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The Tempest 2: Greed, Wrath and Lust

Why does Caliban in The Tempest choose forgiveness and mercy over revenge? James Garnon explains his choice, as well as when children can start seeing Shakespeare plays.

Task 1

Task 2

Task 3

We use the past simple to talk about a finished time in the past:

     I went to the theatre a lot when I was at university.

We use the present perfect ('have/has' + past participle) to talk about a time which started in the past and continues now:

     I have been to the theatre six times this year.

     I have never been to the theatre in my life.


Task 4



Language level

Upper intermediate: B2


Dear teachers, I have one question about Task 2. In the second question, in this task, the main point to understand in which age oldest Jame's son saw his first Shakespeare's play. I chose 5 years old: I have a ten-year-old son – in fact I have two sons, a ten- and a seven-year-old – and my ten-year-old has been coming and seeing Shakespeare since he was five. But correct answer is 5 1/2 years old: He saw All’s Well That Ends Well when he was about five and a half. Please explain to me where I made a mistake because in my opinion he has been seeing Shakespeare since he was five. In the the age of 5 1/2 years he saw just this play and there isn't a question about seeing that particular play ("All’s Well That Ends Well" )

Best regards,

Hello Evgeny N,

When we say someone is a certain age, it covers 12 months of life. In other words, if we say a person is 5 then they could in fact be anything from 5 years and 1 minute to 5 years, 11 months, 30 days, 23 hours and 59 minutes old. It's quite an imprecise measure.

In the interview, the context is quite clear. James is providing more detail of when his son saw his first play, not just commenting randomly on one of the plays he has seen.



The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Peter M,

Thank you very much indeed for this explanation!


First time I saw a play it was at four or five years old. It was a children adapted play. It was a puppet play. Theatre has always fascinated me.

When I was a child in the 70's there's no many oportunities here in Nicaragua to see an excelent Shakespeare play, I was remembering that in those years the Rubén Darío Theatre was opening and functioning but It was a little few plays to see. However, I saw by the TV some interesting movies about it.
My childrens didn't have to visit the theatre, but I hope that one day, we can do it. They have been seen some plays by the internet and I tell them some ideas about the history of the life of the actors.

Dear LearnEnglish's Teachers,

I learned several years ago ( more than 20 years, at Cultura Inglesa's Course in Brasil - I think that is a British way of teaching the Present Perfect) that when we talk about personal experiences and we want to emphasize that they are importante to us, we have to use the Present Perfect. Its strange because when we talk about past experiences, we are talking about finished actions. I will give you an example:

"I have been a double major, I have studied Law at UNIRIO and Languages (Portuguese-French) at UERJ at the same time. All of my life I have worked as a lawyer, most of time I ran the office by myself, I also have worked in offices, in other company, and, of course, during this long period I was not practicing English (and I didn't have time to think about it) Since July 10th 2014, I've been working at Puc, in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, as an executive secretary of the Coordination and the Direction, from then English became extremely important to me. "

As you can see, this is a part of an email sending to my Enghish Teacher, in which I talked about my past experiences. I need to know if it's correct the use of the Present Perfect, or if it's better to use the Past Simple.



Hello Simone Cordeiro,

We use the present perfect to describe past actions which are relevant in the present, and the past simple to describe past actions which are merely past history. This means that we can often choose between the two, depending on how we see the event. For example, I can say either of these:

I have been to Spain many times.

I was in Spain many times.

The first means that my experience and/or memories of Spain are still relevant now somehow. Perhaps they helped form my character, or perhaps I am telling the listener that I am an expert on Spanish food or culture, or can give them some advice. Or perhaps I am telling them that I don't want to go there for my holiday because it is already familiar.

The second means that my experience is in the past and no longer particularly relevant. It merely tells the listener about a past event, and that is all.

I hope that helps to clarify it. Your choice depends on how you see the action.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you very much, Peter!

It will help me a lot.

The guidelines of the site are fantastics.

Best wishes,


Dear Sir
Please We Need From Your To Setup Interpreter In British Council WebSite .
Ali Ibrahiem

Hello Ali Ibrahiem,

I'm afraid I'm not sure what you mean. The British Council does not offer services as interpreters, as far as I am aware, and LearnEnglish's role is limited to providing an online library of resources, so I don't think we can help you with this.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team