Past Simple, Past Continuous And Past Perfect

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Use of tenses

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Past Simple, Past Continuous And Past Perfect

  1. 1. Past simple, past continuous and past perfect When you read a story or text, the different past tenses tell you what happened when. You need to use the correct tenses when you write your own stories. Look at these sentences: underline the verbs and match each sentence (1-3) with one of the rules (A-C) below. 1 I went into the flat. A We use the past simple for one completed action. 2 The man always left a key B When one action interrupts under the mat because once another action, we use the he had lost his key. past continuous for the longer action. 3 I was watching the news when C If it is unclear which of two a man walked in. actions happened first, we use the past perfect for the earlier action.
  2. 2. Now look at these two sentences and underline the correct phrase to complete the rules (D-E) below • While I was waiting for my uncle to come home, I watched TV. • I was watching the news when a man walked in. D We use while + past continuous / when + past simple for an action which happened over a period of time. E We use while + past continuous / when + past simple for a short action .
  3. 3. Match the two halves of these sentences 0 When the phone rang, A my bus went past and I 1 While I was waiting in the missed it. queue, B when you interrupted me. 2 I fell asleep C while I was reading in bed. 3 When I woke up, D the person behind me started 4 I got very dirty talking to me. 5 While I was talking to my E the sun was shining through friend, the window. 6 I was looking for my watch F I was practising my guitar. 7 I was writing an email G when I found this photo of my grandmother. H while I was playing football.
  4. 4. Read Sentences 1-8 and find examples of verbs to match the descriptions in the box (A, B, C and D) 1 At six o'clock in the morning, the • A past simple for a completed telephone rang. I ran down the action in the past. stairs. 2 While I was running down the stairs, I fell over the cat. 3 When I reached the bottom of the • B past continuous for a stairs, the phone had stopped continuous action in the past. ringing. 4 But the noise had woken my baby brother, and he was crying. 5 I was talking to him when the • C past continuous for an phone started ringing again! interrupted action in the past. 6 I walked down the stairs carefully. 7 When I answered the phone, it was my friend Tom. • D past perfect for an action 8 I had completely forgotten that we completed before another action had agreed to go fishing. in the past.
  5. 5. In each sentence, decide which verb should be in the past perfect and correct it. Teresa couldn't remember the boy's name but she was sure she saw him somewhere before. had seen Jennie wanted to watch the news but, when she switched on the TV, she realised she missed it. had missed The train already left when we arrived at the station. had already left The teacher gave Maria some extra work because she missed three classes the week before. had missed Nikos didn't have enough to buy a new pair of jeans because he already spent all his money. had already spent Paul didn't play in front of such a big crowd before and he was very nervous at the start of the match. hadn’t played Sean phoned the theatre to book some tickets for the concert but they sold them all. had sold Linda never rode a horse before but her friend finally persuaded her to try. had never ridden
  6. 6. Complete this story. Put the verbs in brackets into the correct form of the past simple, the past continuous or the past perfect. One day last year, my father ________________ (drive) my brother drove and me to an amusement park. We _____________ (not be) there hadn’t been before. We ____________ (spend) all day going on different rides. We spent kept ______________ (keep) the best ride till the end of the day. Next to the ride there _____________ (be) a sign which ________________ (say) was said 'Empty your pockets'. My father ____________ (not take) any notice of didn’t take it. While we ____________ (ride) up and down, everything, including were riding fell his wallet and his car keys ________________ (fall) out of my father's were looking pockets. We _____________ (look) for the car keys when some friends came hadn’t found of ours _______________ (come) along. We ____________ (not find) the keys so our friends ____________ (give) us a lift home and then gave they took my father back to the amusement park with the spare keys.
  7. 7. URL Put the verbs in brackets in the correct forms: PAST SIMPLE, PAST CONTINUOUS or PAST PERFECT, simple or continuous While I _____________________ (walk) to the city centre, WAS WALKING I ___________ (see) an advertisement for a concert on SAW Saturday. A lot of other people ____________________ HAD ALREADY SEEN (already/see) the advertisement before me. They __________________ (stand) outside the theatre when I WERE STANDING _____________ (arrive) there. We ______________ (wait) for ARRIVED WAITED a long time. At last a man ____________________ (come) CAME out of the theatre and ______________ (put) up a notice. PUT They ________________ (sell) all the tickets for Saturday! HAD SOLD We _______________________ (wait) so long that we HAD BEEN WAITING ___________ (feel) angry. Why _______________________ FELT HADN’T THEY TOLD (they/not/tell) us earlier?

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