I have taught English for my friends to help them improve speaking English

I teach English for my friends to help them improve speaking English

What is the difference ?

My guess is that both sentences indicate that the action is still ongoing now yet they differ in what they stress, the first sentence stresses that the action has begun (in the past) and now is going on and the second sentence stresses that the action is done routinely, it may imply that my job is a teacher. Is my guess right ?

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    – Andrew
    Commented Nov 2, 2016 at 17:22
  • I teach / have taught English to my friends... The choice of tense really just depends on whether you're still teaching them. Commented Nov 2, 2016 at 17:23
  • @FumbleFingers - thank you for your help.but here I read that using the present perfect indicates that the verb is still going on now, "The dog has stood there for a year - it continues to stand there." So what is the reason for that ? ell.stackexchange.com/questions/106953/… Commented Nov 2, 2016 at 19:42
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    Poor Fido. He got hit by a car last week and had to be put down. That's his food bowl. He has eaten from that bowl for the past 10 years. The present perfect doesn't necessarily imply that the action is ongoing; rather, the action has happened in a time frame which is understood to abut the present.
    – TimR
    Commented Nov 2, 2016 at 20:15
  • Thank you TRomano, and yes, it seems that the present perfect doesn't necessarily imply that the action is ongoing. Sometimes it does, sometimes it does not, and everytime it is up to the context to determinate .. that is what I has got ell.stackexchange.com/questions/13255/… Commented Nov 2, 2016 at 20:27

4 Answers 4


"I have taught" doesn't indicate present tense at all. I think what you're actually thinking of is "I have been teaching". If so, then your guess is spot on.

"I have taught", on the other hand, means that you have had the experience of teaching them at some point in the past. You could use it to respond to a question like "Have you taught children before?"

  • But one question please: Why did you think that "I have taught" is not my current state ? How did you get that ? in the following link the answerer says that "It has rained for two hours" takes "rained" as the current state. is the word "for" made a difference ? thank you. ell.stackexchange.com/questions/107940/… Commented Nov 4, 2016 at 14:45
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    "It has rained for two hours" could be interpreted as though the rain started two hours ago and it is still currently raining OR that it rained for two hours at some point beforehand, but the meaning is unclear without context. If you want to make clear that it is still raining, the best way to say it is "It has been raining for two hours". Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 19:19

present perfect tense indicates that you have accomplished that thing in recent past but you have discontinued it now.Recent past is worthy to notice as it is the only reason past tense is expressed as a present tense.

While Simple present tense shows that teaching is something you do very often ,perhaps as a hobby.


The present perfect expresses a completed action in an ongoing time frame - usually because the result of the action has a result in the present: I've eaten = I'm not hungry / I haven't eaten = I am hungry. We often don't express any time adverb with this tense because our focus is the result now e.g. I haven't eaten anything, do you want to get something? Have you brushed your teeth? Your breath stinks!

If you add 'for' or 'since' to the present perfect tense, the situation is ongoing and we normally change to the present perfect continuous. Some verbs do not change to continuous forms: I have been here for two hours = continuous state (do not say I've been being here for two hours). I have been waiting here for two hours = continuous action.

See: Present perfect + for and since See: State and action verbs or non-continuous verbs.


I know what you really want to say here. However, the two clauses in your sentence are not connected. You’ve used the word “English” couple of times which make the sentence a little dizzy. My suggestions are:

I’ve been teaching my friends, to help them speak English better.

I’ve helped my friends to improve their spoken English. (Which means you teach them what to do) (Note: helped means taught, which is present perfect)

I teach my friends more about English, hope it could improve their speaking skills.

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