Dia do Trabalho: uma prelecção histórica para treinar seu inglês

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Você já se perguntou qual é a origem do Dia Internacional do Trabalho? Hoje você vai aprender um pouco mais sobre essa data comemorativa ao mesmo tempo em que pratica o seu inglês com um ponto gramatical que costuma confundir muitos estudantes: a diferença entre o pretérito simples e o presente perfeito.

Os dois são usados para falar do pretérito, mas a diferença, na verdade, é fácil de entender: o pretérito simples é usado sempre que a ação começou e se encerrou no pretérito (é só você pensar que não há a menor possibilidade dela ser alterada). Já o presente perfeito é usado quando a ação começou no pretérito mas ainda não se encerrou e vem até o presente.

Outra dica útil é entender que com o pretérito simples você sempre saberá quando a ação ocorreu (ontem, semana passada, em 2005, etc). Já com o presente perfeito você não sabe a data exata, embora saiba que foi no pretérito.

E se você quiser saber mais sobre a estrutura desses dois tempos verbais, é só clicar cá e ler meu outro cláusula explicando uma vez que formar cada um deles.

Portanto vamos praticar? Leia o texto inferior e escolha entre pretérito simples ou presente perfeito.

Why do we need International Workers’ Day? 

International Workers’ Day is a celebration of working people and a day when people campaign for decent work and fair pay. Thanks to action taken by workers over many years, millions of people 1. _____ (won / have won) fundamental rights and protections. Minimum wages 2. _____ (were / have been) established, there are limits on working hours, and people have the right to paid holidays and sick pay.

However, in recent years, working conditions in many situations 3. _____ (got / have got) worse. Since the global financial crisis of 2008, part-time, short-term and badly paid work 4. _____ (became / has become) more common, and state pensions are at risk. We 5. _____ (also saw / have also seen) the rise of the ‘gig economy’, where companies hire workers casually for one short job at a time. These workers don’t have the usual rights to paid holidays, the minimum wage or redundancy pay. Solidarity with other workers is as important as ever.

The history of International Workers’ Day

In May 1886, 400,000 workers in many parts of the USA 6. _____ (went / have gone) on strike, demanding an eight-hour working day. The strike 7. _____ (started / has started) peacefully, but on the third day of protests in Chicago there was some violence. The police 8. _____ (shot / have shot) at unarmed workers, killing several of them. The next day there were more protests and someone 9. _____ (threw / has thrown) a bomb. Seven police officers and four workers 10. _____ (were / have been) killed by the bomb or police shooting just after the bomb. The person who 11. _____ (threw / has thrown) the bomb was never identified, but eight workers 12. _____ (were / have been) arrested. Seven of them 13. _____ (were / have been) sentenced to death, and one of them 14. _____ (was / has been) sent to prison for 15 years.

This event, known as The Haymarket Affair, was very important in bringing working people together in the USA. Many people 15. _____ (didn’t believe / haven’t believed) the men were guilty, and the trial was criticised for being unfair. The Haymarket Affair became an international symbol of the struggle for workers’ rights, and May 1 was chosen to be International Workers’ Day. On this day, socialist parties and trade unions called for workers to demonstrate for the eight-hour day and in favour of peaceful protest. The eight-hour working day 16. _____ (became / has become) law for public workers in 1892 in the USA. Since then, workers’ movements all over the world 17. _____ (continued / have continued) to fight for and win this right.

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