Print this page

C1. Track recordscartoon

present perfect simple

There were four race horses in a stable one day. It was raining and they were bored so they started talking about their track records. One of them boasted,
   ‘I’ve been in eight races so far this year and I’ve won five of them’
   ‘That’s nothing!’ interrupted the second race horse, ‘I’ve run in twelve races since the beginning of this year and I’ve won seven of them.’
The third race horse broke in,
   ‘Well, I’ve taken part in 15 races this year and I’ve won ten of them.’
   ‘I’ve done better than any of you,’ claimed the fourth race horse. ‘So far this year I’ve been in 18 races and I’ve only lost four of them.’
    At this point, they noticed that a small greyhound dog was sitting and listening to their conversation, wagging his tail.
   ‘I don’t want to brag,’ he said, ‘But I’ve been in forty five races this year up till now and I haven’t lost any of them!’
   The horses were absolutely amazed.
   ‘That’s just incredible! I’ve never heard anything like it!’ said one of them, after an impressed silence, ‘A talking dog!’

Grammar: present perfect simple for achievements

You can use present perfect simple to talk about your achievements in an unfinished time period. Compare this pair of sentences.
I took part in ten races last year.   [Past simple]
 I’ve taken part in ten races so far this year.    [Present perfect simple]

In the first sentence (past simple), the year is over so no more races are possible this year. The time period is closed.
In the second sentence (present perfect simple), the year is not yet finished, so it’s possible for more races to be won. The time period is open.

We often use present perfect simple with these time expressions: so far, up till now, since
I’ve written twelve emails since I got to work this morning.
The computer has never broken down up till now.
I’ve read five books on the subject so far, but I know I need to read more.

Choose a verb to complete these sentences in the present perfect simple form.

hear          take          win          be          lose

1.   This is the first time I__________ part in a photography competition.
2.  Do you know who __________ today’s tennis match?
3.  You__________ your keys at least five times since I’ve known you!
4.  I think we__________ to the cinema three times so far this year.
5.  I__________ this song lots of times before, but I’m not sure who the singer is.

Choose the better verb form, past simple or present perfect to complete these sentences.

6.  I wrote / I’ve written five emails so far this morning and it’s only eleven o’clock.
7.  In the last few months I didn’t watch / haven’t watched much television.
8.  Last year Sam took part / has taken part in three races.
9.  I found / I’ve found three mistakes in this essay so far and I’m only on the first page.
10. Did you hear that the Russian athlete broke / has broken the world record last month?

Vocabulary exercises

Choose the correct prepositions to complete these sentences.

1.  I’ve never taken part at / in / to a race in my life.
2.  Can I break in / over / about at this point?
3.  I could hear what they were saying but I wasn’t trying to listen on / at / to their conversation.
4.  I’ve no idea what you are talking at / about / by.
5.  We’ve used a lot of electricity since the beginning of / to / for this month.

Choose an expression to replace the word or phrase in bold without changing the meaning.

interrupt          so far          brag          at this point          amazing

6.  The teacher left the room and just then all the lights went out in the building.
7.  I can’t believe he won the race. It’s incredible.
8.  It’s rude to break into a conversation with strangers.
9.  I’ve never met anyone famous up till now.
10. I don’t want to boast, but I passed all my exams this year.