Index | Home Page | Back | Next ______The Present Perfect tense: my life's achievements so far

What I've done in my life up until now .....!

1. Read the texts aloud to your friend.

2. Ask your friend who each person is.

3. The texts are in the Present Perfect.

Ask for particular information using the Past Simple.

4. What do you think these people are going to do in the future?

Student A]

1. I've been leader of my country. I've made friends with Western

leaders, but haven't made friends with everybody in my country. I've

helped to end the cold war. I've permitted Germany to become one country.

I've now lost my job as leader, but I've visited many countries and given

many talks.


2. I've been vocalist in a group of five musicians and I've had a very

successful solo career. I've performed Motown music in front of large

audiences and I've also created some very popular dance steps. I've also

recorded "Soul music" and some of my records have sold over forty million

copies. I've made many advertisements for Pepsi and have also made friends

with famous people like Elizabeth Taylor.


3. I've been an actor, a poet, a philosopher and have learnt many foreign

languages. Since October 1978, I've had a very important job. I am the

first person from outside Italy who has done this job. During these years,

I've travelled all over the world. I've prayed for peace, I've kissed the

ground in more than ninety countries and have also talked to their leaders.


4. I've learnt a lot about music from Rodgers and Hammerstein and I've

also worked with a young lyricist called Tim Rice. Since the 1960's, we've

written many famous musicals. We've written about Joseph, Jesus Christ,

Evita, cats, trains, ghosts and especially about love. I've written most

of the music. I've also composed classical music.


5. I've trained very hard in my sport and have developed a perfect

physique. I've learned to jump long distances and to run very fast. I've

taken part in the Olympic Games and have won a lot of gold medals. I've

been successful both as a solo runner and in relay races. I've broken many

world records at short distances.


1. Read the texts aloud to your friend.

2. Ask your friend who each person is.

3. The texts are in the Present Perfect.

Ask for particular information using the Past Simple.

4. What do you think these people are going to do

in the future?


Student B]


6. I've had four children and have learnt to ride horses and to speak very

good English. My oldest son has also learnt how to speak Welsh. Since

1952, I've held my country's most important job. I've given many speeches,

have taken part in many ceremonies and have met many leaders. I've seen

many changes in my country. I now have several grandchildren.


7. I've been called Marilyn's successor! Since the 1970s, I've been a

dancer in a night-club and have recorded many hit records. Most of my

records are about sex, but some also talk about religion. Many people have

danced to my records. They've been number 1 both in America and Britain.

I've now made many videos and a few films. I haven't been very modest in

my videos and films. Some of them have been very shocking.


8. I've learnt to play my sport with a lot of imagination. People say

that there is a direct line between my head and my left foot. I've played

my sport at the highest level. I've played both for my country in South

America and for my Italian club. I've helped my country reach the finals

in two World Cups. I've scored most of my goals with my left foot, but

I've sometimes used my hand.


9. I've spent a lot of my adult life in prison. Since my release in 1990,

I've become the leader of my party again. I've separated from my wife, but

life has got a little better. I've had many talks with my country's

leaders and they've promised a new constitution where black people and

white people can share power. I've tried to stay in good health. My life

has been very busy recently.


10. I've been a top sportsman. I've been World Champion in my sport three

times. I've also been on many TV shows and have made many people happy

with my jokes. My opponents haven't been so happy. I've beaten Sony

Liston twice, have defeated Jo Frazier and have knocked out George Foreman.

But outside of the ring, I've worked for peace. I've taken a Muslim name,

have had meetings with Muslim leaders in the Arab world and have visited

many other countries.





1. Mijail Gorbachov Russia 1931

2. Michael Jackson U.S.A. 1958

3. John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla) Poland 1920

4. Andrew Lloyd Webber UK 1948

5. Carl Lewis USA 1961

6. Elizabeth II UK 1926

7. Madonna USA 1958

8. Maradona Arg. 1960

9. Mandela Nelson S. Afr 1918

10. Mohamed Ali USA 194_


The Balloon Game

What have you done in your life? Imagine there are four people in an air balloon, but it is losing height and one person has to jump to their death. Each person has to say what they have achieved in their life so far [using the Present Perfect]!

The people may also talk about what they could go on to achieve in the future using English modal verbs to express different degrees of certainty.


  1. might
  2. could
  3. will certainly
  4. may be able to

At the end of the discussion, you each write on a piece of paper which two other people should stay in the balloon basket and which one should jump. Discuss your reasons afterwards.