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» Science. Answers from Reality - Earliest Fire Sheds Light on Hominids by Nadja Neumann


Science. Answers from Reality - Earliest Fire Sheds Light on Hominids by Nadja Neumann




Science. Answers  from Reality - Earliest Fire Sheds Light on Hominids by Nadja Neumann

Supplementary text

You could travel back 790,000 years and still find someone to light your fire: archaeologists have collected evidence that early humans mastered fire much earlier than previously thought.

There is already good evidence for hearths that are 250,000 years old, and it was widely believed that the first controlled handling of fire occurred 400,000 to 500,000 years ago. But an analysis of burned remains carried out by Naama Goren-Inbar of the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and her team now proves that fire was tamed at least 300,000 years earlier than that. The researchers have spent the past 15 years unearthing and sorting sediments at a site called Gesher Benot Ya'aqov in Israel. The site is of particular interest to archaeologists because it was an old crossroads between Asia and Eurasia. It is also waterlogged, which means that any ancient remains are extremely well conserved. The team sorted flint and wood from the 790,000-year-old site into burned and unburned material. They found that burned material made up less than 2% of the total and was concentrated at specific locations in the site, suggesting the fires that created it were started and controlled by early humans.




Goren-Inbar sees the study as a breakthrough in terms of understanding the evolution of hominids: the fact that they were using fire so early tells scientists a great deal about their abilities and behaviour at the time.

As well as providing protection against wild animals, fire would have enabled hominids to cook their food, stay warm during the winter and possibly improve their weapons. Chris Stringer from the Natural History Museum in London, UK, suggests that the use of fire would have enriched the hominids' social lives too. People may have gathered around camp-fires, staying awake longer and interacting more than before. He also points out that this first use of fire correlates with the time that hominids are thought to have entered colder areas such as Europe and Northern China, suggesting that fire helped hominids to explore environments that were previously too hostile. Goren-Inbar's analysis suggests that, as well as using fire, inhabitants of the site in Israel were collecting plant food, hunting and processing meat.

The team plans further analysis of the site's material to determine which species of hominid was responsible for the fires. Homo erectus, Homo ergaster and Homo sapiens were all around at the time, and all were able to walk upright, had large brains and were already using tools made of stone.

in: Nature News Service / April, 30, 2004 / Macmillan Magazines Ltd © 2004

APPLICATIONS

Reading comprehension and comments.

What do you think of the continuous "back-shift" re-dating that contemporary anthropological

discoveries bring about?

Comment upon the cultural symbolism of fire.

Grammar Module

The Verb (I)

Tenses of the Indicative Mode

O clasa de cuvinte a carei importanta in vocabularul unei limbi se poate compara numai cu aceea a substantivelor este clasa de cuvinte care spune ceva despre un obiect (fiinta, lucru etc.), care exprima actiunea acestuia (to go - a merge; to make - a face), starea (to lie - a zacea; to sit - a sedea), transformarea (to consolidate - a se consolida; to weaken - a slabi), atitudinea (to like - a-i placea; to want - a vrea, a dori) etc. Aceasta clasa de cuvinte este denumita verb, atat in dictionare (vb, v) cat si in gramatici.

Ca parte de vorbire insa, ca element gramatical deci, verbul nu poate fi definit numai pe baza intelesului.

Gramatica trebuie sa tina seama si de forma verbului, de felul cum se asociaza cu alte parti de vorbire, precum si de functiile gramaticale pe care le poate indeplini in propozitie (sau, in general, intr-un context). Verbul este o parte de vorbire care denumeste actiuni, stari, aparitia sau modificarea unei caracteristici, transformari, atitudini etc., avand forme gramaticale caracteristice determinate de aspect, diateza, mod, timp, persoana si numar si indeplinind functia sintactica de predicat sau parte a predicatului.

THE SIMPLE PRESENT TENSE (PREZENTUL SIMPLU)

The Simple Present Tense uses the verb's base form (write, work), or, for third-person singular subjects, the base form plus an -s ending (he writes, she works).

Affirmative / Negative

I work / I do not (don't) work

You work / You do not (don't) work

He/she/it works / He/she/it does not (doesn't) work

We work / We do not (don't) work

You work / You do not (don't) work

They work / They do not (don't) work

Interrogative

Do I work? Do we work?

Do you work? Do you work?

Does he/she/it work? Do they work?

The Simple Present Tense indicates that an action is present, now, relative to the speaker or writer.

Generally, it is used to describe actions that are factual or habitual - things that occur in the present but that are not necessarily happening right now:

It rains a lot in Portland. - is a kind of timeless statement. Compare that to the present progressive:

It is raining in Portland. - which means that something is, in fact, going on right now.

I use my bike to get around town. - is in the present, but I'm not actually on my bike right now.

The present tense is used to describe events that are scheduled (by nature or by people):

High tide is at 3:15 p.m.

The Super Bowl starts at 6:15 p.m.

The present tense can be used to suggest the past with what is sometimes called

the fictional (or historic) present:

We were watching the back door when, all of a sudden, in walks Mary.

With verbs of communicating, the present tense can also suggest a past action:

Mary tells me that she took her brother to the dentist.

Most oddly, the present tense can convey a sense of the future, especially with verbs such as arrive, come, and leave that suggest a kind of plan or schedule:

The train from Boston arrives this afternoon at two o'clock.

Present tense habitual activities are frequently signaled by time expressions

such as the following: all the time, always, every class, every day, every month, every semester, often, rarely, sometimes, usually, every holiday, every hour, every week, every year, most of the

time, never, etc.

EXERCISES

1. Write these verbs + -s or -es.

1) (read) she reads

2) (think) he ..........

3) (fly) it ..........

4) (dance) he .........

5) (have) she .........

6) (finish) it ..

2. Complete the sentences. Use these verbs:

boil, close, cost, like, meet, open, speak, teach, wash

1) Margaret speaks four languages.

2) In Britain the banks usually .. at 9.30 in the morning.

3) The City Museum .. at 5 o'clock in the evening.

4) Tina is a teacher. She .. mathematics to young children.

5) My job is very interesting. I.. a lot of people.

6) Peter.. his hair twice a week.

7) Food is expensive. It.. a lot of money.

8) Shoes are expensive. They .. a lot of money.

9) Water.. at 100 degrees Celsius.

10) Julia and I are good friends. I.. her and she ..me.

3. Write sentences from these words. Put the verb in the right form (arrive or arrives, etc.).

1) (always / early / Sue / arrive) Sue always arrives early.

2) (basketball / I / play / often) I .

3) (work / Margaret / hard / usually) .

4) (Jenny / always / nice clothes / wear) ..

5) (dinner / we / have / always / at 7.30) .

6) (television / Tim / watch / never) ..

7) (like / chocolate / children / usually) ..

8) (Julia / parties / enjoy / always) .

4. Write sentences about yourself. Use always/never/often/sometimes/usually.

1) (watch television) I never watch television./ I usually watch television in the

evening.

2) (read in bed) I .

3) (get up before 7 o'clock)

4 ) (go to work/school by bus) .

5) (drink coffee) .

5. Write the negative.

1) I play the piano very well. I don't play the piano very well.

2) Jane plays the piano very well. Jane

3) They know my phone number.

4) We work very hard. .





5) He has a bath every day. .

6) You do the same thing every day.

6. Write about yourself. Use: I never or I often or I don't very often.

1) (watch TV) I don't watch TV very often.

2) (go to the theatre) ..

3) (ride a bicycle) ..

4) (eat in restaurants) .

5) (travel by train) .

7. Complete the sentences. All of them are negative. Use don't/doesn't + one of these verbs:

cost, go, know, read, see, use, wear

1) I buy a newspaper every day but sometimes I don't read it.

2) Paul has a car but he .. it very often.

3) They like films but they .. to the cinema very often.

4) Amanda is married but she .. a ring.

5) I. much about politics. I'm not interested in it.

6) It's not an expensive hotel. It.. much to stay there.

7) Brian lives near us but we him very often.

8. Put the verb into the correct form, positive or negative.

1) Margaret speaks four languages - English, French, German and Spanish.

(speak)

2) I .don't like my job. It's very boring. (like)

3) 'Where's Martin?' 'I'm sorry. I' (know)

4) Sue is a very quiet person. She .. very much. (talk)

5) Jim.. a lot of tea. It's his favourite drink. (drink)

6) It's not true! I.. it! (believe)

7) That's a very beautiful picture. I.. it very much. (like)

8) Mark is a vegetarian. He .. meat. (eat)

9. Write questions with Do and Does

1) I like chocolate. And you? Do you like chocolate?

2) I play tennis. And you? you

3) Tom plays tennis. And Ann? .. Ann ..

4) You live near here. And your friends? .

5) You speak English. And your brother? .

6) I do exercises every morning. And you?

7) Sue often goes away. And Paul? .

8) I want to be famous. And you? ..

9) You work hard. And Linda? ..

10. Write questions. Use the words in brackets () + do/does. Put the words in the right order.

1) (where /live/ your parents?) Where do your parents live?

2) (you / early / always / get up?) Do you always get up early?

3) (how often / TV / you / watch?) ..

4) (you / want / what / for dinner?) .

5) (like / you / football?) ..

6) (your brother / like / football?) .

7) (what / you /do/ in the evenings?)

8) (your sister / work / where?)

9) (to the cinema / often / you / go?) ..

10) (what / mean / this word?) .

11) (often / snow / it / here?) ..

12) (go / usually / to bed / what time / you?) .

13) (how much / to phone New York / it / cost?) ..

14) (you / for breakfast / have / usually / what?)

11. Write short answers (Yes, he does. / No, I don't, etc.).

1) Do you watch TV a lot? No, I don't. or Yes, I do.

2) Do you live in a big city? .

3) Do you often ride a bicycle? .

4) Does it rain a lot where you live?

5) Do you play the piano? ..

12. Read the following (a) in the negative (b) in the interrogative.

1) You know the answer.

2) He has breakfast at 8.00.

3) He loves her.

4) Some schoolgirls wear uniforms.

5) He trusts you.

6) He tries hard.

7) The park closes at dusk.

8) He misses his mother.

9) The children like sweets.

10) He finishes work at 6.00.

13. a) Give the third person forms of the verbs in these sentences.

b) Show whether you would pronounce the third person form as /s/, /z/ or /iz/.

1) I often drop things. She

2) We drink a lot of tea. She

3) I often forget things. She

4) We often lose things. He

5) They manage all right. She

6) I often pass your house. He..

7) I rush around a lot. She .

8) I always saw the wood. She

9) I wear old clothes at home. He ...........

10) I love sweets. She ..

11) I often see them. He .

12) They pay £30 a week rent. He.........

13) I cry at sad films. She

14. Give the correct form of the simple present of each verb.

1) Water .... at 100°C. (boil)

2) Hot air .(rise)

3) My uncle in a factory. (work)

4) John and Sue .. glasses. (wear)

5) The children .a lot of sweets. (eat)

6) He only at weekends. (work)

7) I always .....out on Saturdays. (go)

8) She ..... to London once a week. (drive)

9) She never .up very early. (get)

10) I occasionally meat. (eat)

11) The coach at 6 this evening. (leave)

12) The concert .at 7 next Friday. (start)

13) I .. Barcelona won again. (see)

14) It's not right, you (know) - I .(agree)

15) Can he manage? - I . so. (hope)

16) It .in the paper it'll be hot. (say)

15. Complete the sentences using one of the following:

cause(s,) close(s), drink(s), live(s), open(s), speak(s), take(s) place

1) Ann speaks German very well.

2) I never .. coffee.

3) The swimming pool at 9 o'clock and .. at 18.30 every day.

4) Bad driving many accidents.

5) My parents .. in a very small flat.

6) The Olympic Games .. every four years.

THE PRESENT CONTINUOUS TENSE (PREZENTUL CONTINUU)

The Present Continuous (Progressive) Tense indicates continuing action, something going on now. This tense is formed with the helping 'to be' verb, in the present tense, plus the present participle of the verb (with an -ing ending):

I am buying all my family's Christmas gifts early this year.

She is working through the holiday break.

Affirmative

I am working / We are working

You are working / You are working

He/she/it is working / They are working

Negative

I am not working

You are not (aren't) working

He/she/it is not (isn't) working

We are not (aren't) working

You are not (aren't) working

They are not (aren't) working

Interrogative

Am I working? / Are we working?

Are you working? / Are you working?

Is he/she/it working? / Are they working?

The present continuous can suggest that an action is going to happen in the future, especially with verbs that convey the idea of a plan or of movement from one place or condition to another:

The team is arriving in two hours.

He's moving to Portland this summer.

Because the present progressive can suggest either the present or the future, it is usually modified by adverbs of time. State verbs describe a continuing state, so do not usually have a continuous form. Typical examples are: believe, belong, consist, contain, doubt, fit, have, know, like, love, matter, mean, own, prefer, understand, seem, suppose, suspect, want, wish.

Some verbs have a stative meaning and a different active meaning. Typical examples are: be, depend, feel, have, measure, see, taste, think, weigh.

Compare these uses:

Jack is noisy. Jill is being noisy.

Mark has a Porsche. We are having an interesting conversation.

I think I like you! David is thinking about getting a new job.

This fish tastes awful! I am just tasting the soup.

I feel that you are wrong. I am feeling terrible.

This bag weighs a ton. We are weighing the baby.

It depends what you mean. I am depending on you.

Other uses of present continuous tense

a. Temporary or repeated actions

This use emphasises a temporary or repeated habitual action.

My car has broken down, so I am walking to work these days.

Are you enjoying your stay here?

b. Complaints about bad habits

You are always complaining about my cooking!

Other possible adverbs are: constantly, continually, forever

c. With verbs describing change and development

Things are getting worse.

More and more people are giving up smoking.

EXERCISES

1. Use these verbs to complete the sentences:

eat, have, lie, play, sit, wait

1) She's eating an apple.

2) He for a bus.

3) They . football.

4) He on the floor.

5) They breakfast.

6) She . on the table.

2. Complete the sentences. Use one of these verbs:

build, cook, go, have, stand, stay, swim, work

1) Please be quiet. I'm working.

2) 'Where's John?' 'He's in the kitchen. He ..'

3) 'You .. on my foot.' 'Oh, I'm sorry.'

4) Look! Somebody in the river.

5) We're here on holiday. We .. at the Central Hotel.

6) 'Where's Ann?' 'She .. a shower.'

7) They. a new theatre in the city centre at the moment.

8) I .. now. Goodbye.

3. What's happening at the moment? Write true sentences.

1) (I / wash / my hair) I'm not washing my hair.



2) (it / snow) It's snowing, or It isn't snowing.

3) (I / sit / on a chair) ..

4) (I/eat) .

5) (it/rain) .

6) (I / learn / English)

7) (I / listen / to music)

8) (the sun / shine) .

9) (I / wear / shoes)

10) (I / read / a newspaper) ..

4. Write questions from these words. Use is or are and put the words in order.

1) (working / Paul / today?) Is Paul working today?

2) (what / doing / the children?) What are the children doing?

3) (you / listening / to me?)

4) (where / going / your friends?)

5) (your parents / television / watching?) ..

6) (what / cooking / Ann?)

7) (why / you / looking / at me?)

8) (coming / the bus?) .

5. Write short answers (Yes, I am. / No, he isn't, etc.)

1) Are you watching TV? No, I'm not.

2) Are you wearing a watch? ..

3) Are you eating something?

4) Is it raining? ..

5) Are you sitting on the floor? ..

6) Are you feeling well? ..

6. Put the verbs in brackets into the present continuous tense.

1) She (not work), she (swim) in the river.

2) He (teach) his boy to ride.

3) Why Ann (not wear) her new dress?

4) The airplane (fly) at 2,000 meters.

5) What Tom (do) now? He (clean) his shoes.

6) This fire (go) out. Somebody (bring) more coal?

7) It (rain)?-Yes, it (rain) very hard. You can't go out yet.

8) Why you (mend) that old shirt?

9) You (not tell) the truth.

How do you know that I (not tell) the truth?

10) Who (move) the furniture about upstairs?

It's Tom. He (paint) the front bedroom.

11) Mrs Jones (sweep) the steps outside her house.

12) What you (read) now? I (read) Crime and Punishment.

13) It is a lovely day. The sun (shine) and the birds (sing).

14) Someone (knock) at the door. Shall I answer it?

I (come) in a minute. I just (wash) my hands.

15) She always (ring) up and (ask) questions.

16) Why you (make) a cake? Someone (come) to tea?

17) Where is Tom? - He (lie) under the car.

18) Can I borrow your pen or you (use) it at the moment?

19) You (do) anything this evening?

No, I'm not.

Well, I (go) to the cinema. Would you like to come with me?

20) We (have) breakfast at 8.00 tomorrow as Tom (catch) an early train.

7. Complete the sentences with one of the following verbs in the correct form:

come, get, happen, look, make, start, stay, try, work

1) 'You 're working hard today.' 'Yes, I have a lot to do.'

2) I for Christine. Do you know where she is?

3) It dark. Shall I turn on the light?

4) They haven't got anywhere to live at the moment. They . with

friends until they find somewhere.

5) 'Are you ready, Ann?' 'Yes, I.'

6) Have you got an umbrella? It to rain.

7) You .. a lot of noise. Could you be quieter? I to

concentrate.

8. Read this conversation between Brian and Sarah. Put the verbs into the correct form:

Sarah: Brian! How nice to see you! What (l) (you/do)

these days?

Brian: I (2) (train) to be a supermarket manager.

Sarah: Really? What's it like? (3) (you/enjoy) it?

Brian: It's all right. What about you?

Sarah: Well, actually I (4) (not/work) at the moment.

I (5) .. (try) to find a job but it's not easy.

But I'm very busy. I (6) (decorate) my flat.

Brian: (7) (you/do) it alone?

Sarah: No, some friends of mine (8) (help) me.

9. Complete the sentences using one of these verbs:

get, change, rise, fall, increase

(You don't have to use all the verbs and you can use a verb more than once.)

1) The population of the world is rising very fast.

2) Ken is still ill but he better slowly.

3) The world . Things never stay the same.

4) The cost of living . Every year things are more expensive.

5) The economic situation is already very bad and it worse.

THE PRESENT PERFECT SIMPLE TENSE (PREZENTUL PERFECT SIMPLU)

The Simple Present Perfect Tense is formed with a present tense form of 'to have' plus the past participle of the verb (which can be either regular or irregular form).

Affirmative

I have worked / We have worked

You have worked / You have worked

He/she/it has worked / They have worked

Negative

I/you have not (haven't) worked

He/she/it has not (hasn't) worked

We/You/They have not worked

Interrogative

Have I worked?

Has he/she/it worked?

Have we/you/they worked?

This tense indicates either that an action was completed (finished or 'perfected') at some point in the past or that the action extends to the present:

I have walked two miles already. (but I'm still walking).

I have run the Boston Marathon. (but that was some time ago).

The critics have praised the film 'Saving Private Ryan' since it came out. (and they continue to do so).

FOR / SINCE

For and since are used with perfect tenses to indicate length of time.

Since can also be used with the Past Simple. Since refers to a date in the past and is used to talk about things happening between then and now.

For refers to the period of time that has passed between a point of time in the past and now.

I've known Mary since March.

I've known Mary for three months. (It is now June.)

Since can also be used in the middle of sentences which begin with a time period:

It's a long time since I've seen you. (I haven't seen you for a long time).

Since + Past simple:

It's two years since I left the army. (I left the army two years ago - finished action in

the past.)

With adverbs beginning in the past and going up to present, we would use the present perfect:

I have studied up to now/lately/already.

We tend to use the Present Perfect when reporting or announcing an event of the recent past:

The company's current CEO has lied repeatedly to her employees

EXERCISES

1. Put the verbs in brackets into the present perfect tense, and fill the spaces by repeating the auxiliary.

You (wash) the plates?

Yes, I

Have you washed the plates?

Yes, I have.

You (see) him lately?

No, I

Have you seen him lately?

No, I haven't.

1) Where you (be)? - I (be) to the dentist.

2) You (have) breakfast? - Yes, I

3) The post (come)? - Yes, it

4) You (see) my watch anywhere? - No, I'm afraid I

5) Someone (wind) the clock? - Yes, Tom

6) I (not finish) my letter yet.

7) He just (go) out.

8) Someone (take) my bicycle.

9) The phone (stop) ringing.

10) You (hear) from her lately? - No, I

11) I just (wash) that floor.

12) The cat (steal) the fish.

13) You (explain) the exercise? - Yes, I

14) There aren't any buses because the drivers (go) on strike.

15) You (have) enough to eat? - Yes, I (have) plenty, thank you.

16) Charles (pass) his exam? - Yes, he

17) How many bottles the milkman (leave)? - He (leave) six.

18) I (live) here for ten years.

19) How long you (know) Mr Pitt? - I (know) him for ten years.

20) Would you like some coffee? - I just (make) some.

2. Write the present perfect simple tense of the verbs in brackets.

1) Up to now I've visited many countries. (visit)

2) He. six letters so far. (type)

3) .. couscous? (you ever eat)

4) They .. like this before. (never quarrel)

5) I to Marco since 1989. (not write)

6) We there since we were young. (not be)

7) I saw her in May, but her since. (not see)

8) She the same car for fifteen years. (drive)

9) I them for many years. (know)

10) She . in that shop for ages! (be)

11) They . a new car. (buy)

12) He .....all over the world. (travel)

13) ......... your promise? (you forget)

14) I .... an elephant. (ride)

15) She .. in from Rome. (just fly)

16) She ......... a director. (recently become)

17) They........ to me. (already speak)

18) I ....... my tea yet. (not drink)

19) She still ......... my letter. (not answer)

20) I ........ her several times. (met)

3. You are writing a letter to a friend. In the letter you give news about yourself and other people. Use the words given to make sentences. Use the present perfect.

Dear Chris,

Lots of things have happened since I last wrote to you.

1) I / buy / a new car. I've bought a new car.

2) my father / start / a new job

3) I / give up / smoking

4) Charles and Sarah /go/to Brazil

5) Suzanne / have / a baby



4. Read the situations and write sentences. Choose one of the following:

arrive, break, go up, grow, improve, lose

1) Mike is looking for his key. He can't find it. He has lost his key.

2) Margaret can't walk and her leg is in plaster. She .

3) Maria's English wasn't very good. Now it is much better..

4) Tim didn't have a beard last month. Now he has a beard

5) This morning I was expecting a letter. Now I have it.

6) Last week the bus fare was 80 pence. Now it is 90. .

5. Complete the sentences. Use the verb in brackets + just/already/yet (as shown).

1) Would you like something to eat? No, thanks. I've just had lunch. (just/have)

2) Do you know where Julia is? Yes, I her. (just/see)

3) What time is David leaving? He . (already/leave)

4) What's in the newspaper today? I don't know. I (not/read/yet)

5) Is Ann coming to the cinema with us? No, she the film. (already/see)

6) Are your friends here yet? Yes, they .. (just/arrive)

7) What does Tim think about your plan? I (not/tell/yet)

6. Read the situations and write sentences with just, already or yet.

1) After lunch you go to see a friend at her house. She says 'Would you like something to eat?'

You say: No, thank you. I've just had lunch. (have lunch)

2) Joe goes out. Five minutes later, the phone rings and the caller says 'Can I speak to Joe?'

You say: I'm afraid (go out)

3) You are eating in a restaurant. The waiter thinks you have finished and starts to take your plate away.

You say: Wait a minute! (not/finish)

4) You are going to a restaurant this evening. You phone to reserve a table. Later your friend says 'Shall I phone to reserve a table?'

You say: No, .. it. (do)

5) You know that a friend of yours is looking for a job. Perhaps she has been successful. Ask her.

You say:? (find)

6) Ann went to the bank, but a few minutes ago she returned. Somebody asks 'Is Ann still at the bank?'

You say: No, . (come back)

7. You are asking somebody questions about things he or she has done. Make

questions from the words in brackets.

1) (ever / ride / horse?) Have you ever ridden a horse?

2) (ever / be California?)..

3) (ever / run / marathon?)..

4) (ever / speak / famous person?)

5) (always / live / in this town?) ..

6) (most beautiful place / ever / visit?) What .

8. Complete these sentences using today / this year / this term, etc.

1) I saw Tom yesterday but .I haven't seen him today.

2) I read a newspaper yesterday but I.. today.

3) Last year the company made a profit but this year .

4) Tracy worked hard at school last term but

5) It snowed a lot last winter but

6) Our football team won a lot of games last season but we .

THE PRESENT PERFECT CONTINUOUS TENSE

(PREZENTUL PERFECT CONTINUU)

This tense is formed with the modal 'have' or 'has' (for third-person singular subjects) plus 'been' plus the present participle of the verb (with an -ing ending):

I have been working in the garden all morning.

George has been painting that house for as long as I can remember.

Affirmative

I have been working / We have been working

You have been working / You have been working

He/she/it has been working / They have been working

Negative

I/you have not (haven't ) been working

He/she has not (hasn't) been working

We/you/they have not been working

Interrogative

Have I/you been working?

Has he /she/it been working?

Have we/you/they been working?

The Present Perfect Continuous Tense indicates a continuous action that has been finished at some point in the past or that was initiated in the past and continues to happen. The action is usually of limited duration and has some current relevance:

She has been running and her heart is still beating fast.

The present perfect continuous is frequently used to describe an event of the recent past; it is often accompanied by just in this usage:

It has just been raining.

The present perfect continuous is also used for activities:

- which take place over an extended period of time, or which are repeated often in an extended period of time:

I've been playing tennis for five years. (regularly)

I've been playing tennis all morning. (continuously)

- which are general rather than specific or counted:

I've been listening to a lot of classical music lately.

EXERCISES

1. Put the verbs in brackets into the present perfect continuous tense.

1) I (make) cakes. That is why my hands are all covered with flour.

2) Her phone (ring) for ten minutes. I wonder why she doesn't answer it.

3) He (overwork). That is why he looks so tired.

4) There is sawdust in your hair. - I'm not surprised. I (cut) down a tree.

5) Have you seen my bag anywhere? I (look) for it for ages.

6) What you (do)? - I (work) in the laboratory.

7) He (study) Russian for two years and doesn't even know the alphabet yet.

8) How long you (wait) for me? - I (wait) about half an hour.

9) It (rain) for two days now. There'll be a flood soon.

10) We (argue) about this for two hours now. Perhaps we should stop!

11) I (bathe). That's why my hair is all wet.

12) You (drive) all day. Let me drive now.

13) How long you (wear) glasses?

14) The petrol gauge (say) 'Empty' for quite a long time now. Don't you think we should get some petrol?

15) I'm sorry for keeping you waiting. I (try) to make a telephone call to Rome.

16) You (not eat) enough lately. That's why you feel irritable.

17) He (speak) for an hour now. I expect he'll soon be finished.

18) That helicopter (fly) round the house for the last hour; do you think it's taking photographs?

19) The radio (play) since 7 a.m. I wish someone would turn it off.

20) I (shop) all day and I haven't a penny left.

2. Put the verbs in brackets into the present perfect continuous tense.

1) We (live) here since 1977.

2) I'm on a diet. I (eat) nothing but bananas for the last month.

3) The children (look) forward to this holiday for months.

4) That pipe (leak) for ages. We must get it mended.

5) Tom (dig) in the garden all afternoon and I (help) him.

6) I (ask) you to mend that window for six weeks. When are you going to do it?

7) Someone (use) my bicycle. The chain's fallen off.

8) How long you (drive)? - I (drive) for ten years.

9) The trial (go) on for a long time. I wonder what the verdict will be.

10) It (snow) for three days now. The roads will be blocked if it doesn't stop soon.

11) Mary (cry)? - No, she (not cry), she (peel) onions.

12) The car (make) a very curious noise ever since it ran out of oil.

13) He walked very unsteadily up the stairs and his wife said, 'You (drink)!'

14) Your fingers are very brown. You (smoke) too much.

15) You usually know when someone (eat) garlic.

16) Ever since he came to us that man (try) to make trouble.

3. Write the present perfect continuous tense of the verbs in brackets.

1) I'm tired. I have been digging all day. (dig)

2) How long ...........here? (you wait)

3) I ............. Here since 6 o'clock. (stand)

4) How long ............Chinese? (you learn)

5) She ...........English for five years. (study)

6) You're out of breath. ..........? (you run)

7) We ..........here for twelve years. (live)

8) Your eyes are red ............ (you cry)

9) How long .............? (the children sleep)

10) What ............ all afternoon? (you do)

4. Write a question for each situation.

1) John looks sun burnt.

You ask: (you/sit in the sun?) Have you been sitting in the sun?

2) You have just arrived to meet a friend who is waiting for you.

You ask: (you / wait/ long?) ................

3) You meet a friend in the street. His face and hands are very dirty.

You ask: (what / you / do?) ................

4) A friend of yours is now living in Baker Street. You want to know 'How long?'

You ask: (how long / you / live / in Baker Street?) .............

5) A friend tells you about his job - he sells computers. You want to know 'How

long?'

You ask: (how long / you / sell / computers?) .

5. Read the situations and complete the sentences.

1) The rain started two hours ago. It's still raining now. It has been raining for two hours.

2) We started waiting for the bus 20 minutes ago. We're still waiting now.

We .. for 20 minutes.

3) I started Spanish classes in December. I'm still learning Spanish now.

I. since December.

4) Ann began looking for a job six months ago. She's still looking now.

.. for six months.

5) Mary started working in London on 18 January. She's still working there now.

.. since 18 January.

6. Read the situations and write two sentences using the words in brackets.

1) Tom started reading a book two hours ago. He is still reading it and now he is on page 53.

(read / for two hours) He has been reading for two hours.

2) Linda is from Australia. She is travelling round Europe at the moment. She began her tour three months ago.

(travel / for three months) She

3) Jimmy is a tennis player. He began playing tennis when he was ten years old. This year he is national champion again - for the fourth time.

(play / tennis since he was ten)..

4) When they left college, Mary and Sue started making films together. They still make films.

(make / films since they left college)..

7. For each situation, ask a question using the words in brackets.

1) You have a friend who is learning Arabic.

You ask: (how long / learn / Arabic?) How long have you been learning Arabic?

2) You have just arrived to meet a friend. She is waiting for you.

You ask: (how long/wait?)

3) A friend of yours is a teacher.

You ask: (how long / teach?) .

4) You meet somebody who is a writer.

You ask: (how long / write / books?) ..

5) A friend of yours is saving money to go on holiday.

You ask: (how long / save?).







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