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T explains ‘Oneupmanship’ as trying to be better than another person. To think yourself superior.

T asks the SS if they have ever been to New Zealand. If they all say no, T says (with VERY exaggerated stress and intonation, “ I HAVE !” If a S has been to N.Z. T emits a disappointed “ Ohh”. (Acting is the key to a successful activity here, folks!). T continues with some more examples:-

Have you ever…. Ridden a camel? (S-“no” , T “I HAVE !”)

Eaten crocodile meat?                             "

Been to a Jewish wedding?                       "


Done a bungy jump?                                 "

Slept on the beach?                                 "

Driven a tractor?                                     "

Eaten Sushi?                                          "

Been to Disney World?                             "

Done a parachute jump?                          "

Get a couple of SS to ask the T to make sure they’ve got the right idea (examples should be true if possible, unless the SS have had really boring lives, in which case they can lie). Ss then work in pairs. Encourage good intonation and correct past participles.

Past participle should be practised and drilled before this activity.

For Sale

T writes on board :-

For Sale

1994 Ford Fiesta. Red. I owner.

No accidents. 70,000 kilometers. ₤ 500

T deals with vocab. and asks where SS might see it.

In pairs SS think of questions to ask about each piece of information.

Eg) How long have you had it?

How many owners has it had?

How many kilometres has it done?

Has it always been red, or have you changed the colour?

SS ask similar questions about other cars where the information is missing.

Something In Common (emphasising ‘finished’ and ‘unfinished’ time)

SS write 3 things they have and 3 things they haven’t done this week/month/year.

Now they write 3 things they did and 3 things they didn’t do last week/month/year.

SS stand up and mingle to find things in common.


Similar to ‘Something In Common’ above, but SS write 3 or 5 good experiences they’ve had and 3 or 5 bad experiences on paper.

SS mingle, tell each other about their experiences and ask follow-up questions.

Did any one have the same, or similar experience?

“Have You Ever…..?” - “You Liar!”

SS pair off as ’A’ and ‘B’, and are given a list of ‘Have you ever…?’ questions (see below). SS must say ‘Yes’ to every question and then answer follow-up questions, telling lies and making up stories if they haven’t actually done it. The S asking the questions has then to guess if his/her partner is telling the truth or not.



Have you ever…….

Been on a cruise?

Broken down on the motorway?

Hit anyone?

Left a restaurant without paying the bill?

Had your passport stolen?

Got stuck in a lift?


Have you ever……

Met a famous person?

Won a raffle or a competition?

Been arrested by the police?

Stolen something?

Fallen off a motorbike?

Been so drunk you couldn’t remember what you did?

What’s just happened?

T sticks pictures or photos up on the board, and SS say, or write, what has just happened.

Eg) He’s just won the lottery.

She’s just broken up with her boyfriend.

They’ve just seen a ghost.

She’s worried because her son hasn’t come home yet.

He’s happy because his team’s won the match.

(sentences elicited obviously depend on pictures chosen. The more interesting tend to be the less obvious ones which stretch the S’s imagination.)

A Job Interview

Job interview role-plays naturally lend themselves well to the present perfect because of the focus on ’life experience’.

What experience have you had?

How long have you been working……?

Have you worked in this area before?

Where else have you lived/worked/studied?

How long have you had a full driving licence?

Have you ever worked abroad?


If you’ve found this list useful, please send us your classroom ideas. If they’re any good, we’ll put them on the web page and share them with the world!

Craig Wealand

Send your classroom ideas.

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