Englishtips-captain america

Oct 17 2011

Intro
Does it ever seem like things just used to be simpler or easier in the past?

Some Americans look back on the World War II era as a simpler time, when questions of good and evil were more black and white. The modern world seems a lot more complicated. Sometimes, it can be tough to know who are the good guys, and who are the villains.

Captain America belongs to that simpler time. He became a superhero during World War II and helped fight the Nazis. The new movie Captain America: The First Avenger tells his story. Hear Mason and Dale talk about the film.

Dialogue

Dale: Alright, I’m a fan of Captain America, but I haven’t seen the movie.

Mason: Oh, you gotta go check it out, Dale.

Dale: So, highly recommended?

Mason: Well, it’s interesting. I’ve seen all of the Marvel superhero movies that are leading up to The Avengers. And I don’t think it’s the best of all of them, but it’s a nice sort of addition to the suite. But you know the whole premise is that it’s set back in World War II era.

Dale: Yes.

Mason: So it kind of looks back on this different view of what a superhero was, and fighting for those American values. And then, I mean I don’t think I’m spoiling anything if you’ve read any comics, like he ends up in modern day, which is kind of at the end of the film. So there’s sort of this impending interesting conversation about, like, is someone who is raised in that era, what do they feel like in what America is today, and the modern world?

Dale: Well, I can definitely see it. I know from the World War II era to now, America has changed completely.

Mason: I don’t know, I feel like we over-romanticize it, but it definitely seemed like a simpler time. But we’ll see, you know, we’ll see what Captain America thinks about it when he is in the future in The Avengers.

Discussion
Dale likes the superhero Captain America, but he hasn’t yet seen the new movie, Captain America: The First Avenger. Mason, on the other hand, is such a big fan of Marvel comics that he has seen every movie that’s been made about a Marvel superhero!

Mason says that Captain America isn’t his favorite superhero movie. But he does appreciate its story about a superhero from an earlier time. Captain America is from the World War II era. Mason and Dale agree that this era was a simpler time.

Do you think the past was a simpler time than today? What has changed in your country in the past 50 years?

Grammar Point
Present Perfect Tense

Dale says he hasn’t seen Captain America yet. And Mason says he has seen all the Marvel superhero movies.

Mason and Dale use the present perfect tense here to talk about things that were true in the past, and are still true now. It is common to use the present perfect to talk about past experience.

You can form the present perfect with have/has been + past participle, as in, “Mason has enjoyed comics since he was little.”

Dale shows you how to form the negative with the past perfect. You use haven’t/hasn’t + past participle, as in, “I haven’t seen any superhero movies recently.”

Which is correct, “I have been a fan of Captain America for years” or “I been a fan of Captain America for years”?



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Englishtips-captain america