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Animals Scene 1

Ashlie goes for an interview - but her interviewer is more interested in someone else!


Language level

Intermediate: B1
Upper intermediate: B2


Hello Nour,

You're right about the second conditional using a verb in the past after 'if' and then a conditional form in the other clause, e.g. 'If they liked her performance, Ashlie would be very happy'. We use this kind of sentence to speak about something hypothetical or which we think isn't likely.

But here Ashlie uses 'could' to indicate a possibility that she sees as real. Given that she sees it as a real possibility, the first conditional is the correct form here. Using a different conditional verb in the second part of the sentence (e.g. 'If they like her, I would be happy') wouldn't be the best form, but 'could' is a bit different here.

It's great that you noticed this. I hope that helps you understand it.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

I forgot to write 'in an advert" in my first sentence.

I'd want to be an athlete who eats some healthy food and promote sustainabilty.
All the family, from parents to children, should look after their pets.

Hi Team.
In this case, Could I rechangeable between Past tense and Present Perfect.
Ashlie : Where did I put my purse? Have you seen my keys?
Stephen : I think I saw them in the kitchen, Ash.
Ashlie : Where have I put my purse? Did you see my keys?
Stephen : I think I've seen them in the kitchen, Ash.
Could you please explain?
Thank you.

Hi Nizam Balinese,

The verb is important here. 'Put' is an action which does not continue in time; it is one moment. Therefore the present perfect (which would denote unfinished time) is not appropriate. However, if the verb is different then the present perfect could be used. For example, you could say 'Where have I left...'

With 'see' both present perfect and past simple are possible in this context. Remember that the past simple requires a finished time reference, so this must be either stated or implied/understood ('when you were in the house', 'before you left' etc).


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Team.
I'm so sorry, Team. I discuss this case again because I get distructed when I try to implement what you've mentioned in my daily conversation.
Regarding my question " Where have I put my purse? " What about if I change this into " Where have I been putting my purse? "
Is it still incorrect?
As you mentioned : " put is an action which does not continue in time, it is one moment. Therefore The Present Ferfect ( which would denote unfinished time ) is not appropriate ".
What do you mean this? Do you mean 'put' is not appropriate just only for this case or for all activities in The Present Perfect?
When I say :
1. I have put the water in the freezer.
( is it correct or not? )
2. Where have you put the water?
( is it correct or not? )
Would you like to explain, please?
Thank you very much.

Hello Nizam Balinese,

The sentence

Where have I been putting my purse?

does not make sense because it would suggest you have been repeatedly putting your purse in a place in some kind of obsessive manner. It is similar to theis example:

I've cut my finger.

This is fine: you cut your finger, presumably by accident.

I've been cutting my finger.

This makes no sense because it would mean that you have cut your finger repeatedly again and again, which is not something a sane person would do.

The two sentences you have at the end of your comment are both fine.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Team.
My sentence at the end of my comnent :
"Where have you put the water?" is fine.
But my sentence at the earlier question :
"Where have I put my purse?" is wrong.
How can that be?
Could you please, explain?
Thank you very much.

Hi Nizam Balinese,

The sentence is not wrong in itself, but it is not appropriate in a context where there is a finished time period. In your initial post you mixed tenses without regard for consistency, so you had 'Where have I put my purse?' and 'Did you see my keys?' in the same utterance. You need to make a choice here: either the time reference is unfinished, in which case present perfect is likely, or it is finished, in which case past simple is likely.

The verb 'put' is more commmonly used in the past simple than the present perfect for the reason explained earlier. That does not mean it cannot be used in other forms, of course.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Ok. Thanks for explaining.