Competency Puzzle “Apply Grammar” Pieces D-13.01 to D-14.04: (Present, Past, Future, & Modal) Perfect Verb Tenses & Aspects + the Passive Voice
01Have you noticed that up until now, we 02haven’t been dealing with Perfect Verb Tenses or even 03come close to 04covering the necessary concepts 05involved when they 06are considered? Yet even if we 07had been aware of these omissions before we 08took a break from analysis of Verbs & Verbals, it 09’s unlikely that any of us 10would have interrupted the flow of instruction at that point.
Whether or not you 11decide 12to review what 13’s been said about Grammar in previous blog posts D-01.01 through D-12.14 14may not matter. Nor 15will it make a difference how many lettered/numbered Parts & Pieces you16’re downloading from behind Puzzle Piece D: Apply Grammar at worklifeenglish.com. Still 17don’t feel finished? Not 18to worry! By the time all our issues 19have been resolved, we / you 20will have been dealing with English grammar and syntax for as long as pedagogically possible.
Overwhelmed by your perception of complexity regarding underlined verb phrases in the above paragraphs? Here’s an “Answer Key” of Footnotes in paragraph one. Can you relax and enjoy them? There won’t be a test afterward.
Competency Puzzle “Apply Grammar” Pieces D-13.01 to D-14.04: (Present, Past, Future, Modal) Perfect Verb Tenses & Aspects + the Passive Voice.
This article is the ninth installment of “How to Put Together Puzzle Parts & Pieces That Make Language Work: “Apply Grammar.” Its areas of focus are (Present, Past, Future, & Modal) Perfect Forms & Structures, including Real vs. Unreal (Contrary-to-Fact) Independent + Adverbial Clauses—as well as (when feasible) the Passive Voice of all Verb Phrasing covered previously in its Active Forms.
First, take a break to view what’s visual. Here again—with “D. Apply Grammar” circled—is our familiar graphic of ten major Puzzle Parts & Pieces likely to fit into a co-ordinated program of language instruction. It’s surrounded by Infographics—pertaining to the (Perfect) Verb-Tenses of English above + to the left and The Passive (vs. the Active) Volce below + to the right. And for fun, there’s a smattering of (im)pertinent humor thrown into the time lapses.
So if you / your students have absolutely conquered Past / Present / Future / Modal (Perfect) (Progressive) Forms & Uses of (In)Transitive (Ir)Regular (Non-)Action Verbs—and the Structures and significance of the Passive (vs. the Active)Voice (in the Indicative [vs. the Subjunctive] Mood) in American English, then (maybe) there’s no need or use for further reading, practice, or study of the grammar.
If, on the other hand, you want “just a little more,” here’s additional commentary. Within the following verbiage are sample segments to download and use for (self-)instruction straight away, including a number of (more than) complete Parts & Pieces.
D-13.01 to D-13.10 = Present, Past, & Future Perfect Verb Tenses & Aspects
The “Present Perfect Tense” contains the “auxiliary have / has (n’t) before a Past Participle (one of the three or four Principle Parts of every lexical verb). Its most frequent use is for “activity that began in the past and has persisted up to (and including) the present time.” For example, “How long have you known—or felt confident about—the rules for when to use the Present Perfect?”
Nevertheless, when expressing duration of an Action (as opposed to a Linking or Stative) Verb, what’s called for is Present-Perfect Continuous Verb Phrasing. This consists of have / has (n’t) before the Past Participle been + the Present Participle (-ing form) of another Verb—as in “We’ve been studying—actually analyzing and comparing—these forms for a while now, at least since last year.” Time expressions for this usage often include the word since (+ an event) or for (+ a length of time).
Another basic use of the Present Perfect is for “activity at unspecified times in the past”—in contrast to Simple Past completed action [at identified or understood past times]. With this connotation, adverbs like (n)ever, always, still, yet, before, once, etc. are commonplace.
Often, these forms and their implications recur often enough to be presented and practiced at High-Beginning to Intermediate Levels of Language-Acquisition. The 20 pages of D-13.01: Chapter 10, “Family & Special Occasions,” of WorkLife English Grammar 3: An Immigration Story are a good place to start.
In contexts related to “Wedding, Special-Occasion, & Holiday Customs Around the World,” this detailed Download covers (Affirmative & Negative) Present-Perfect (Continuous) Statements + (Tag-) Questions & (Short) Answers, later contrasting them with Simple-Past sentences. The segment ends with Appendix A, listings of Simple + Past Forms vs. Past Participles of 56 familiar Irregular Verbs in English, prompting users to prepare for further study of the Principle Parts of Verb-Vocabulary—for use in all the Perfect Tenses as well as in the Passive Voice.
But of course, coverage of forms and patterns has to address all Perfect Verb-Tense & Aspect Time Frames. To go back to “the Past,” here’s a classic folk tale—revived in the black & white, tried-and-true, linear format of D-13.09: Unit 11: the Past Perfect Tenses, “A Hard Day’s Work,” of the Original Scenario Volume 3: English Grammar in Context. In it, “the Husband Who Tried to Keep House” and its related follow-up have been adapted linguistically to the targeted grammar, Past Perfect (Continuous) Forms & Structures.
Past-Time Narration sometimes references actions that have been completed or that went on in “the Past of the Past.” So while you’re getting and producing Past-Perfect (Continuous) Affirmative & Negative Statements; Yes/No, Tag-, & Wh-Questions & Answers in Independent & Dependent Adverb (mostly Time) Clauses in D-13.09, you’ll be enjoying and benefiting from the illustrated antics of “Gary Grouch” and his nameless wife. While, when, as soon as, after, before, and by the time you do so, you’ll also find out and add to what happens first, second, next, then, and/or because of some other mishap in the Story itself—and in its Grammar Notes, Exercises, and imaginative Activities.
Lastly in D-13.09, in “Talking It Over” / “Writing It Down”, you’ll get to speculate on what might (not) have occurred if (only) something had (n’t) happened / happening some time ago. So it all comes together, doesn’t it? The Past Perfect (Continuous) is surprisingly applicable to our lives in the (recent) past—when we’d been expecting “normal news” up until the time something extraordinary or unbelievable had come (or came) to pass?
And moving forward, we can’t neglect the two (equivalent) forms—(will have + Past Participle [ + Verbing ] and am / is / are going to have + Past Participle [ + Verbing ])—that express the (not so commonplace) Future-Perfect (Continuous) Tenses & Aspects—can we? These appear among the final Lessons of the conglomerated D-13.05: Lessons 3-5, 25, 28-30, 48-50 of Chapters 1 & 3: the Present & Past & Future (Perfect) Tenses (“The Family,” “Government & Law,” “Science & Technology”) of WorkLife English Grammar 6 + Part Three: Perfect Modal Verbs of Chapter 6: (“Going Places”) of WorkLife English Grammar 5.
In contexts related to “Predictions for the Future” (based on fictitious headlines), pages 92-94 of the D-13.05 Download teach and practice the Future Perfect vs. the Future Perfect Continuous.
And for even more “practice that will / might / is going to / make (or) have made perfect,” a four-page attachment from a preceding grammar text has been added to D-13.05. In pages 119-122, a comical character ruminates about “Air Travel Mistakes,” thinking what will / won’t have occurred by a certain future time; what must have or couldn’t have been true; what travelers should (n’t) have done; and/or what would (n’t) have or might (not) have happened if (only) they had (n’t) followed or been following “Tips for Air Travelers.”
And if the above Download burdens you with more than you’ve ever wanted to know about Verb Tenses, Aspects, Voices, and Moods, you’re invited to revert to earlier pursuits: its first 10 pages provide review of the less intricate, more familiar Present & Past Perfect (Continuous).
D-13.11 to D-13.14 = Past Participles: Principle Parts of Verbs Essential to the Perfect Tenses & the Passive Voice
In Basic through Beginning English instruction, the first two “Principle Parts of Verbs” play a major role. First, the “Base Form” (without endings) appears in Infinitives; the –(e)s ending (sometimes with spelling changes) makes each word into a “3rd-Person-Singular Simple-Present Verb.” Adding –ing transforms it to a “Present Participle.” Second, the “Simple-Past Form,” usually regular (ending in –[e]d ) but often irregular (to be learned in spelling groupings) suggests “action completed before the present time.”
Being “trickier” and more versatile, the “Third Principle Part of a Verb” becomes useful at more experienced levels of language learning. Whether it’s regular or irregular, the “Past Participle” is often, but not always, the same as the Simple Past Form of the same verb—as in use / used / used or have / had / had—contrasted with know / knew / known or be / was / been. As practiced earlier or to acquire later, a Past Participle appears in every full Present, Past, or Future Perfect statement or question; in Perfect Continuous sentences, the word been fills its slot.
And in Passive (as opposed to Active) Voice sentences, a Past Participle is required to complete a Verb Phrase of any Tense + Aspect. (Think about examples such as “Our work is, is being, wasn’t, is going to be, has been, hadn’t been, won’t have been, should have been, done, and—believe it or not—many other possibilities.) But that’s not all. A large number of multi-purposed adjectives of English—like interested, broken, built, burnt, held, lost, made, spent, torn, and a multitude of others—were derived from Past Participles.
For these reasons, when building Grammar-Related Verb & Verbal Vocabulary, it makes sense for English speakers / writers to master—or at least know how to look up—all of a Verb’s potential “Principle Parts.” And a resource like D-13.13: Great-Grammar Advanced Verb Forms Activity & Idea Book gives plenty of impetus to do so. More thorough than its abridged Basic, Beginning, & Intermediate counterparts (available behind Puzzle Piece D: Apply Grammar at worklifeenglish.com.), this 56-paged half-sized Download contains a plethora of teaching / learning advice and other material pertaining to Verb-Forms.
For practice in correlating the Three or Four Principle Parts of Verbs, it’s easy enough to produce and use Verb-Form Cards. Even so, if we hadn’t been laboring so hard to cover the complete Verb Tense & Aspect System of English, you wouldn’t (might not) have arrived at the point of satisfaction—or frustration—with its intricacies. But we did—and you have. So now we’all / y’all deserve an instructional break.
So here’s a bonus set of materials to click on, download, and cut apart to form Card Packs for Verb-Vocabulary teaching, learning, and fun: D-13.14: 54 Advanced Verbs in Their Base, Past, & Past Participle Forms, with Definitions, Illustrated Examples, & Phrasal Contexts on Card Backs.
There are 36 pages to print out on 18 pieces of card stock, each displaying nine mostly Irregular Verbs. As the clickable images below show, the first six of the two-sided pages have 54 Base Verbs on their faces, with simple definitions of their meanings on the Card Backs. On the fronts of the next six pages are 54 corresponding Past Verb-Forms: when these Cards are turned over, users can (virtually) put these forms into the blanks of illustrated sentences. And most importantly for practice in the Perfect Tenses and the Passive Voice, the last six pages get into Past-Participles; the reverse sides of their 54 Verb-Part Cards offer several common or idiomatic expressions containing those lexical items.
If and when Card users or game players are ready for the 3rd Principle Verb Part in Advanced (Perfect Tenses / Passive Voice / Participial Adjective) contexts, these materials can provide stimuli, practice, and feedback. To get them all, just click on the underlined D-13.14 designation above or on any one of the three two-sided page images below.
D-14.01 to D-14.04 = The Passive Voice (Compared to the Active)
So having been made by all of us, the undertaken attempt to gain control of the Indicative Mood of the Active Voice of English is certainly to be acknowledged. Even so, it’s to be noted that the three artificially constructed sentences in this paragraph will probably not be taken seriously. That’s because when the Passive Voice is unnecessarily or inappropriately overused, the resulting verbiage has been made to sound really bizarre!
So to get back to linguistically pedagogic reality, here’s an intermediate-level segment that addresses but doesn’t overdo what everyday English users need to know about the Passive Voice. The Download D-14.01: Chapter 10, “Education,” of WorkLife English Grammar 4: Cross-Cultural Communication begins with a colorful Opener that correlates grammatical Subtopics of “the Passive” with content relevant to Educational Success. Then, in a simulated “Speech by a Specialist,” text users get to answer the question, “How much do you already know?” The titles of Parts One, Two, Three, & Four are “The Passive Voice: Simple-Present & Simple-Past Tenses,” “The Passive Voice: Continuous & Perfect Tenses; it + Passive,” “The Passive Voice: Future Tenses & Modals,” and “Present & Past Participles as Adjectives.” Ending with Appendices of “Common Irregular Verbs” and “Irregular Verb Groupings,” the downloaded Chapter pretty much encompasses what’s useful.
And of course, behind Puzzle Piece D: Apply Grammar at worklifeenglish.com —as well as at other websites and in other sources, there are plenty more downloads (especially D-02 through D-04); excerpts; text lessons, chapters, and units; and other references that address the same material (the “Passive Voice”) in comparable but motivationally different ways.
And also as accustomed, here are direct links to some complete Competency–Based Grammar Texts and both original and revised “Grammar-in-Context” Series referenced in this article:
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