This Year’s News

Another year is coming to an end and it’s time to look back at some of the events of the year, be they good, bad, big, or scandalous!


This year has seen some big changes around the world. Here in Britain we have said farewell to Gordon Brown and the Labour government. Back in May the voters split their votes so evenly that there is now a coalition government for the first time in decades.

Obama has had a difficult year so far. He lost control of the US Congress in the midterm elections, has been consistently under attack from the eccentric/scary Republican Tea Party campaigners and got an elbow in the face while playing basketball on Thanksgiving Day.

We have seen far too much of Berlusconi in the news and for all the wrong reasons – sex scandals and association with minors. Well, at least it makes a change from accusations of corruption.


The financial crisis has not gone away. In fact, if anything, it has got worse.

The British government has announced a series of cost cutting measures and things were even worse for first Greece and then Ireland, who both had to be bailed out by the EU and IMF.

The papers are still full of stories that Portugal and Spain might be next.


At least Spain can celebrate sporting success. They’ve won the World Cup first time and played a big part in making the first world cup to be held in Africa such a success.

Barcelona, meanwhile, have won plaudits and new fans with their style of play, even if it was Inter who won the Champions League.

The weather

Finally, a small comment on the weather! The summer here in Britain was frankly disappointing but this nothing compared to the snow which has brought the country to a standstill in the last two weeks.

Well, at least there’s a good chance what we’ll have a white Christmas. Grammar Rules – Present Perfect: Some Uses

  1. 1. A general experiencevs. A particular action or event”

We often use the present perfect to introduce a general experience or make a general comment at the start of a story. We are not allowed to say exactly when the action happened if we use the present perfect in this way. For example ‘we’ve said farewell to Gordon Brown’ and we can’t include ‘in May’.

This can be compared to ‘we said farewell to Gordon Brown in May’, where we have to use the past simple.

  1. 2. Actions or situations from the past to now

We also often use the present perfect to talk about an ongoing or open situation which started at some point in the past and continues now. A good example would be Obama has had a difficult year so far as obviously the year has started but not finished yet. This could be compared to Obama had a difficult 2009.

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