For more on the Daily Mail: How humans bred some dogs to be unrecognizable from their ancestors
CONSTRUCTION OF THE PRESENT PERFECT
Subject + auxiliary have/has + past participle
The past participle is the -ed form of the verb.
Humans have changed man's best friend.
In the case of an irregular verb, pick it up in the 3rd column. Irregular verbs have their own forms.
The ambassador has eaten all the Ferrero Rocher chocolates.
- Interrogative form:
As you remember, when you want to ask a question, you need an auxiliary. Make it simple, use have or has.
Have you seen Celine’s incredible show in Vegas?
- Negative form:
Scooby-Doo and Shaggy have not arrived yet and we all wonder where they are.
*Next to come in English for grown ups, when to use the present perfect in three parts.
You can use the present perfect when a past action has an impact on the present situation.
Look, the dog has broken his leg.
The action took place in the past. We don’t care where or when. What matters is the impact on the dog’s present life: he has a plaster and a cone (of shame).
Oh shit, Michael has been to the hairdresser’s!
Again, what is important here, is that a past action (to go to the hairdresser’s) has an effect on the present: he looks very different.
Now, watch this short video and construct a nice sentence describing the final scene:
Our proposition: The astronaut has eaten too many beans. He has farted and will be killed.
Use the present perfect when you want to talk about your life experience. In this case, what is really important is what happened and not when or where it happened. If it was the case, we would have used the preterit. When questioning someone’s life experience, use EVER like in this song by the Standells "Have you ever spent the night in jail?"
Click on this link for the lyrics: the_Standells_Have_you_ever
A 13-year-old Irish boy asks a similar question in a powerful video he posted for Safer Internet Day (February 9th 2016). The teenage boy, who has previously been cyberbullied, made it “to help raise the awareness for other people about how to handle cyberbullying”.
Click on this link for the script: cyber_bullying
And you, have you ever been cyberbullied? Have you ever spent the night in jail? Some answers could be : Yes, I have already been cyberbullied. No I have never spent the night in jail.
The present perfect can be used when something started in the past and is still happening now. I have lived in Paris for 10 years. This example means that you started living in Paris 10 years ago and still live in the French capital city. So it is very important to use the present perfect when you want to express an ongoing action that started in the past and that is still true now. If you had used the preterit, it would have meant that the action is over. I lived in Paris for 10 years means that you lived in Paris in the past, but that you now live somewhere else.
You can also find the progressive, or continuous form of the present perfect. Not many differences with the simple one and quite common when you want to talk about unfinished situations, or stress the fact that the activity is continuing now.
Subject + have/has + been + Vbing
For example: I have been waiting for two hours. We have been living together for too long.
Or less common:
Everybody has heard about Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. and about their fight for Civil Rights in America. But have you ever heard about James Baldwin? James Arthur Baldwin (1924–1987) was an African-American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet and a social critic. Baldwin was also known to be an activist and he dedicated a large part of his life to put up a struggle for black people Civil Rights. Inspired by Baldwin's words and works, Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck directed in 2016 a masterpiece movie about the black condition in America. “I am not your negro”, is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter. To understand Baldwin's punchy and smart fight for rights, have a look at the following trailer of Raoul Peck's multiple award-winning documentary.
If you enjoyed the trailer and want more, “I am not your negro” is now in theaters and also available in streaming or on legal downloading platforms.
Civil Rights: The rights that every person should have regardless of their sex, race, or religion.
Civil Rights Movement: Also known as the American Civil Rights Movement, is a term that includes the social movements in the United States whose goals were to end racial segregation and discrimination against African-Americans.
to put up a struggle: To protest about something over time.
masterpiece: A supreme intellectual or artistic achievement.
Black Lives Matter or BLM: Is an international activist movement, originating in the African-American community, that campaigns against violence and systemic racism toward black people.
Why do cats act so weird?
People love cats because they are cute, and also because they can be cuddly, crazy, curious, wild and in the meantime peaceful.
In the following animated TED-Ed lesson, Tony Buffington shows how cats’ behaviors such as exploring, pouncing on different things and squeezing into tight spaces are all instinctual. In other words, they are not that weird, that bizarre.
To us, the great interest of this video lies in the large number of action verbs that are used. Here is bellow a non-exhaustive list of some them with their explanation.
to pounce: to move suddenly forwards to catch or attack
to bounce: to jump up and down
to cram / to squeeze into: to force sth or sb into a small space
to stalk: to move slowly and quietly towards sb or sth, in order to catch or kill
to claw: to scratch with claws (nails if human)
to chatter: to make a series of short high sounds. To know more about this special phenomenon, have a look at Leo who talks to birds by making cute chattering noises. See how it is different from purring, which is a more low and continuous sound coming from the throat.
to sharpen: to make things sharper, like the blade of a knife or teeth
to baffle: to confuse sb completely
vantage point (from advantage point): a position that allows a clear view or understanding
to be compelled: to be forced to do sth
to rip things to shred: to cut things into small pieces
to thrive: /ai/to flourish
nap: a short sleep
to heal: to become healthy again
stealthy: when you do things secretly or quietly
to outsmart: to gain an advantage over sb by doing sth clever
On the 9th of December 2016, the latest police parade in Kampala (Uganda) was a bit weirder than usual.
To protest against sexual violence, to educate their community and raise money for rape crisis centres, women’s shelters and other sexual prevention and recovery services, some police officers decided to walk a mile in women’s high heel shoes.
This march aimed at shedding the light on the significantly increasing number of rapes, sexual assaults and domestic violence.This kind of demonstration called “Walk a mile in her shoes” was initiated in 2001 by Venture Humanity Inc. (a U.S. based non-profit organisation) to stop violence against women and is now sponsored by U.N. Women – the United Nations organisation dedicated to gender equality.
Congratulations to all the participants in the march, and let’s hope they won’t give up their fight in the 115th country out of 152 in term of gender equality.
shelter: a place where someone is protected
rape: the crime of forcing someone to have sex especially by using violence
domestic violence: violence between members of a family including children
sexual assault: the crime of sexually attacking someone
If you know someone who is about to travel abroad, the best advice you can give them is that they should consider the existing laws in the country they want to go to. Laws are written to rule a society and directly depend on its peculiarities and culture. That is why, they are often difficult to understand or anticipate in a foreign country.The following video of the Sam O’nella Academy is a good illustration of that.
If you are interested in the topic, you can also have a look at this article from the Daily Mail.
No sleeping donkeys in the bath after 7pm in Oklahoma Illegal to be overweight in Japan, the country who brought us sumo Turn that frown upside down if you're in Milan, Italy When travelling around the world, it's not always a bad idea to do your research on local laws and traditions.
And remember: wherever you go around the world, the law is harsh, but it is the law.
abroad: In or to a foreign country or countries
peculiarity: A strange or unusual feature or habit
harsh: Cruel or severe
In this brutally honest FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) poster about pregnancy, discover some of the most sarcastic answers given by an OB (obstetrician).
moody: bad tempered, grumpy
reliable: s.o or sth that can be trusted
alimony: (especially American) The money that a court orders sb to pay to their former husband or wife once they are divorced.
diaper: American word for the British nappy. The material you stick on the baby's bottom to absorb their pee and poop.
In 2013, after an arrest in which he participated, PC Peach was asked by the British CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) to write a report about it. The thing is that PC Peach is neither a fruit nor a policeman, he is a police dog from a K9 (canine /'keinain/) unit. When CPS persisted with their demand to get a statement, officers from the West Midlands Police, fed up with not being listened to, decided to send them the following document they so badly wanted.
PC Peach, pictured with his handler:
You probably noticed that the Brits pronounce the letter Z as /zed/, but how is it that the Americans say /zi:/ (= zee) instead?
Simon Whistler of Today I Found Out will give you the answer in the following very interesting video.
In the world we live in today, rape and sexual assaults are some of the most common forms of crime against women. Sometimes inappropriately referred as the « weaker sex », women used to be considered easy targets. But not anymore!
In this ABC News video below, check how self-defense tactics has helped this 36 year-old woman to defend herself and ensure her own safety.
To fend off: To defend yourself against someone who is attacking you
Weak: not physically strong
Chills: a feeling of sudden fear; apprehension
Battered: beaten with successive hits
Frantic: feeling a lot of fear and worry
Expletive: a syllable, word, or phrase inserted to fill a vacancy
Stall: a small enclosed place (in this case a public restroom)
Surge: a sudden, large increase (in this case, of adrenaline)
Overwhelming: very great in number, effect, or force
Harassment: to annoy or bother (someone) in a constant or repeated way
Stitched: wound or large cut closed or joined with a special piece of thread (string)
Bruise: colored area of the skin that is caused by an injury
To celebrate Saint Patrick's Day on the 17th of March and add some culture in your beer, have a look at the following video about the origins of this celebration day. If you are not too thirsty after that, you can also test your knowledge of this very Irish topic and, who knows, win some pints of black Irish stout by betting with your friends at the pub.
1/Saint Patrick was born in Ireland: true/false
2/The first Saint Patrick's Day parade took place in Dublin: true /false
3/The original colour associated with Saint Patrick is green: true /false
4/Saint Patrick’s Day is the Ireland’s national day: true/false
Patron saint: holy person who is supposed to give a special protection to something in particular.
To be thirsty: to feel that you need to drink.
Stout: (in this context) a strong dark beer.
To bet: to risk something on the results of a competition.
Shamrock (Irish) or clover (GB): a small plant with three green leaves.
Roses are red, violets are blue, cops eat doughnuts (donuts in American English).
In a very interesting and instructive episode, Today I Found Out comes back on the probable reason why the idea of American police officers (the boys in blue) eating doughnuts is such a widespread stereotype.
In the mid 20th century, establishments selling food were all closed at night. That’s why there were only two options left for those working night shift : diners and doughnut shops.
A diner is a small restaurant that serves cheap meals.
In 1964, a certain David Jones, who will later be known as David Bowie, was the leader of the band The Manish Boys. To gain visibility and publicity, they created the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Long-Haired Men. And it worked, as they appeared for the first time on the BBC in a show called “Tonight”. A good opportunity for us to learn or practice some good English like the following:
They are tired of losing their jobs
Can I carry your handbag?
To have long hair
Some like it long, others like it short
Please also note the beautiful quality of the interviewer’s questions and the use of question tags.
In the United Kingdom, as anywhere in the world, many associations fight against littering. One of them decided to use humour to incite people to change their bad habits. Among many other fun ideas, the environmental foundation “Hubbub” has developed a clever concept to pick up and gather cigarette butts. As you can see in the following video, this innovative kind of street ashtray named “ballot bin” invites passers-by to answer a poll by throwing their cigarette butt in the hole corresponding to their opinion. And it works.
Moreover, “ballot bins” are just part of a bigger ecological campaign held by “Hubbub” and called Neat Streets. If you want to learn more about Hubbub’s funny programs and initiatives, check their catalogue or their website. There, you will discover the “talking rubbish”, the “naked bin men”, or the “peppermint pointillist”. Enjoy!
cigarette butt: the part of a cigarette that is left after smoking
ballot: a system of voting
bin: a container for waste
litter: small pieces of rubbish that have been left lying on the ground in public places
littering (offence): antisocial behaviour consisting in volontary throwing down or dropping rubbish on the ground in a public place
rubbish: waste material or things that are no longer wanted or needed
On January the 20th, the whole world was watching the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States.
In this hilarious video, the Dutch television decided to welcome President Trump in a manner he would understand, using his own words and lexical field. More than that, they also wanted to introduce, in a sarcastic way, their tiny country to the newly elected president of the “huge” United States of America.
tiny: very, very small
huge: very, very big, enormous
to screw over: to fuck
big time: a lot (in this context)
to get along: to befriend
Founding Father: a person who participated in the writing of the US constitution. Here, the expression is used ironically
scumbags: (offensive, slang) unpleasant person, bastard
to date someone: to go out with someone
to grab: to catch
to make fun of someone: to mock someone
to do an impersonation: to imitate
NATO: North Atlantic Treaty Organization
These days, borders are a wide spread matter of concern. In the following video by Real Life Lore, you will discover the most surprising and peculiar situations concerning borders in Europe. You will also hear the word "Panhandle". It is a long and narrow piece of land joined to a larger area. A "panhandle" looks like the part of a cooking pan that you use to hold it.
As you gear up to greet the New Year with a grand salute and joyful celebration, we want to shed a light on an outlandish Scottish custom for those celebrations. This traditional event which is called “Hogmanay” draws its origins in the 8th and 9th centuries, when Scotland was invaded by the Vikings. At that time, Norsemen paid a particular attention to the arrival of the winter solstice and celebrated its passing. Hogmanay begins on the 31st of December and it ends on the 2nd of January (1st and second of January are national holidays in Scotland). So, how to celebrate “Hogmanay” as a real Scot in four steps (no kilt required)?
First step: On the 31st of December, you have to clean your house, take out the ashes from the fire and clear all your debts before the bells sound midnight.
Second step: Immediately after midnight, sing the traditional Scottish song “Auld Lang Syne”
Third step: “First footing” (or “first foot” in the house after midnight). To ensure good luck to your house, the first person who crosses its threshold should be a dark male who brings with him a piece of coal, salt, a shortbread, a black bun (a kind of pastry) or a wee dram of whisky. Probably because at the time of the Vikings invasions, a big blond man with an axe at your front door wasn’t a good presage to spend a happy year.
Fourth step: Enjoy the fireworks or do a torchlight procession in the streets of your city with your family and your friends.
Fifth step (optional): On the 2nd of January, take pills to fight your hangover.
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2017! CANTY HOGMANAY 2017!
ash: the soft, grey powder that is left after something has burnt
axe: tool or weapon that has a heavy iron or steel blade at the end of a long wooden handle, used for cutting wood (or heads!)
debt: something, especially money, that is owed to someone else
threshold: the place or point of entering (in this case, a house)
wee dram of whisky: a shot of whisky
hangover: disagreeable physical effects following heavy consumption of alcohol
This Christmas is a special occasion for us. It's been a year now that we've started this blog and we would like to thank you all for following us. We do hope to see you again next year for more fun. As we began this blog with a Christmas video, we would like to finish this year with a Christmas advert from Down Under.
Down Under: term traditionally referring to people living in Australia or New Zealand
Aussie: Informal term for Australian people
reindeer: Horned animal pulling Santa's sleigh