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Ever, never, just, yet, since, ago are a few adverbs in the English language. These are some of the most confusing adverbs for Ukrainian students. This might sound strange to some. It is just a fact. These adverbs are often used in conjunction with The Perfect tenses. There are many areas of English grammar that are much different when compared to other languages.

The Present Perfect Tense

The perfect tense or something close to it, does not exist in the Ukrainian or Russian languages. Simple and Continuous are used to refer to the past. Present perfect is used to refer to the past when time is usually unimportant. That is unless it is connected to the present.

Adverbs Commonly Used…

Most Ukrainian students study English as a second language in school. The majority of these students finish school with a basic understanding of English but, probably have difficulty speaking. Ever, never, just, yet, since, ago are commonly used along with the perfect tenses. Often Ukrainian English teachers treat these common adverbs as specific to the adverbs used with the perfect tenses.

Students Stop at Elementary…

The tense system starts with the basics; present simple, present continuous and the future and past in these tenses. These tenses would be considered the essential tenses from the beginner level and through the elementary level. This is generally where most Ukrainian students stop studying English.

Adverbs are Used Many Ways…

The perfect tenses are taught from the pre-intermediate levels and above. This is the reason why most Ukrainian students are challenged with adverbs associated with the perfect tenses. Ever, never, just, yet, since, ago are the adverbs most students need to focus on at the lower levels. There are many more as well. The main idea is to educate students to be aware that these adverbs are used in many ways in the English language.

The Weakest Part of Grammar…

Ever, never, just, yet, since, ago should be taught along with other adverbs. My experience teaching over nine years in Ukraine has created an invaluable bank of knowledge. My opinion is that the entire Adverb system should be introduced at the elementary level. There should be a major focus on the most common adverbs at the elementary level with a minor focus on adverbs more commonly used at upper levels. The introduction of adverbs is essential for students to better understand this one part of the English language. Adverbs and their usage is usually the weakest part of all students knowledge bank.

Many Ukrainians continue to study after school and university. Most enroll in private language schools like Larisa School of Language in Nikolaev Ukraine. Most students are surprised to learn that the adverbs Ever and Never are commonly used with present simple. Examples of ever might be “Do you ever relax?” or “Do you ever travel?” Examples of never might be “I never drink coffee or They never visit the office.”

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