History of the English Language

 

 

 

Present Perfect: Hugh Grant has fathered a child

Look out for examples of the present perfect in the article highlighted in bold. Think about how each sentence is talking about the past and up to now.

Hugh Grant has had a child at the age of 51. However, he has refused to reveal the identity of the mother of his baby daughter.

The actor who has starred in some of Britain’s biggest ever comedies (Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill), is best known for playing quintessential, bumbling English gentleman roles and is said to be thrilled at becoming a father.

Hugh and the secret mother apparently have separated after a ‘fleeting’ affair and the baby was not planned, but they are said to be ‘on good terms and Hugh could not be happier or more supportive. They have discussed everything and are on very friendly terms’.

Hugh Grant has had several high-profile relationships before, notably with Elizabeth Hurley (now engaged to the legendary cricketer Shane Warne) and Jemima Khan. Despite the long-term relationships, he has never married and neither relationship resulted in any offspring. So, it was widely thought that he was trying to avoid the responsibility of fatherhood.

However, Elizabeth Hurley made Hugh the godfather of her son, Damian nine years ago and she has publicly said that he is ‘great with him’. Maybe this has made Hugh think twice about becoming a father before he really gets ‘past it’. In an interview in Vogue magazine in 2007, he said “As much as I adore myself, I’m quite keen to find someone else to care about more”.

His true thoughts on the matter are unknown though as throughout his career he has always shunned publicity and has rarely discussed his private life.

Recently, Grant has kept a low profile on the big screen and hasn’t appeared in anything since Did You Hear About The Morgans? in 2009. However, he has adopted

a high public profile recently by constantly attacking News International over the ongoing phone hacking scandal.

PRESENT PERFECT : Have / Has + Past participle

e.g.                        He has refused to reveal the mother’s identity

Affirmative:        He has met lots of famous people. (past participle of to meet is met)

Negative:             I’m starving! I haven’t eaten anything today. (past participle of to eat is eaten)

Interrogative:     Has he ever had a girlfriend from Poland? (past participle of to have is had)

We use the present perfect to talk about actions in the past that have some importance or result now. In other words we are kind of thinking about the past and the present together, or thinking about the past including up to the present moment.

Regular past participles end in –ed

Work – worked

phoned – phoned

arrive – arrived

watch - watched

The past participles of irregular verbs must be learnt individually!

Say – said

go – gone

think – thought

forget - forgotten

Here's another story using the present perfect with another explanation.

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