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Cut and past

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Here's an idea to show the difference between past and present perfect. Tie a piece of string to the door handle. Ask one student to hold the sting at the other end of the room. Write the following dialogue on the board:

Have you been to France?
Yes I have
When did you go

Ask two students to read the dialogue. Cut the string as soon as they get to 'did', to show that the connection with the past is broken, and so present perfect is replaced by past tense.

Simon Mumford

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