and photos. Also use Post-it notes to label things around the house and the office.
Hay más ideas en nuestro canal de YouTube
The music in this podcast is by Pitx. The track is called See You Later – licensed by creative commons under a by-nc license at ccmixter.org.
Si quieres mandarnos un comentario sobre este podcast o una pregunta sobre la gramática, la pronunciación or el vocabulario de inglés, Mandenos un email a firstname.lastname@example.org.
FULL TRANSCRIPTION (kindly contributed by Angélica Bello from Madrid)
R: Hello listeners, here we are in episode five of Aprender Inglés con Reza & Craig. And beside me I have Craig, how’s it going?
C: Hi Reza, good to be here, how are you?
R: I’m fine thanks.
R: Ok, should we get cracking?
C: Why not?
R: A bit of grammar do you think to start off?
C: Oh yes how exciting!
R: Some grammar.
C: Let’s have fun and start with some grammar.
R: Ok, well. We’ve looked at the past simple, I say we’ve looked at it, I was actually using a present perfect verb, I said we have looked at it, because I didn’t say when, sometime in the past, but it’s relevant now. We’ve looked at, hemos visto, the present simple. We also looked at the present perfect, hemos visto también el pretérito perfecto. Separately, now let’s revise and mix them up a bit, and show that they often appear together, in a conversation.
C: Is quite confusing for Spanish speakers, isn’t it, they often confuse the past simple with present perfect.
R: Yeah, because very often a conversation will start with one, say the present perfect, and then lead on to another. I tell you what? Let’s have a conversation and see it doesn’t happen…ok Craig, you told me you’ve been to Bilbao, is that right?
C: I have.
R: Ok, present perfect. Craig, I said, you’ve been to Bilbao? He said I have.
C: Because I am speaking about my life, my life hasn’t finished, I’m still alive, estoy vivo, no estoy muerto, so I use the present perfect to speak about my life experience, from when I was born until now, I have been to Bilbao.
R: From the past up to now. We didn’t specify the time.
C: We didn’t say when. Are you going to ask me when?
R: Exactly, so now I want to know more information. Craig, when did you go to Bilbao?
C: I went four or five years ago.
R: Ok, so now we are go on the past simple, in the same conversation, we started off with the present perfect, but now is past simple because I asked when did you go? Cuándo fuiste? I’m asking specifically about that visit to Bilbao, so that was a particular time in the past which is over. That time, that visit is over. That’s why I had to move on to past simple.
C: And I used the word, the time expression ago, and ago goes together with past simple. So I went five years ago, or I can say I went in 2008. Have you, have you been to Cuba?
R: I have and so have you! Haven’t you.
C: When did you go?
R: I went this year in fact a few months ago, I went in April.
C: April last year? This year?
R: No, April this year.
C: This year?
R: I went a few months ago. There is that word ago again. It’s in the past, April is finished, past simple. When did you go?
C: Oh God! I went about six or seven years ago now, yeah, about six or seven years ago. Fantastic country, isn’t it?
R: Yeah, if you been in Cuba, you must have smoked a good cigar.
C: I didn’t because I don’t smoke.
R: Wow! Oh man!
C: Do you smoke?
R: You got to! When in Rome they say…do as the Romans
C: When in Cuba. Did you smoke a cigar?
R: Yeah. I did. Ah! You couldn’t have done it better than me Craig, I had my first Cuban cigar in the tobacco growing area, in the west of the island, surrounded by tobacco, and the farmer who made it by hand said try this. And I had a natural, home made Cuban cigar…wow, that was good.
C: Wonderful experience.
R: So, when using the past simple to talk about that experience because it was a specific experience in the past which is finished. So that was past simple. Let’s get back to the present perfect…Craig, have you eaten anything at all today?
C: I had breakfast.
R: When did you have breakfast?
C: About half past eight.
R: Ok, so there you go again listeners, did you notice that we started with the present perfect have you eaten anything today? has comido algo hoy? Present perfect because today hasn’t finished yet, that’s present perfect. And also I didn’t specify the time. But then when Craig told me that yes I have eaten something today, I said when did you eat it, because he is talking about a specific time, his breakfast, breakfast is over. So that’s why that’s past simple.
C: And this is also very common in job interviews I’ve noticed Reza, when you go to job interview they will first ask you a question about your experience about your life, let’s say have you ever worked for a multinational company? Yes I have. And the question becomes more specific about a time in the past, when did you work for this company? When did you leave? Have you ever lived in this city? Yes I have. When did you live there? So they start talking about your life and then they’ll focus on a particular point in the past that you said.
R: So if anyone has to do a job interview in English, be ready for that. Starting in the present perfect, for your general life experience, and then if they want to focus in one particular experience, then switch to the past simple.
C: How long have you been living in Valencia?
R: I’ve been living in Valencia since 1998, what about you?
C: I’ve been living here since 1997, I came here in 97.
R: Did you notice Craig said he is been living here, that’s present perfect continuous, we saw it last week, continuous because he hasn’t finish living here yet. It started in the past, is continued up to now, and he is still living here now, he has been living here for a long time. But he said that he came in…what year was it Craig?
R: 1997. That year is finished, we are in 2013 now, 1997 is finished, so it’s gonna be past simple. He came in 1997. Craig, perhaps not quite as important as a job interview, but as the listeners now know, you are a big Mickey Mouse fan. You, you have seen many episodes of Mickey Mouse, ok?
C: I have.
R: What was your favorite?
C: I think my favorite Mickey Mouse episode was when…I can`t remember one.
R: You can’t remember one Craig?
R: Perhaps you’ve seen so many that you can’t remember one, may be they were all special in a way.
C: I think they were all very very good.
C: Moving on to pronunciation, and this episode I’d like to focus on another problem for Spanish speakers, and that’s in English the consonant clusters, which means los consonantes cuando vienen juntos. And it’s quite difficult sometimes for Spanish speakers to pronounce two or three or more consonants when they are together with not vowels. For example, crisps, papas in Spanish or chips in American English. Crisps, C-R-I-S-P-S.
R: That’s a lot of consonants.
C: That’s quite difficult, yeah, if you are listening at home practice one or two times, just say crisps, crisps. Another possible word that causes confusions, structure. Structure of a house, or structure edificio, a structure in the street. S-T-R-E-T-C-H, stretch, which is a noun and a verb, to stretch, estirar, estirarse. And similar to stretch, just add E-R, S-T-R-E-T-C-H-E-R, camilla, stretcher, can be difficult. And my students often have problems with hitchhiker, because if you remember last week the problem with the h sound /ha/, which is sometimes pronounced /ja/ by Spanish speakers. And also there are some consonants together in hitchhiker, hitchhiker, so repeat that hitchhiker.
R: I’ve just thought of one Craig, a group of consonants together in a word, crunch.
R: That’s a good one, isn’t it?
C: Crunch, chunchy, crujiente.
R: Crijiente, crunch. It even sounds like what it is, crunch. The consonants seem to like all crunch up together with that word.
C: So you think our listeners will have problems saying crunchy crisps.
R: I’d say so.
C: These crisps are really crunchy! Just say that at home, crunchy crisps.
R: Ok, yeah, also in the Beatles song When I’m 64, there is a line that says scrimp and save. And when I practice this with my students last week they had problems saying scrimp and save. To scrimp is to save very hard, to save very strictly, and in the song When I’m 64 you will hear every summer we can rent a cottage in the Isle of White if it’s not too dear (or too expensive), we shall scrimp and save. Grandchildren on your knee, Vera, Chuck and Dave. I will put a link, un enlace, a esta canción a YouTube donde que puedes escuchar esta canción y practicar las letras en donde si vas a las notas de este episodio a mansioningles.libsyn.com, libsyn, L-I-B-S-Y-N, that’s mansioningles.libsyn.com, ahí puedes encontrar las notas de este episodio, enlaces de la gramática y también un enlace a la canción de los Beatles.
R: Craig did you say in the lyrics of that Beatles song the word scrimp is a consonant cluster.
C: Scrimp, is the consonant cluster.
R: I’ve just thought of another word that sounds similar to scrimp, with the consonant cluster but is not the same…
R: Shrimp. Shrimp.
R: Because in the first episode we had to suck he head of the shrimp, chupar la cabeza de la gamba.
Phrsal verbs (11:40)
C: Moving on to phrasal verbs Reza, what phrasal verb do you have this episode?
R: For today we’ve got put off.
C: Put off.
R: Put off. Yeah, well, sorry to bore the listeners with my problems, I know I always tell them the same old story…But you know, I have to have the electricity fixed in my house.
C: You mentioned, you say that a couple of episodes ago.
R: It’s going to be a big job, I mean, I have to get the place re-wired, re-wired, para cambiar el cableado y poner una instalación.
C: Why do you have to do that?
R: It’s all wiring and it’s dangerous if I don’t get new thicker wiring it could be a fire, is really dangerous, so I have to do it, but I admit, up to now, I put it off, put it off.
R: Posponer. Pospone in English, posponer, I put it off because it will be very uncomfortable for me, for a week or two, nobody likes workmen in the house, so I put it off. Lo he pospuesto? I guess in Spanish, yeah.
C: I think so.
R: From the verb posponer.
C: Do you know what I’m putting off?
C: Going to the optician, I need to get my eyes tested. I’ve been putting it off for months. I’ve been putting it off, I know I have to go but I just haven’t had time, I have been putting it off , and I’ve been putting off my flu jab, my inoculación de gripe? I have to do it now, because it’s getting cold and the flu is around the corner, the flu is in the winter…
R: I had mine.
C: Have you had yours?
R: Yeah, you better do that quick or you’ll get a flu.
C: I have to stop putting it off, and I have to do it.
R: Tell me Craig, what are you doing for Fallas? In case there are any listeners who haven’t heard of Fallas, they wouldn’t be Valencian, any listeners who hasn’t heard of Fallas, is the big Valencian festival where there is fireworks everywhere, street parties, music, its full of people, there is a lot happening, and it’s incredibly noisy, and this happens in March in Valencia, Las Fallas. Now, what do you do in the Fallas Craig?
C: Do you know? I haven’t thought what about it yet. Present perfect. I don’t know. I don’t have, I don’t have any plans. Now we are in October and Fallas is in March, so six months away? So I really haven’t thought about… What do you doing?
R: Well, I’m tell you what I’m not doing. I’m not going to stay here and try to work, because the Fallas put me off. They put everybody off .
C: They distract you.
R: They distract you. In Valencia you can’t possibly work well during Fallas, because the noise, the sounds, the light…
C: The street parties…
R: Parties, everything. It’s so intense that it puts you off, it puts you off. You cannot concentrate, so to put you off, hacer que pierdas tu concentración.
C: Can you work and listen to music at the same time?
R: It kind of puts me off. Only if the music is very very low, very low, so I almost can’t hear it.
C: But then, don’t have it on!
R: Yeah, I generally don’t. If it’s something important I don’t put on the music, that’s put on the music, tocar música, because that would put me off.
C: yeah! It puts me off too.
R: Ok Craig, you remember I told you how I totally failed to impress that very attractive girl, remember I tried to get off with her?
C: Yeah! You tried to get off with her and she didn’t want to know unfortunately.
C: She told me to get lost, I didn’t impress her at all.
C: But she was attractive.
R: She was, wasn’t she? But you know, since then I’ve just stayed at home alone, it’s put me off trying to chat up girls, is put me off, me ha quitado las ganas. Me ha despedido, ya me ha desanimado, it´s put me off. That’s another meaning of put off.
C: Do you know something? I was in a restaurant last week, I went out to eat with some friends and we ordered the food, and as we were waiting for the food to arrive, I saw a cockroach.
R: Oh God!
C: Walking along the bar.
C: On top of the bar. Cucaracha. Walking along the bar. And you know what? It really put me off the food.
R: I can imagine.
C: It really put me off eating in that place.
R: So there you go, put off is today’s phrasal verb.
Vocabulary corner (16:37)
C: Ok, moving on to our vocabulary corner and this episode I’d like to focus on the verb come. A very common irregular verb, and there are many expressions and words that go together with come, that collocate with come, to make expressions. For example to come as a surprise. It came as a surprise to me when I saw that our first episode of Aprender Inglés con Reza y Craig had nearly two thousand downloads, dos mil bajadas. So I’m very happy, it came as a wonderful surprise to me. You can also use the negative: It came as no surprise. So I can say it came as no surprise to me that this podcast is a success, working with you Reza it came as no surprise that we are being successful. Another expression with come is to come as a relief. So that restaurant with the cockroach I didn’t pay, I didn’t pay for the meal, so it was very very cheap. It came as a relief to me that I didn’t have to pay for dinner in that horrible restaurant. To come as a relief. Also shock, what is shock in Spanish?
R: Shock is sorpresa, a surprise.
C: It came as a shock.
R: Aha! I thought of a better word! Susto
C: Susto. It came as a susto. It came as a shock, and you can put an adjective before shock to emphasize el susto, and make the susto bigger: it came as a great shock to me. It came as a terrible shock, or it came as a dreadful shock to me.
R: Like when you saw that cockroach…
C: Like when I saw that cockroach it came as a dreadful shock to see a cockroach in a restaurant. And also you can have an adjective before the word, so it came as a big surprise, una gran sorpresa. It came as a great surprise, or it came as a complete surprise. Other expressions, to come to power. A person can come to power, a president or a prime minister of a country, or a political party comes to power.
R: Can I just add one?
R: But say something about silly, say something a bit ridiculous, that would surprise me…
C: and finally a decision is something you can come to or arrive at, so if you make a…you can make a decision and come to a decision. For example, Reza I come to a decision that next month I’m going to Disneyland.
R: Come off it Craig!
C: To see Mickey Mouse.
R: Come off it!
C: Come off it, how would you explain come off it in Spanish?
R: Come off it, venga ya, vaya, venga! when someone is making fun or saying something ridiculous, come off it, venga ya…
C: Me estas tirando el pelo! You are pulling my leg. I’m pulling your leg I’m not really…
R: Come off it…
C: …going to Disneyland.
Reza’s top tip (20:12)
C: Reza what’s your top tip for this episode?
R: Ok, the tip for today is a way to help you revise or may be even learn vocabulary by either photocopying or printing off a picture with plenty of objects in it, and then what you do is simply label the objects. For example…
C: What is label mean?
R: Ah, label…
R: Poner una etiqueta o pon…
C: Poner nombre…
R: Poner un nombre para todo, si. Darle un nombre. Indicar lo que es.
C: So you find like a street scene with lots of things in the street or a picture of a house or a bedroom or something…
R: So yeah…it could be in a book so, you photocopy that from a book or if it’s from Internet print it off, something with plenty of objects so Craig said a street seen, you printed it off, and then you test yourself for vocabulary, what can you name in English, so may be a street light or a street lamp, that’s farola, the pavement, that’s acera,
C: Or sidewalk in American English…
R: Sidewalk in American English, and curb, perhaps you don’t know that word, C-U-R-B, the curb is where the road where the cars go, meets the pavement, that border is the curb.
C: I don’t know that word in Spanish.
R: Me neither, but hopefully we’ll explained that well enough in English, we are not Spanish experts, we’ll admit that. So curb, the little bit where the street, sorry, the bit for the cars in the street meets the pavement, where there’s a difference of level, one’s a bit hard than the other, that is the curb, C-U-R-B. There you go! If you didn’t know that word, if it was a revision, then you’ve just learnt it. You can look it up in Spanish, and then, write the translation in English. It is a nice visual way to learn words, so when you go to look at those words again in the future, you see them instantly you got an arrow or something like that pointing to the curb and the word curb, so you don’t need to look it up in Spanish, you can just think, ah! that’s a curb.
C: That’s a very useful tip. I remember when I was learning Spanish in the beginning it took posted notes, post-its, little pieces of paper and wrote words in Spanish on them and I stuck them, pegar, I stuck them around the house, for example escritorio, I put that on the desk, nevera, I put that on the fridge, espejo, I put that on the mirror, so every day I physically see the note, and then when I remember the word I took off, removed the note.
R: That’s another great idea yeah? I’ve done that myself and that’s brilliant to do at home. I’m not sure though what the Council would think about you putting post-its stickers on the street lights and curbs. That’s why this paper method of printing off or photocopying is good for things outside your house which you can’t put posted notes on.
C: Absolutely. Well, thank you for that too Reza and thank you everybody for listening to this podcast. So from me is good bye.
R: Catch you later.
C: I will see you in the next episode.