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Final Exam Review

  ↓  Table of Contents - click on the link to go directly to its section

  1. What will be on the final exam?
  2.  NEW!  Phrasal verbs
  3.  NEW!  About the perfect tenses
  4.  NEW!  The present perfect
  5.  NEW!  The past perfect
  6.  NEW!  The future perfect

What will be on the final exam?

Here are what will be on this week's English final exam:

  1. follow the crowd
  2. sleep on it
  3. go out on a limb
  4. on top of the world
  5. a close call
  6. face-to-face
  7. get a kick out of
  8. ask for trouble
  9. tie the knot
  10. catch [someone] red-handed
  11. a pipe dream
  12. the red-carpet treatment
  13. read between the lines
  14. keep a stiff upper lip

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Phrasal verbs

Phrasal verbs are usually verbs with a preposition next to it. The preposition, when put next to the verb, changes its meaning a little bit or a lot. Here's an example:

pull - use your arms and hands to move something on the ground towards you.
pull into - drive your car towards a place off the road.
pull out - quit an event or group that you had joined.
pull off - make a difficult plan a success.
pull away - get a bigger lead than your opponents in a game or a sporting match.

Prepositions are small words that are used to tell "where" or "how." Examples of prepositions are:

about, above, across, after, against, along, among, around, at, before, behind, below, beneath, beside, between, by, down, during, except, for, from, in, in front of, inside, instead of, into, like, near, of, off, on, on top of, onto, out of, outside, over, past, since, through, to, toward, under, underneath, until, up, upon, with, within, without

There are two kinds of phrasal verbs: separable and inseparable. Separable phrasal verbs can have the verb and preposition separated. Whatever is between them would be emphasized (shown to be important) if separated. Otherwise, the phrasal verb itself would be emphasized not separated. Let's use the separable phrasal verb help out as an example.

My mother helps out my father. - not separated, helps out is emphasized.
My mother helps my father out. - separated, my father is emphasized.

Inseparable phrasal verbs cannot be separated in any way. There isn't really a hard and fast rule for knowing if a phrasal verb is separable - the key is to read a lot so you will see the same ones over and over again and know how they are used. Some phrasal verbs can't be separated because the preposition isn't suited for separation. Other times if there is a separation, the meaning would change!!!

Change in Meaning
Mike stood up from his chair to shake the veteran's hand. - Mike got to a standing position off the chair.
Chloe stood Billy up last night. - Chloe didn't show up for her date with Billy.

Unsuitable Preposition
Mac will run for class president. - Mac will try to be the class president.
No Mac will run class president for. - the for doesn't work well when separated.

For the final exam, I will use only phrasal verbs you have reviewed this year. You will need to know if they are phrasal verbs (or not). You also need to tell if a phrasal verb is being separated or not.

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About the perfect tenses

People who are still learning English grammar sometimes confuse the past tense with the perfect tenses. As you know, the past tense is for something that started, happened, and ended in the past. In English the perfect tense, on the other hand, is used to show how something that happened relates to another happening or time in a sentence. It is used for sentences that are more complex than the simple present, simple past, and simple future!!!

Perfect sentences use auxiliary verbs  [have] /had, and will have. These are not the same as the regular verb have. Be sure you can understand the different "have" used in sentences like this one:

My sisters have had their own bedrooms.

have = auxiliary verb for the present perfect tense (with subject/verb agreement).
had = the verb have changed to its perfect participle form.

The perfect participle form of a verb must be used with the perfect auxiliaries. If an auxiliary is not used, use the past participle instead.

The past and perfect participles are sometimes the same and sometimes different. Again, you have to memorize their spelling, and the best way to learn them is to read, read, read. However great English through reading takes time, so for now you can find a great list of verbs in all three participles used by English at MyEnglishTeacher.net.

The [be] verb is always changed to been.

Frankie is busy. → Frankie has been busy.

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The present perfect

The present perfect is different from the simple present.

Simple Present: Nick plays volleyball. - this sentence shows that Nick regularly plays volleyball at the present time
Present Perfect: Nick has played volleyball. - this sentence shows that Nick played volleyball in the past and that fact is important for the present.

Don't forget to follow subject/verb agreement rules for  [have] . The rules are the same as the simple present tense. Use has for only one kind of subject (third-person singular) and use have for everything else.

He has been here before. - He is in the third-person singular.
They have been here before. - They is not in the third-person singular.

The present perfect connects the past to the present. We often use two words to help with that connection: for and since. For is used with a number and a time word to show how much time has passed after the beginning of an action or happening. Since is used to show a specific time or event that an action or happening started.

Stephan has studied Latin for 4 years.
Stephan has studied Latin since 2010.

The (+), (-), and (?) forms are:

(+) subject have verb.
(-) subject have not verb.
(?) Have subject verb?

Finally, don't forget that you can also add already just and not yet to change the meanings of the sentences. We usually put them right after the auxiliary, but already can be put at the end of sentences as well. Here is an example:

Maria has gone to the library.

Maria has already gone to the library. -or- Maria has gone to the library already.
Maria has just gone to the library.
Maria has not yet gone to the library. -or- Maria has not gone to the library yet.

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The past perfect

Let's say we have a past sentence that looks like this:

Mom got home and Dad cooked dinner.

We can use the past perfect to show which event happened first. The auxiliary had will be used to show what happened first.

Mom got home and Dad had cooked dinner.

As you can see in the above sentence, Dad cooked dinner first, then Mom got home. Whatever happened second use the simple past tense.

There are time words and phrases we can use with the past perfect. They are:

after, already, as soon as, before, by the time, when, yet.

We can use the time words and phrases above to help make it more clear what had happened first in a past perfect sentence. To repeat the most recent example:

Mom got home after Dad had cooked dinner.

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The future perfect

The future perfect is used to show what will happen in the future before a specific time or event (also in the future). The by time word is most commonly used one.

The soccer team will have played several games by Homecoming.

The above sentence shows a future time or event (Homecoming) and what will happen before that event (several soccer games being played). Other time words also used are after, before, and until.

-After my birthday party, I will have gotten many presents.
-School will have ended before August.
-Brandon will not have voted until November.

That's it for our review. Get ready to get an A!

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©opyright 2017 by Richard Knopf
Updated June 8, 2014