A taxi passenger tapped the driver on the shoulder to ask him a question.

The driver screamed, lost control of the car, nearly hit a bus, went up onto a footpath, and stopped inches from a shop window.

For a second, everything was quiet in the cab. Then the driver said, "Look, mate, don't ever do that again. You scared the living daylights out of me!"

The passenger apologised and said, "I didn't realise that a little tap would scare you so much."

The driver replied, "Sorry, it's not really your fault. Today is my first day as a cab driver. I've been driving a hearse for the last 22 years."

Tenses have always proven themselves to be difficult, in all languages, for the one learning a new language. The best way to learn a language, I have always said, is to live in the country where that language is spoken. We can't always have that kind of luck. If not, then we can get married to someone who comes from a country where the target language is spoken. If we can't (it is often too late for many of us), then we must create our own little London or Johannesburg or New York where we are... in Paris or in Berck Plage. The trick is to want to learn and improve. That's it. In Paris you can go to bars/pubs. For holidays you can choose Brighton or Miami or Cape Town, instead of Honfleur. There's very little English spoken in Honfleur. I love the town, its "bassin" with painters and artists around... but no English. And that's it. No one will do it for you. It mostly depends on you.

Phrase or word Tense Meaning
Scared the living daylights out of me. Past simple Action completed in the past
Has/have been driving a hearse for 22 years. Present perfect continuous Incompleted action now

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