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15 fun Present Perfect activities

Here are fifteen fun ways to elicit, present and practise the Present Perfect. 1. Do you know your room? Students try to spot what you have changed in the room since last week, while they were having a break or while their eyes were closed. They can then take turns challenging each other. 2. Can […]

Written by Alex Case for TEFL.net

Here are fifteen fun ways to elicit, present and practise the Present Perfect.

1. Do you know your room?
Students try to spot what you have changed in the room since last week, while they were having a break or while their eyes were closed. They can then take turns challenging each other.

2. Can you hear your room?
In this variation on Do You Know Your Room, when students have their eyes closed the teacher or a student changes the room or their position in a way you can hear, e.g. cleans the whiteboard. With their eyes still closed, students have to guess what has changed.

3. Have you been following your teacher?
Students are tested on what has happened since the beginning of the class, e.g. “In today’s class, has anyone’s dictionary fallen on the floor? / How many times has the teacher coughed?”

4. The yes I have game
Students ask each other “Have you ever..?” questions. They must answer all questions with “Yes”. Their partner can then ask them 3 “Wh” questions in the Simple Past and try to spot from their answers and body language if they are lying.

5. Yes yes no
In this variation on The Yes I Have Game, students have a pack of cards with “Yes” or “No” written on them, choose either answer to the questions and are asked additional questions to work out if they are lying or not. If their partners spot their lie, they have to take the cards back. The first person with no cards left is the winner.

6. I’m in the world, find me!
Pairs of students plan an around the world trip on a world map. They then choose one of the places on their itinerary for the other team to guess. The other team ask “Have you been to …?” and are answered with “Yes, we have”, “No, not yet” or “No, we aren’t planning to go there” until they guess exactly where they are now.

7. Who’s been a good boy?
Students try to find things that their partner needs to do but hasn’t done yet, e.g. “Have you taken out the rubbish this week?”

8. Only I have
Students stand up and go round the class asking questions to find one thing they have done and no one else in the class has.

9. Have you feelings?
Students complete a sentence “I feel ______ because I have ______________”. They read out half the sentence only and their partner has to guess the rest with questions like “Has your pet died?” or “Do you feel depressed?”

10. I have lied
Students tell their partners two true and one false “I have…” sentence, e.g. “I have ridden an elephant” etc. Students ask them questions (to which they can lie in response about the false one) and try to spot which one is false.

11. Make me say yes, make me say no
Students try to ask as many questions as they can to which their partner’s answer is “Yes, I have”. They can then switch and do the same thing with “No”

12. Present Perfect sentence substitution
Any of the games above can be played with the students just changing one part of the Present Perfect sentence each time, e.g. “Have you taken out the rubbish?”, “Have you sorted out the rubbish?”, “Have you sorted out the white and coloured washing?”, “Have you ironed the white and coloured washing?” etc.

13. Present Perfect sentence expansion
Any of the games above can be played with the same Present Perfect question getting longer and longer as students add language to it, e.g. “Have you ever flown?”, “Have you ever flown in a balloon?”, “Have you ever flown in a balloon in the desert?”

14. I have been this
Students make a true sentence with “I have … this …” and stop before they say the time, e.g. “I have drunk 6 pints of beer this”. Their partners have to guess what the correct time clause is, e.g. “Have you drunk 6 pints of beer this week/ this month?”

15. I have planned
Students tell their partners things they have and haven’t done in order to prepare for a future plan or arrangement, e.g. “I have made a reservation” and “I haven’t bought the ring yet” for “You are going to propose to your girlfriend”. This can be for real plans, made up ones, or ones on roleplay cards.


Written by Alex Case for TEFL.net
March 2008 | Filed under Grammar
There are links to more than 400 articles and 1000 worksheets plus 1500 blog posts by Alex Case on TEFLtastic blog.

25 Comments on “15 fun Present Perfect activities”

  1. fatiha Says:

    Thank you for these ideas for they help in teaching tenses along communicative approach.I need a lot help to go indepth in communicative approach

  2. fatiha Says:

    Great!But how to help teachers to adopt and adapt these ideas to their pupils’needs?

  3. Amira Toma Says:

    I find them wonderful, and very beneficial idea. Thank you!

  4. kris Says:

    Excellent ideas! I’ve finally found something that should hold my students’ attention for a lesson. Cheers!

  5. Deicy Says:

    Thank you for your creative and interesting ideas to enhace communication in the classroom

  6. Stefan Says:

    These are very fine activities for re-emphasizing the content my
    lessons. Thank you very much.

  7. June Says:

    Great! a nice amount of exercises, most of which require no equipment. a boon to grammar teachers!

  8. Laura Says:

    These are very good and dynamic exercises, exactly what I was looking for. Thank you so much.

  9. Martin Says:

    Thanks for helping me and give more options to make my students understand in an easier way present perfect, now I have found what I was looking for, thanks a lot!

  10. kayla Says:

    Many thanks! you have saved me!

  11. Lupe Says:

    Thanks a lot for the ideas! I teach 14-year-old Catalan students and I’m sure I’ll be able to play some of these games with them.

  12. Ivanna Gastelu Says:

    Very good ideas for teachers who want their classmates get involved in the class

  13. tecbarrera Says:

    Not to be a jerk… but you mispelled ‘practice’. (You spelled it as ‘practise’ in ‘Here are fifteen fun ways to elicit, present and practise the Present Perfect.’. Being an English instruction site, it may be something you’d want to correct.

    Otherwise, thanks! These are all great suggestions!

  14. Connie Says:

    brilliant! positively Brilliant! You have managed to make dull grammar fun. Kudos!!!!

  15. Klaudia Says:

    I think the ideas are good and can be well aplied in class. Thanks a lot.

  16. hymns Says:

    Wow! The activities are so useful and fun. Thank you for sharing these good ideas. Hope it will help other instructors like me.

  17. hymns Says:

    @tecbarrera: ahahahahahahaha……
    bleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehhhhhhhhhhh

  18. Yogita Says:

    congratulations and thank you for the activities.
    This comment is Specially for tecbarrera where he says:”
    tecbarrera Says:

    May 24th, 2010 at 00:22
    Not to be a jerk… but you mispelled ‘practice’. (You spelled it as ‘practise’ in ‘Here are fifteen fun ways to elicit, present and practise the Present Perfect.’. Being an English instruction site, it may be something you’d want to correct.

    Otherwise, thanks! These are all great suggestions!”

    I would say Mr Tecbarrera, instead of commenting nything unpleasant to someone , it’s better not to say anything. If u check the differnce of spellings and usages in British n American English u will come to know the fact that ‘We can use it as a verb with a spelling: practise and noun with spelling Practice…though ur Amecican Computer doent support the change…So, plz go through the facts before u comment anything to anybody!! Hope u take it healthily…..Take care.. Yogita

  19. Pedro Says:

    Thaks very good your ideas..

  20. paola Says:

    thanx soooo much! I typed: “games on present perfect” on google and here you are! exellent!

  21. Trafford Gregory Says:

    This is exactly what I was looking for,thank you so much .Im going to share this with all my teachers.

  22. Radina Says:

    Thank you for these tips!! seem just what I need…eager to try them out tomorrow!! Once more, thanks a bunch!!!

  23. Christine Says:

    Thanks!!! This helps a lot!

  24. Ronaldo Says:

    Thanks dude (:

  25. Joe Says:

    Thanks! Solved my problems – never before have I googled my query and got such an emphatic result!

    To tecbarrera… I object to your use of the phrase ‘not to be a jerk but…’

    I find it funny when people insist that their way is THE way, in the same way that I’m so often mocked for having a ‘quaint’, British accent… If I start speaking French, I won’t mock the French for their accents, and if I simplify their language, I won’t correct them for using the original version. I guess we’d have a field day mocking Shakespeare if he came back to life. .

    That said, I realise that some of the Americanisms are useful for foreign learners of English (E.g. using ‘z’ for words that sound like ‘z’, making some spellings easier etc. But there are others that confuse me endlessly, such as ‘I could care less,’ which apparently means I couldn’t care less’?

    Let’s agree to disagree… And for what it’s worth, I usually spell it ‘practice’ too – In British English either is acceptable. And the British phrase ‘it ain’t half good’ has always confused me too!

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