Here is a selection of videos I have found which cover a range of English grammar problem areas. Take a few minutes and have a look.
1. Present simple / Present continuous
This is the first pair of tenses we need to understand. The present simple is used for information and does not focus on a particular time (past, present or future) , the continuous tense focuses on this moment and temporary situations.
In French, as in many languages there is only one present tense so learners will adopt either one and then use it too much! The French have an expression about ‘being on a train’ to express an action at the time of speaking but it seems there are many exceptions. example: It is raining= happening now, il pleu= happening now.
Watch the video and see if it helps:
2. Present perfect
Welcome to the most difficult tense in the English language. This tense has various uses and most importantly, does not translate into your language, and does not exist in your language. It is summarised by saying that it connects the past and the present, and this divides it’s uses into two areas:
A. The unfinished action
B. The finished action ( but we want to connect it to the present), used to say that the action is recent, the most recent, a life experience or to describe differences between the past and present.
Now, to explain that an action is unfinished we put ‘have’ before the main verb. This is not a problem to learn with practice.
I lived in Barcelona for 4 years = finished, I have lived in Geneva for 3 years = unfinished.
But the idea of the action being finished but not in the past tense is sometimes harder to understand. For example, what is the difference between: ‘I have lost my mobile’ and ‘I lost my mobile’ ?
And the difference between: ‘Last week I worked’ and ‘This week I have worked’ ?
Watch the video link and see if it makes it any clearer:
3. Past Perfect