Show 359 Friday 27 April

Watch today’s show at YouTube.

Hi, I’m Sarah. Welcome to The Daily English Show.

Today I’m going to talk about The Watchman again. Hmmm I might be obsessed.
Anyway, in his videos The Watchman says: The Watchman has spoken.
Why does he say The Watchman has spoken and not The Watchman spoke?

Has spoken is the present perfect.
And spoke is the past simple.
So when do you use the present perfect and when do you use the past simple?
This is a difficult question to answer – and it’s one of the grammar points that English students have quite a bit of trouble with – in Japan anyway.
It’s also hard to teach and especially if you’ve just started teaching English you might be a bit confused about it, so my explanation might help you … I hope.

I think has a good explanation about this and I’m going to give you a link to that page and also try and explain it the way they do.

They say one of the uses of the present perfect is for an unspecified time before now.

You can’t use the present perfect with specific time expressions such as: yesterday, one year ago, last week, when I was a child, when I lived in Japan, at that moment, that day, one day.

You can use the present perfect with unspecific expressions for example: ever, never, once, many times, several times, before, so far, already, yet.

I think that’s a very useful explanation. Just think: specific or unspecific?
Should I say: This morning I went for a run.
Or this morning I have been for a run.

Hmmm, well this morning is specific, so it must be I went.

Here’s another example. Let’s compare two questions:

Did you go to France?
Have you been to France?

Did you go should be for a specific time.
And have you been for an unspecific time

For example, if I said: Last summer I traveled around Europe for two months.
Then you should ask: Did you go to France? Not: have you been to France?

Because you are asking about a specific time – that is the two months that I was traveling around Europe.

You should use have you been to France? or have you ever been to France? if you’re not talking about a specific time in the past. So you’re talking about some time in the past – but when is not important.

So back to The Watchman – the point is not when he spoke – and a specific time is not mentioned – so he uses has spoken.


Kia ora in Stick News today, according to the World Economic Forum, the US is no longer the king of technology.

The World Economic Forum has published the The Networked Readiness Index six times.
To make the index they judge 122 countries on: the integration of technology in business,
the infrastructure available, government policy favourable for fostering a culture of innovation
and progress and leadership in promoting the usage of the latest information technology tools.
Last time the US was number 1. Now it’s number 7.
According to an economist at the World Economic Forum, Denmark is number one because they have “benefited from the very effective government e-leadership, reflected in early liberalisation of the telecommunications sector, a first-rate regulatory environment and large availability of e-government services.”

And that was Stick News for Friday the 27th of April.
Kia Ora.

the snow report

This evening I went for a walk at dusk. There’s still a little bit of snow lying around.

conversations with sarah
#224 What are you listening to?

Step 1: Repeat Masao’s lines.
Step 2: Read Masao’s lines and talk to Sarah.

Masao What were you listening to?

Sarah Ah, Kim Hill.

Masao Who’s she?

Sarah She’s a New Zealand broadcaster. She’s like my idol.

Masao Your idol? Why?

Sarah I just think she’s great. I really like her interview style.

Masao Do you listen to her a lot?

Sarah Yeah, since her show’s been available as a podcast I listen to her quite a lot.

Masao What’s her show about?

Sarah Basically just interviewing a lot of interesting people. The one I listened to today was … she interviewed a guy who was in the Vietnam war. And he’s just written a book. It was really interesting.


Today’s news.

The World Economic Forum

Kim Hill’s profile at Radio NZ

Kim Hill’s show

The interview I listened to is here. Kim Hill interviewed Barry Heard who wrote a book called

Well Done Those Men.


artist: Jampy

album: Rain

track: Morphine

from: Napoli, Italy

album at Jamendo

artist at Jamendo

artist site


5 thoughts on “Show 359 Friday 27 April

  1. masao

    Here I come, MASAO, one of the most common name for J-men. LOL
    Im sure it nothing to do w/my name but why not to thank you for using MASAO.
    _|\○_ yaaa= \_○ノ hoooooo!!!♥♥

  2. naskvoz

    Hello, Sarah,
    my name is Liza, I’m from Russia.
    I’ve got a question. My teacher at the universuty told me, that there’s two cases of using Present Perfect, when you talking about “this morning\evening etc.”
    She told me, that if the morning is over (after 12 p.m.), you shold use Past Simple, and if the morning is not over (before 12 p.m.) we should use Present Perfect, amd so on.
    What do you think about it?..

  3. p.p.

    masao, i think you’re lucky to have sarah as your english teacher. if my english teacher way way back in highschool was half as beautiful as sarah i think i would have listened to her when she was talking about perfect tenses.

    i think this is a very good episode, especially when you’re planning to write a book. very informative. 😉


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