Present Perfect Continuous complaining competition

Fill the gaps below with the right tense:

Abigail: Hi Bea. How _____________________ (your week be) so far?
Beatrice: Awful. How about you, Abby?
A: I can’t believe your week ______________ (be) as bad as mine. I __________________ (only go out) with my boyfriend for two months and he ________________ (already stop) phoning me.
B: That’s nothing. Yesterday I ______________ (find out) that my boyfriend __________________ (sleep with) other women.
A: Mine too. He _______________________ (sleep with) 4 women in the last month!
B: Only four? Mine __________________ (sleep with) at least 6! And he _____________ (smoke) drugs in my house.
A: Oh yer, my boyfriend used to smoke drugs too, but recently he __________________ (inject) himself!
B: Well, my boyfriend has…

———————————————————————————————————————————————(fold here)

Check your answers below (other tenses might be possible, so check with your teacher if you have used a different tense)

Abigail: Hi Bea. How has your week been so far?
Beatrice: Awful. How about you, Abby?
A: I can’t believe your week has been as bad as mine. I’ve only being going out with my boyfriend for two months and he has already stopped phoning me.
B: That’s nothing. I found out that my boyfriend has been sleeping with other women.
A: Mine too. He’s slept with 4 women in the last month!
B: Only four? Mine has slept with at least 6! And he’s been smoking drugs in my house.
A: Oh yer, my boyfriend used to smoke drugs too, but recently he has been injecting himself!
B: Well, my boyfriend has…

Read out the dialogue in pairs and continue the conversation until one person gives up on thinking of more things to complain about.

Change partner and have a similar conversation about boyfriends/ girlfriends, but without looking at the dialogue. You can use the ideas in the dialogue and/ or other ideas.

Have similar conversations about your:
boss, colleague, housemate, friend, son, daughter, father, mother, grandparent, neighbour, teacher, classmate, your local mayor, your country’s prime minster or president (imagine you come from different countries), a teammate, or your local MP
Ideas of things to complain about:

Stealing, being messy, smoking, getting drunk, being rude, being lazy, having smelly feet/ armpits/ shoes, burping, farting, picking his or her nose, spending loads of time in the bathroom, not paying for things (= being mean), lying, never smiling, criticizing people, not doing household chores, getting fat, watching terrible TV, listening to terrible music, playing music very loud, being a couch potato (= sitting on the sofa and watching TV all the time), being racist, being sexist, wearing very short skirts, wearing (too much) make up, having piercings in strange places


PDF for easy saving and printing: Present Perfect Continuous moaning game

Present Perfect Continuous main page

13 Responses to Present Perfect Continuous complaining competition

  1. Unimpressed says:

    Totally inappropriate content.

  2. alexcase says:

    Inappropriate for who?

  3. Pedro says:

    I agree. It isn’t the kind of thing the majority of people discuss together, and especially not so for someone wanting to learn English. Perhaps lessen the severity of the subject matter.

  4. alexcase says:

    Or perhaps you could change it yourself before using it in your class. I’m sorry, but complaining about free material that the author makes no money from is about the most ungrateful and petty thing I can imagine. And if you are incapable of changing material before you use it, then you should not be teaching.

  5. Justsaying says:

    People aren’t complaining, they’re explaining why this isn’t useful content.

  6. alexcase says:

    In that case, I’m not complaining about them complaining, I’m just explaining why I’m not interested in such comments…
    Seriously, it’s like responding to “Would you like a free cup of tea?” with “No thanks, it looks disgusting”. There are times when such feedback would be suitable, for example if:
    – I’d charged you money for using it
    – You’d made many other comments on similar activities with varying levels of positivity and negativity and this was the one you least liked
    – You’d tried it and found it didn’t work
    – You were suggesting a small and easy to change problem like a typo that I’d probably have the time and inclination to fix
    – You were recommending a similar but better activity
    – Your comments were obviously aimed at other teachers to warn them against using it in your kind of class
    – I’d particularly recommended it for your classes or made big or false claims for it (or indeed for activities on this blog more generally)

    None of those things were true for any of the comments above. I guess someone else recommended it somewhere online and you disagree with their recommendation, but in that case tell them rather than me, who just put it up in the off chance it might inspire someone in their own lesson prep. If you don’t like the worksheet at all, just use something else, e.g. one of these which I have also posted for absolutely zero personal gain: Or even better, just write your own.

  7. seriously... says:

    chill dude… if you weren’t interested you wouldn’t be responding. You just sound angry because someone made a negative comment about something you wrote…

    things to complain about: traffic, weather, bureaucracy, rude customer service…

    but seriously, why go for a negativity activity?? Don’t you want happy students that keep coming back? Or do you want to teach them to find all the negative points in your teaching and stop taking classes with you? what a bizarre author… sounds like he knew the lesson well though, complaining about complaining must top the chart in a complaining competition…

  8. Sophia says:

    Personally, I think it is a great lesson idea. I can see that perhaps for a class in a large institution it may be a little inappropriate, but my mainly private/small group students love classes that cover ‘real life’ subjects and ones that you don’t traditionally find in a textbook. This is the kind of vocab that helps foreigners interract with native speakers on a more personal level (something I can account for myself) and if your class is suited to that (i.e. not a business English class) perhaps offer some of this vocab in a casual end-of-term class? You can always combine the negatives with positives to give a more rounded vocabulary :)

  9. Bryan says:

    Check out all the special snowflakes in this comment section. This lesson is creative, and it actually applies to real life situations, which my students love. I much prefer this type of thing to boilerplate “tell us about what you used to do as a child” ESL stuff that students have seen a billion times before.

  10. buymyroomuk says:

    Cheers Alex, your comments are completely fair and justified

    Great idea for a lesson

  11. My adult students love this activity. i have used this with all different types of adult groups and they really get into it. It gets them speaking and they have a lot of fun with it. good work

  12. dcutimboa says:

    Too sensitive people. You know what society has become a joke. Thank you so much for the material

  13. Nina says:

    Awesome stuff, according to my personal experience my best language practice happened when I was complaining:) In totally different situations! The negativity is an educational tool, it sets an alert and is wisely used here. It functions as alarm that wakes up attention.

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