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Understanding Grammar: Past Simple v Past Perfect

Understanding Grammar: Past Simple v Past Perfect

In this week's Premier Skills English Podcast, Jack and Rich talk about a specific structure that learners often find difficult: the past perfect. They look at how we create the past perfect when we use it in real language and contrast its use with the past simple. They introduce the language in simple dialogues to help you understand the language in context and then give you some advice about when to use the past perfect. Further down the page, there are a number of explanations, the transcript, interactive activities, a quiz and a discussion to help you understand. Your task is to use the past perfect in three different situations. Don't forget to listen to the end of the podcast because we also have a new football phrase for you to guess. Enjoy!

Transcript

If you find the podcast difficult to understand, you can read the transcript and listen at the same time.
Read the transcript and listen at the same time.

Introduction

Jack: Hey, Rich. What have you been up to?

Rich: Well, it was my birthday yesterday.

Jack: Oh! Brilliant! Happy Birthday! What did you do?

Rich: It was really nice actually. When I got home from work I discovered that my family had arranged a surprise birthday party.

Jack: A nice surprise?

Rich: Yes, it was. They’d invited some family around, had wrapped a few presents and they’d made a cake. It was really nice.

Jack: Did they manage to fit all the candles on the cake?

Rich: Very funny! No, they didn’t … I get one candle per decade these days!

Welcome - Past Simple v Past Perfect 

Rich: Hello my name’s Rich

Jack: and I’m Jack

Rich: and welcome to this week’s Premier Skills English podcast

Jack: Where we talk about football and help you with your English.

Jack: What’s happening this week, Rich?

Rich: In this week’s podcast, we are going to talk about grammar and specifically we’re going to talk about the past.

Jack: We’re going to look at how we use the past simple and the past perfect. These are often called tenses and you may have seen them called the past simple tense and past perfect tense in your English books or in English class.

Rich: We’re just going to call them the past simple and past perfect and we’re going to compare them.

Jack: That’s right. We’re going to look at when you should use the past simple and when you should use the past perfect.

Rich: Why are we looking at this grammar point this week, Jack?

Jack: Well, I’m happy that you asked me that. Last week, we got a message on the website from one of our regular listeners - Milos from Serbia. He said that his biggest problem when learning English is grammar and he said that he had a specific problem with the past perfect.

Rich: So, we’re going to help Milos from Serbia today.

Jack: Exactly. And if you have any language problems you would like us to talk about in our podcasts, send us an email or a message on the website. We’ll try to help you in a future podcast.

Rich: Before we move on, we’d just like to thank an English teacher who got in touch with us this week.

Jack: Richard Hill, who is an English teacher based in Cyprus, contacted us as he had spotted a few spelling mistakes or, as I prefer to call them - typos, on a few of our pages.

Rich: If anybody notices anything that needs changing on the site we’re always happy to hear from you and we’ll make the changes as quickly as we can.

Jack: Thanks Richard for your support and a big hello to you and all your students.

Rich: And we’d also like to remind you about the Activity Week that’s live in the Premier Skills English Live section. There are six lessons about the language of health and fitness. If you complete the lessons and pass the end of activity week test, you can get a certificate.

Jack: We’ve got another Activity Week coming up, too. On Monday the 12th March, we’re going to be live on Facebook to talk about a new Activity Week all about films and how watching films can help you learn English. 

Rich: That’s right. I’m really looking forward to it. Let’s get back to the podcast. 

Jack: Don’t forget to listen to the end because we have a new football phrase for you to guess.

Topic Focus

Rich: So, we are going to do two roleplays. In both roleplays, you will hear examples of the past simple and past perfect. After the roleplays, we will look at the language in a little bit more detail.

Jack: We want you to listen to the roleplay and answer this question. What is Rich upset about? 

Roleplay 1

Jack: How was class?

Rich: It was embarrassing! Some of the students are really cheeky!

Jack: What’s the matter? They can’t be that bad. They’re only 12 years old.

Rich: I know, I know, but guess what happened today?

Jack: I have no idea but I think you’re about to tell me.

Rich: When I arrived everybody was sitting very quietly. I thought this is good because they are normally really noisy. The week before, there’d been paper aeroplanes flying about all over the place.

Jack: So it was good then. A nice calm disciplined classroom. That’s good.

Rich: Good? Then I sat down ... on the floor! Someone had replaced my chair with a broken one. The students, of course, all started laughing!

Jack: Oh dear! That’s not funny at all! Well, maybe a little bit. And, how was the rest the of the class?

Rich: It was alright I suppose. 

Jack: There you go. You’re overreacting. They’re not that bad and I think it’s always good to inject a bit of humour at the beginning of class.

Rich: Mmm, maybe but not at my expense!

Rich: Here is the second roleplay. We want you to answer this question. What is Jack upset about? 

Roleplay 2

Jack: Alright?

Rich: I’m all right but you have a face like thunder. What’s up?

Jack: Computers! That’s what’s up?

Rich: Ah! 

Jack: I was writing this week’s podcast offline because I’d decided to go to a cafe to work a bit from there.

Rich: Coffee and cake?

Jack: Just a coffee actually. Anyway, before I’d had my coffee the waiter came over to tell me that the wifi wasn’t working so I had to work offline.

Rich: Dangerous!

Jack: Yes, indeed. Well, I’d nearly finished when my laptop crashed! 

Rich: Disaster!

Jack: If I’d had just a few minutes more, I’d have been able to finish it. I’ve got to write it all over again now!

Rich: You should have had some cake! 

Language Focus

Jack: In the roleplays, you probably heard lots of examples of the past perfect and in this language focus we’re going to give you three tips about using the past perfect when you’re writing and speaking.

Rich: And then we have a task for you to do to show your understanding of the past perfect and how it is different from the past simple.

Jack: But, before we look at those three bits of advice, let’s remind everyone what the past perfect is.

Rich: We usually use the past perfect when we are talking about two things in the past and one of them happened before the other.

Jack: In the first roleplay, Rich sat on a broken chair and fell on the floor. What happened before Rich tried to sit down?

Rich: One of my students replaced my chair with a broken chair.

Jack: So when Rich told me about him falling on the floor, he used the past perfect to talk about his students replacing the chair because that happened before he sat down.

Rich: I said “Then I sat down ... on the floor! Someone had replaced my chair with a broken one. “

Jack: In the second roleplay, the two actions were: I nearly finished my work and my laptop crashed.

Rich: Which action happened first? Jack said he had nearly finished his work when his laptop crashed. 

Jack: Yes - that’s what made me angry. I hate computers sometimes.

Rich: We create the past perfect by using had and the past participle. The past participle is the third form of the verb, for example, gone is the past participle of go. Go, went, gone. Taken is the past participle of take. Take, took, taken.

Jack: So, those are the basics. Now, we’re going to share three tips that will help you when deciding to use the past perfect or not.

Tip 1

Rich: It’s not always necessary to use the past perfect when we are talking about two or more events that happened at different times in the past.

Jack: That’s right. Let’s look at a couple of examples. The first one is: Zlatan Ibrahimovic had played in many countries before he played in the Premier League.

Rich: This sentence is correct but because the order of events is made clear by using ‘before’ you can also use the past simple: Zlatan Ibrahimovic played in many countries before he played in the Premier League.

Jack: Another example from the roleplay is: before I’d had my coffee the waiter came over. The past perfect could be replaced by the past simple here and the meaning would still be clear because the word before makes the order of events clear.

Rich: In the example: I sat down and I realised the chair had been replaced we need the past perfect to show that the chair had been replaced at an earlier time.

Tip 2

Jack: Use contractions when you use the past perfect. If you look back at the roleplays you can see that we don’t usually say I had or they had we say I’d, you’d and they’d.

Rich: Jack said: I’d nearly finished when my laptop crashed.

Jack: And Rich said: they’d made him a cake and they’d wrapped a few presents when he was speaking about his birthday at the start of this podcast.

Rich: Students always ask me about the structure had had. It’s important to remember that had can be an auxiliary verb and a main verb. So an example sentence using had had could be: I had had a good breakfast so I left the house feeling full and happy.

Jack: Or because the auxiliary verb is usually contracted we could say: I’d had a good breakfast so I left the house feeling full and happy.

Rich: And you can see another example of this in the earlier roleplay when Jack said: Before I’d had my coffee the waiter came over.
  
Tip 3 

Jack: The past perfect is often described in different ways. Here are three more examples of how you might see the past perfect being used and how it might be described in English books and classes.

Rich: In the end though, the past perfect is still being used to compare two times in the past in these examples as well.

Jack: We can use it to talk about past wishes. I wish Arsenal had won the Cup Final last week.

Rich: We also use the past perfect when we use past conditionals. For example, Manchester Utd would have lost if David De Gea hadn't made a brilliant save.

Jack: We also use it to talk about experience up to a point in the past. For example, that goal by Pele was the best I had ever seen until that goal Ibrahimovic scored last night. 

Rich: And we often use it in reported speech. Jack said earlier that his laptop had crashed.

Jack: That’s right. When we tell someone else what someone said we use the past perfect if the original speaker had used the present perfect or past simple but reported speech is quite complicated. I think that’s a topic for another podcast.

Task

Rich: Our task for you this week is to use the past perfect in three different ways.

Jack: We have three mini tasks for you to do.

Rich: Mini task number one: Tell us about a time that you were too late for something? Why were you late? And why were you too late?

Jack: For example: I remember my car breaking down a few months ago on the way to the match. I arrived really late and the first half had already finished.

Rich: Mini task number two: Tell us an important or funny conversation that you have had with someone recently. What did they say?

Jack: For example: I went to the doctor’s recently and I told him that I was going to Indonesia soon and the doctor asked me if I’d had any jabs … injections recently.

Rich: Mini task number three: Tell us something that you did last year and then tell us what you would have done if you hadn't done this thing.

Jack: For example: Last year I went to the south coast of England for my holidays. If I hadn’t gone there, I’d probably have gone to France.

Rich: Did you hear any examples of the past perfect? We want to see you using the past perfect in all your answers at the bottom of this page.

Football Phrase

Rich: Have you got a football phrase for us this week? 

Jack: Yes, I have, but first, last week’s football phrase. The phrase was to pull a muscle. This is a phrase that can happen to anybody doing sport or exercise, not just footballers. This is the general phrase we use when someone hurts or strains some part of your body.

Rich: Some of you got it right. Well done to Liubomyr and Violinka from Ukraine, Giovi from Poland, Lakerwang from China and Kwesimanifest from Ghana. What’s this week’s football phrase?

Jack: This week’s football phrase is ****-**** *********. This phrase means a goal that is scored in the very final moment to make the scores level. It describes the final moment or minute of a match and uses a word which means a deep breath - like when you have been running or when you’re shocked.

Rich: A tricky one this week. Let’s see who gets it.

Jack: Right, that’s all we have time for this week! Don’t forget to write your answers to our questions and make a guess at our football phrase in the comments below.

Rich: Don’t forget to sign up for our Premier Skills English Live Lessons on the Premier Skills English homepage. Just hit the live tab.

Jack: If you have enjoyed this podcast or found it useful, leave us a rating or review and that will help other people find us. Bye for now and enjoy your football.

Vocabulary

How much did you understand?

In the podcast, Rich and Jack used some words and phrases that might be new for you. Do you know the words or phrases in bold?

It was embarrassing! Some of the students are really cheeky!

I’m all right but you have a face like thunder

There were a few more tricky words in the podcast. Do you know what they all mean? Try the activity below, then, listen to the podcast again to hear how we used the words.

Activity 1

Activity 1: In this activity, try to match the words and phrases to the descriptions.
Can you match the words to the descriptions?

Manchester Utd would have lost more matches if David De Gea HADN'T MADE so many saves.

Grammar

Past Perfect

In this week's podcast, Jack and Rich spoke about the past perfect. We use the past perfect when we are talking about the past and want to talk about something else which happened further in the past. We create the past perfect with had + past participle (third form of the verb). Here are a couple of examples from the podcast:

When I got home from work I discovered that my family had arranged a surprise birthday party.

I sat down and realised that someone had replaced my chair with a broken one.

In these sentences, we can see the most recent action(s) uses the past simple while the action before this uses the past perfect. The action that happened earlier can be a few minutes or many years earlier, this is not important. We use the past perfect to show that one action happened at an earlier time in the past than another action.

We often use the past perfect when we talk about problems and their causes. This is because the cause of a problem often happens at an earlier time. In this activity, match the problems (past simple) with their causes (past perfect). Then, look at each sentence and think about why we use the past perfect.

Activity 2

Activity 2: In this activity, match the problems (past simple) with their causes (past perfect).
Think about how we use the past perfect.

Jack wishes that Arsenal HAD WON the Cup not Manchester City!

Grammar

Are there any other ways we use the past perfect?

The past perfect is used most often to compare two different times in the past but it can also be used in some other ways. Some of these uses also compare two different times in the past:

  • to talk about past wishes (I wish Arsenal had beaten Manchester City last week.) 
  • to talk about past conditions (Manchester Utd would have lost if David De Gea hadn't made a brilliant save.)
  • to talk about something someone else said i.e. reported speech (In the podcast, Jack said that his laptop had crashed.)
  • to talk about experience up to a point in the past (That goal by Pele was the best I'd ever seen until I saw that goal Ibrahimovic scored last night.)

In this activity, take a look at the sentences that use the past perfect and decide why we are using the past perfect in each case.

Activity 3

Activity 3: In this activity, take a look at the sentences and match them to the reasons why we are using the past perfect.
When do we use the past perfect?

Zlatan Ibrahimovic PLAYED in many countries before he arrived in England.

Task

Using the Past Perfect

Our task for you this week is to use the past perfect in three different ways. We have three mini tasks for you to do. We want to see examples of the past perfect in all of your answers. If you need some help, listen again to Jack's answers in the podcast. Write your answers in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

  1. Mini task number one: Tell us about a time that you were too late for something? Why were you late? And why were you too late?

  2. Mini task number two: Tell us an important or funny conversation that you have had with someone recently. What did they say?

  3. Mini task number three: Tell us something that you did last year and then tell us what you would have done if you hadn't done this thing.

Quiz

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Comment

What do you think?

In this week’s podcast, Jack and Rich spoke about the past perfect and roleplayed two situations.

Did you always behave in the classroom? Did you or your classmates ever play a joke or trick on a teacher?

Does your computer ever crash? Do you ever have WIFI problems?

Look at the tasks above about the past perfect and write your answers. 

Remember to write your guess for this week's football phrase, too!

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Komentar

flexbabane's picture
flexbabane
26/03/2018
FR
40
points

Mini task number one : Many years ago I missed my plane to come back to Paris from London because I had spent to much time at the Caribbean carnaval

Mini task two : Yesterday my son told me he had had a very good result at his exam

Mini task three : Last year I ran the Paris marathon, if I hadn't done it I would have run in Rome


flexbabane's picture
flexbabane
26/03/2018 22:22
France
Chelsea
40

Mini task number one : Many years ago I missed my plane to come back to Paris from London because I had spent to much time at the Caribbean carnaval

Mini task two : Yesterday my son told me he had had a very good result at his exam

Mini task three : Last year I ran the Paris marathon, if I hadn't done it I would have run in Rome

elghoul's picture
elghoul
09/03/2018
DZ
2942
points

1. I was late for my first working day because my car tube had been flat off.

2. My teacher said me that he had left his course material at home.

3. If I had not traveled abroad late summer I would have gone to Sahara.

Football phrase, ultimate exhausting drawer.


elghoul's picture
elghoul
09/03/2018 12:40
Algeria
Manchester City
2942

1. I was late for my first working day because my car tube had been flat off.

2. My teacher said me that he had left his course material at home.

3. If I had not traveled abroad late summer I would have gone to Sahara.

Football phrase, ultimate exhausting drawer.

kwesimanifest's picture
kwesimanifest
08/03/2018
GH
4662
points

On a second guess
This week's phrase is full time *********


kwesimanifest's picture
kwesimanifest
08/03/2018 20:34
Ghana
Manchester United
4662

On a second guess
This week's phrase is full time *********

Cedric Delared's picture
Cedric Delared
06/03/2018
NI
7
points

Mini Task Number 1: I remenber one year ago i arrived so late to my job, becouse last night i had went to a party, so i had woke up late.

Mini task number 2: I was talking to my mom about my girlfriend and she asked me if i would have already ask her fo marriage.

Mini task number 3: Last year i worked through spring break, if i hadn´t worked, i´d have gone to San Juan del Sur.


Cedric Delared's picture
Cedric Delared
06/03/2018 22:19
Nicaragua
Arsenal
7

Mini Task Number 1: I remenber one year ago i arrived so late to my job, becouse last night i had went to a party, so i had woke up late.

Mini task number 2: I was talking to my mom about my girlfriend and she asked me if i would have already ask her fo marriage.

Mini task number 3: Last year i worked through spring break, if i hadn´t worked, i´d have gone to San Juan del Sur.

Regims's picture
Regims
06/03/2018
ID
249
points

i had the noisy classmate, especially when i was colleger. full of trick and sometimes it entertained me nor made me angry too.

praise The Lord, i have not. and the wifi was work normally to in my room.

i dont know what the phrase is, and i have no idea to guess it XD sorry rich :( actually i'm not a big fan of football but i really excited to take part of this exercise


Regims's picture
Regims
06/03/2018 08:06
Indonesia
Manchester United
249

i had the noisy classmate, especially when i was colleger. full of trick and sometimes it entertained me nor made me angry too.

praise The Lord, i have not. and the wifi was work normally to in my room.

i dont know what the phrase is, and i have no idea to guess it XD sorry rich :( actually i'm not a big fan of football but i really excited to take part of this exercise

Ahmed Adam Mamado's picture
Ahmed Adam Mamado
06/03/2018
SD
2859
points

Correct me.
TASK

1- Some week ago I was very busy that I didn't have much time to come along to the PSE website and despite that I managed to take a look at the football phrase and correctly guessed it, but that was too late because the new podcast had already been recorded so I missed out!

2- I was on a bus getting home and when the assistant came asking for the bus affair, and because I didn't have the exact change, I handed him a tenner. The assistant mistakenly gave my change to the wrong person and that person took it and stayed no word! When I asked for my change that surprised the assistant and someone from the back seat shouted pointing towards someone that this guy had taken the change. So the assistant asked him and he sayed that he'd payed a fiver, but I gave you 8 pounds as change "said the assistant" and the man replied that he hadn't knew how would it cost!!!

3- I would've finished my national service if I hadn't stayed in Khartoum for an extra year after graduation.


Ahmed Adam Mamado's picture
Ahmed Adam Mamado
06/03/2018 07:59
Sudan
Liverpool
2859

Correct me.
TASK

1- Some week ago I was very busy that I didn't have much time to come along to the PSE website and despite that I managed to take a look at the football phrase and correctly guessed it, but that was too late because the new podcast had already been recorded so I missed out!

2- I was on a bus getting home and when the assistant came asking for the bus affair, and because I didn't have the exact change, I handed him a tenner. The assistant mistakenly gave my change to the wrong person and that person took it and stayed no word! When I asked for my change that surprised the assistant and someone from the back seat shouted pointing towards someone that this guy had taken the change. So the assistant asked him and he sayed that he'd payed a fiver, but I gave you 8 pounds as change "said the assistant" and the man replied that he hadn't knew how would it cost!!!

3- I would've finished my national service if I hadn't stayed in Khartoum for an extra year after graduation.

Ahmed Adam Mamado's picture
Ahmed Adam Mamado
06/03/2018
SD
2859
points

Hi the PSE folks!
It's been a while! What's up guys?

It looks like it's a bit of an anniversary for me because I think this month last year I signed up and joined PSE community and since then my English language has taken a huge boost! My only regret is I should have joined much earlier.

Actually this week's podcast is kind of a birthday present because this bit of grammar I continuously have problems with. Thanks to all involved.

Now, let me wrap things up by starting with the football phrase which seems to be on the bag! The phrase must be a "**** **** **********".

When I heard the description of this week's phrase the first goal came into my mind was the Sergio Ramos 2014 CL goal against their derby rivals in the final, but that was an Injury time "***********" rather than a "**** **** ***********". However, the goal that suits this phrase is undoubtedly that one scored against Saville in the 2016 UEFA Super Cup final and once again the same man was behind the late "**********".


Ahmed Adam Mamado's picture
Ahmed Adam Mamado
06/03/2018 04:10
Sudan
Liverpool
2859

Hi the PSE folks!
It's been a while! What's up guys?

It looks like it's a bit of an anniversary for me because I think this month last year I signed up and joined PSE community and since then my English language has taken a huge boost! My only regret is I should have joined much earlier.

Actually this week's podcast is kind of a birthday present because this bit of grammar I continuously have problems with. Thanks to all involved.

Now, let me wrap things up by starting with the football phrase which seems to be on the bag! The phrase must be a "**** **** **********".

When I heard the description of this week's phrase the first goal came into my mind was the Sergio Ramos 2014 CL goal against their derby rivals in the final, but that was an Injury time "***********" rather than a "**** **** ***********". However, the goal that suits this phrase is undoubtedly that one scored against Saville in the 2016 UEFA Super Cup final and once again the same man was behind the late "**********".

milos
05/03/2018
RS
1912
points

1.Usually I don't late often.But one time I missed my basketball game.I arrived late and the second quarter had already finished.
My teammates laughed on me.
2.I went to the basketball game recently and my friend asked me if I had had a ticket for him.
3.Last year I had conversation with my father about my project.He told me that I would failed class if I hadn't finished it.
One week ago electricity broken when I had read very interested blog about football history in my country.I lost wi fi connection when computer had crashed.
I think that football phrase is breathtaking ********* .


milos
05/03/2018 08:01
Serbia
Manchester United
1912

1.Usually I don't late often.But one time I missed my basketball game.I arrived late and the second quarter had already finished.
My teammates laughed on me.
2.I went to the basketball game recently and my friend asked me if I had had a ticket for him.
3.Last year I had conversation with my father about my project.He told me that I would failed class if I hadn't finished it.
One week ago electricity broken when I had read very interested blog about football history in my country.I lost wi fi connection when computer had crashed.
I think that football phrase is breathtaking ********* .

Rich's picture
Rich
05/03/2018
ES
370
points

Hi Milos,

In your first two examples, you use the past perfect correctly and appropriately. The only thing that you need to change here is that you can't use had had.  Had bought or had got would have more sense here.

The third example is a bit more complicated and you probably don't need to use any examples of the past perfect because the order of events is clear or in the first part you can use the past continuous to describe what you were doing when something else happened. You could say: One week ago the electricity went off while I was reading an interesting blog about football in my country. I lost my wifi connection and the computer crashed.

Hope that helps.

Rich - The Premier Skills English Team


Rich's picture
Rich
05/03/2018 09:16
Spain
Liverpool
370

Hi Milos,

In your first two examples, you use the past perfect correctly and appropriately. The only thing that you need to change here is that you can't use had had.  Had bought or had got would have more sense here.

The third example is a bit more complicated and you probably don't need to use any examples of the past perfect because the order of events is clear or in the first part you can use the past continuous to describe what you were doing when something else happened. You could say: One week ago the electricity went off while I was reading an interesting blog about football in my country. I lost my wifi connection and the computer crashed.

Hope that helps.

Rich - The Premier Skills English Team

milos
06/03/2018
RS
1912
points

Thank you Rich.


milos
06/03/2018 06:41
Serbia
Manchester United
1912

Thank you Rich.

Violinka
04/03/2018
UA
1859
points

I don't know for shure, but may be the phrase is "take rush **********".


Violinka
04/03/2018 21:27
Ukraine
Chelsea
1859

I don't know for shure, but may be the phrase is "take rush **********".

admin's picture
admin
04/03/2018
GB
334
points

You're part right. It's a tricky one this week.

Jack - The Premier Skills English Team


admin's picture
admin
04/03/2018 23:10
United Kingdom
Arsenal
334

You're part right. It's a tricky one this week.

Jack - The Premier Skills English Team

Violinka
05/03/2018
UA
1859
points

Thanks for reply:)


Violinka
05/03/2018 12:09
Ukraine
Chelsea
1859

Thanks for reply:)

kwesimanifest's picture
kwesimanifest
04/03/2018
GH
4662
points

This week's phrase is full time **********


kwesimanifest's picture
kwesimanifest
04/03/2018 19:54
Ghana
Manchester United
4662

This week's phrase is full time **********

admin's picture
admin
04/03/2018
GB
334
points

You got the last part, but not the first. 

Jack - The Premier Skills English Team


admin's picture
admin
04/03/2018 23:11
United Kingdom
Arsenal
334

You got the last part, but not the first. 

Jack - The Premier Skills English Team

lakerwang
04/03/2018
CN
252
points

Hi, Jack&Rich, can I ask a question about 'Wish you a merry christmas'? I can say 'I wish you a merry christmas'or 'Wishing you a merry christmas', can't I? But how about 'Wish you a merry christmas'? Is it grammatically correct as a sentence? Does it sound natural?
In my country, some teachers think it's correct in spoken English while some other ones say it's wrong.
What I'm sure about is that I can find plenty of results about 'I/We wish you ***' or 'Wishing you ***' on Google but hardly see 'Wish you ***'
Thanks.


lakerwang
04/03/2018 10:22
China
Chelsea
252

Hi, Jack&Rich, can I ask a question about 'Wish you a merry christmas'? I can say 'I wish you a merry christmas'or 'Wishing you a merry christmas', can't I? But how about 'Wish you a merry christmas'? Is it grammatically correct as a sentence? Does it sound natural?
In my country, some teachers think it's correct in spoken English while some other ones say it's wrong.
What I'm sure about is that I can find plenty of results about 'I/We wish you ***' or 'Wishing you ***' on Google but hardly see 'Wish you ***'
Thanks.

admin's picture
admin
04/03/2018
GB
334
points

Hi Lakerwang

This is a good question. My immediate response is 'I wish you ...' or 'wishing you' are fine and 'Wish you ... ' is wrong. I certainly wouldn't use it myself.

In the phrases thank you and bless you, the subject is dropped - I assume this is because the phrases are so common and formulaic, we just don't need subjects to express what we mean. This might arguably be possible for wish you a merry Christmas, but I wouldn't do it though I think I may have seen it written in Christmas cards. To be honest, I'm not sure I would ever say 'I wish you a merry Christmas' as it sounds a bit old fashioned and formal, but at least it sounds grammatically correct.

Thanks for the question.

Jack - The Premier Skills English Team


admin's picture
admin
04/03/2018 23:25
United Kingdom
Arsenal
334

Hi Lakerwang

This is a good question. My immediate response is 'I wish you ...' or 'wishing you' are fine and 'Wish you ... ' is wrong. I certainly wouldn't use it myself.

In the phrases thank you and bless you, the subject is dropped - I assume this is because the phrases are so common and formulaic, we just don't need subjects to express what we mean. This might arguably be possible for wish you a merry Christmas, but I wouldn't do it though I think I may have seen it written in Christmas cards. To be honest, I'm not sure I would ever say 'I wish you a merry Christmas' as it sounds a bit old fashioned and formal, but at least it sounds grammatically correct.

Thanks for the question.

Jack - The Premier Skills English Team

giovi's picture
giovi
03/03/2018
PL
292
points

1. Last week I was too late for the first half of my 5-side league match. I wasn't aware of roadworks on my way to football pitch. It took a lot of time to get there via diversion. When I got pitch I heard that the referee had just finished the first half of the game.
2. The other day I had a conversation with my friend Dan. He said that he'd bought a new gamepad and he was going to beat me in fifa. It was funny because he always lose.
3. Last year I decided to take up a job. If I hadn't taken up the job, I'd probably continued learning at school.
I attempted to behave in the classroom, particularly during English lessons. I played a trick on a teacher once when the class had to watch some boring film. Using remote control in my smartphone I was turning the volume up and down. Computers at my work crash all the time. My computer doesn't crash. Sometimes I have WIFI problems, especially during maintenance work.
I suppose this week phrase is: a ****-**** goal


giovi's picture
giovi
03/03/2018 14:31
Poland
Manchester United
292

1. Last week I was too late for the first half of my 5-side league match. I wasn't aware of roadworks on my way to football pitch. It took a lot of time to get there via diversion. When I got pitch I heard that the referee had just finished the first half of the game.
2. The other day I had a conversation with my friend Dan. He said that he'd bought a new gamepad and he was going to beat me in fifa. It was funny because he always lose.
3. Last year I decided to take up a job. If I hadn't taken up the job, I'd probably continued learning at school.
I attempted to behave in the classroom, particularly during English lessons. I played a trick on a teacher once when the class had to watch some boring film. Using remote control in my smartphone I was turning the volume up and down. Computers at my work crash all the time. My computer doesn't crash. Sometimes I have WIFI problems, especially during maintenance work.
I suppose this week phrase is: a ****-**** goal

lakerwang
03/03/2018
CN
252
points

Task No.1:I was too late to get on the train because I'd been stuck in traffic.
Task No.2:My friend said he had eaten insects several times.
Task No.3:I'd have become a couch potato if I hadn't kept doing exercise regularly.
This week's phrase is '****-**** *********'


lakerwang
03/03/2018 13:56
China
Chelsea
252

Task No.1:I was too late to get on the train because I'd been stuck in traffic.
Task No.2:My friend said he had eaten insects several times.
Task No.3:I'd have become a couch potato if I hadn't kept doing exercise regularly.
This week's phrase is '****-**** *********'

Zanko
02/03/2018
EG
2
points

I really enjoyed every aspect of this podcast starting with the information, your approach to deliver it, the pace you are doing it, all the way through to your intonation. Absolutely magnificent. I think the phrase that best fits the afore-mentioned description is a “ ****-**** goal”


Zanko
02/03/2018 20:24
Egypt
Liverpool
2

I really enjoyed every aspect of this podcast starting with the information, your approach to deliver it, the pace you are doing it, all the way through to your intonation. Absolutely magnificent. I think the phrase that best fits the afore-mentioned description is a “ ****-**** goal”

Rich's picture
Rich
02/03/2018
ES
370
points

Hi Zanko,

Thanks so much for your positive comment and welcome to Premier Skills English! It's always great to hear from listeners who have found the podcast useful and interesting.

You're very close with the football phrase because you've got the difficult part!

Rich - The Premier Skills English Team

 


Rich's picture
Rich
02/03/2018 21:45
Spain
Liverpool
370

Hi Zanko,

Thanks so much for your positive comment and welcome to Premier Skills English! It's always great to hear from listeners who have found the podcast useful and interesting.

You're very close with the football phrase because you've got the difficult part!

Rich - The Premier Skills English Team

 

Zanko
02/03/2018
EG
2
points

Thank you for the swift reply. On second thought, it may be a “ ****-**** *********”


Zanko
02/03/2018 22:31
Egypt
Liverpool
2

Thank you for the swift reply. On second thought, it may be a “ ****-**** *********”

Rich's picture
Rich
02/03/2018
ES
370
points

You've got it!


Rich's picture
Rich
02/03/2018 22:36
Spain
Liverpool
370

You've got it!

milos
02/03/2018
RS
1912
points

Thank you very much.This mean me a lot.Tonight I am going to sit down and listen again this podcast.


milos
02/03/2018 13:52
Serbia
Manchester United
1912

Thank you very much.This mean me a lot.Tonight I am going to sit down and listen again this podcast.

Rich's picture
Rich
02/03/2018
ES
370
points

Brilliant!! Jack and I hope you like it and find it useful!

Rich - The Premier Skills English Team

 


Rich's picture
Rich
02/03/2018 14:14
Spain
Liverpool
370

Brilliant!! Jack and I hope you like it and find it useful!

Rich - The Premier Skills English Team

 

Liubomyr's picture
Liubomyr
02/03/2018
UA
3149
points

I think that the phrase is a ‘****-**** *********’


Liubomyr's picture
Liubomyr
02/03/2018 12:52
Ukraine
Watford
3149

I think that the phrase is a ‘****-**** *********’

Rich's picture
Rich
02/03/2018
ES
370
points

Well done! Jack said nobody would get it this week!

Rich - The Premier Skills English Team


Rich's picture
Rich
02/03/2018 14:17
Spain
Liverpool
370

Well done! Jack said nobody would get it this week!

Rich - The Premier Skills English Team

Leaderboard

Top Scorers
RankNameScore
1kwesimanifest4662
2assemjuve3696
3aragorn19863527
4haydi3189
5Liubomyr3149
6elghoul2942
7Ahmed Adam Mamado2859
8Alex_from_Ukraine2706
9nikosonris2453
10Buchiy2349
Country ranking
RankNameScore
1Colombia63996
2Ukraine26626
3Serbia25704
4Albania20415
5Macedonia19058
6Bosnia and Herzegovina16217
7Armenia13351
8Kosovo13096
9Bolivia12677
10Georgia12375
Club ranking
RankNameScore
1Manchester United112970
2Liverpool66157
3Chelsea65400
4Arsenal63642
5Manchester City30906
6Leicester City10369
7Tottenham Hotspur6525
8Newcastle United6017
9West Ham United4470
10Watford3766

Level

3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Goals

Skills: Listening

Grammar: Past Perfect

Grammar: Past Simple

Task: Using the Past Perfect