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Past vs present perfect


1. John  asked,  Have ever you had a pet?
Jane said,  I once had a black cat.

2. John said have you ever had,
Jane said only had,
So was her answer bad?

3. No, it was absolutely fine!
John was thinking of no particular time.

4. John was thinking of Jane’s whole life, you see.                                                                                                             But Jane was thinking of one time in the past, definitely.

5. So use Present Perfect with have for the question asked.
But answer without have for a definite time in the past!


Procedure:  Write the first two verses on the board. Ask the class if the answer was ‘bad’ or not. Elicit (or tell students) that it was a good answer. Write the third and fourth verses on the board, but leave blanks for whole and one. See if students can guess these words. Write the last verse on the board. Point out that as(k)ed rhymes with past, because k is usually not pronounced before a past tense suffix. Finally, practise the whole poem with the class.