9 Present Perfect Grammar, Speaking and Listening Exercises

8th July, 2023

1 Present perfect conversational practice

These present perfect conversational practice exercises contain sets of  conversational questions, along with multiple potential responses and a follow-up question for each. The questions aim to help ESL (English as a Second Language) students improve their understanding and usage of specific aspects of grammar in English. In my experience, these kinds of exercise are really useful teaching one-on-one online, but they also work really well as pair work activities in the classroom.

Present perfect yes/no questions (this is the format usually used for introducing students to the present perfect)

Present perfect expanded (this is a little more advanced)

Present perfect for business

If you like these activities, be sure to check out my Substack post:

The Art of Prompting Artificial Intelligence for ESL Teachers

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2 Present perfect questionnaire

    This is a  present perfect exercise and worksheet  for English language learners.   Students answer the questions with their own ideas and  using appropriate tenses. For the last two items, they write both questions and answers. 

Present perfect questionnaire speaking activity

Present perfect questionnaire (PDF)

(see the YouTube video)

Present perfect questionnaire

 3  Present perfect: already or yet? (with answers and audio)

    This is a  listening/speaking present perfect exercise  for English language learners to practice using “already” or “yet”. Students use the  cues in the pictures to write complete sentences in the  the present  perfect tense. Then students can listen and compare their answers to the audio.

Present perfect:already or yet grammar exercise

Present perfect: already or yet ? (PDF)

(see the YouTube version of this exercise)

Already or yet?

 5 Present perfect: since or for ? (with answers and audio)

Present Perfect Tense Char: Since vs For

Present Perfect Tense Chart

Sentence Starting Point Action
I have lived in New York since 2018. 2018 Living in New York
They have been married since last June. Last June Being married
She has studied Spanish since she was a child. Her childhood Studying Spanish
We have owned a cat for three years. Three years ago Owning a cat
He has worked at the company for five months. Five months ago Working at the company
You have been standing for over an hour. Over an hour ago Standing
I have known him for a long time. A long time ago Knowing him

    This is a  listening/speaking activity to help English language practice using “since” or “for”. Students use the time cues in the pictures to write complete sentences in the  the present  perfect tense.  Or use it as a listening exercise. Students listen to the audio and write appropriate sentences for the pictures. 

Present perfect: since or for ? (PDF)

Since or far?

ESL Listening Activities Guide

Comparative adjective exercises

Teaching Gerunds and Infinitives

Indirect and Reported Speech

10  Adjectives Exercises Including Adjectives for People and Things 

Parts of Speech Exercises

6 Picture-Based Present Continuous Worksheets (PDF)

8 Preposition Exercises for Location, Time and Movement (PDF)

5  Useful Passive Voice Practice worksheets

7 Incredibly Useful Past Tense Simple Teaching Activities (PDF)

Great Exercises for the Conditionals (PDF)

 Future Tense Exercises including future perfect


Present Perfect Continuous Breakdown

Present Perfect Continuous Breakdown

Sentence Starting Point Action
I have been reading this book for two hours. Two hours ago Reading a book
They have been studying Spanish since January. January Studying Spanish
You have been working here since 2020. 2020 Working here
We have been painting the house all weekend. This weekend Painting the house
He has been training for the marathon for three months. Three months ago Training for the marathon
She has been playing the guitar since she was 10 years old. When she was 10 Playing the guitar
It has been raining since yesterday. Yesterday Raining
They have been running a restaurant for 15 years. 15 years ago Running a restaurant
I have been living in this city since I graduated from college. Graduation date Living in this city
You have been talking on the phone for the last 30 minutes. 30 minutes ago Talking on the phone

 6 Present perfect continuous conversational practice

This is a practical worksheet focusing on the present perfect continuous tense, ideal for both one-on-one, pair work and online teaching settings. The questions are a catalyst for short exchanges involving various scenarios. It offers learners the opportunity to enhance their conversational skills. The responses help engage the students and the follow-up questions allow for the exchanges to be expanded into conversations.

Download PDF

7 Present perfect continuous: stative vs continuous

Understanding stative verbs is crucial for anyone studying the present perfect continuous, as it aids in differentiating between states and ongoing actions or events. Stative verbs, which usually depict unchanging situations or states rather than actions, aren’t commonly used in continuous tenses, leading to frequent errors in English usage. This exercise aims to strengthen students’ understanding and application of stative verbs, reducing common grammatical mistakes and enhancing your overall fluency in English.

Stative vs. Active Verbs
Sentence Stative (Present Perfect) Active (Present Perfect Continuous)
I have lived here for five years. ✔️
They have been playing football all afternoon. ✔️
She has known him since childhood. ✔️
We have been studying for the test. ✔️
You have seemed a bit off lately. ✔️
I have been working on this project all night. ✔️
He has owned that car for a decade. ✔️
You have been running every morning. ✔️

In this table, the stative verbs in the present perfect form describe a state or condition that has existed up to the present, while the active verbs in the present perfect continuous form describe actions that started in the past and are still ongoing or have just finished.

Download stative vs active PDF

8 Present perfect: common experiences

    This is a  present perfect exercise  for English language learners to practice using the present perfect to talk about common experiences.


Present perfect: everyday experiences  questionnaire  (PDF)

9 Present perfect: What has just happened ? (with possible answers)

    This is a  present perfect exercise  for English language learners to practice using the present perfect to talk about events that have just happened (a past event  affecting the immediate present). Students use the picture cues to write appropriate sentences.

Present perfect:what has just happened? 1 (PDF)

Present perfect:what has just happened? 2 (PDF)

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