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    Present Simple Tense


    To form the Present Simple Tense we use the verb base form (go, work, speak, study). In 3rd person singular(he, she, it), the base form of the verb takes -s/es. (Auxiliary verbs "be," "do," "have", which can also be used as

    main verbs, are exceptions.)

    Affirmative form

    I/ you/ we/ they work

    he/she/it works /-s/

    go - goes /-es/

    watch - watches /-es/

    play - plays /-s/study - studies /-es/

    ! Remember:

    to be

    I am

    you/we/they are

    he/she/it is

    to do

    I/you/we/they dohe/she/it does

    to haveI/you/we/they have

    he/she/it has

    Negative form

    I , you, we, they DO NOT (DONT) WORK

    he, she, it DOES NOT (DOESNT) WORK

    1. She doesnt often go to the cinema.

    2. I dont get up early at the weekend.3. They dont speak English very well.

    Interrogative form


    DO you WORK?we


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    DOES he/she/it WORK?

    1. Do they speak foreign languages?

    2. Do you want a banana?

    3. Does your sister play the piano?

    Questions and short answers:

    Do you like spaghetti?

    Yes, I do.

    No, I dont.

    Does she know Bulgarian?

    Yes, she does.

    No, she doesnt.

    Notes about formation of the 3rd person singular (he, she, it):

    If the verb ends in -ss, -sh, -ch, -x or -o, add -es to the base form:

    kiss - kisses, finish - finishes, watch - watches, mix - mixes, go - goes

    If the verb ends in consonant + y change y to i and add -es:

    study - studies, copy - copies, try - tries, carry carries

    We use the Present Simple Tense:

    when we talk about things that happen repeatedly or habitually

    With Present Simple Tense we often use time expressions such as always, often,sometimes, usually,seldom, on

    Saturdays, rarely, never, every day, etc.

    Examples:1. Philip gets up at 6 oclockevery morning.

    2. I go to school every day.3. Shesometimes goes out on Friday night.

    4. I usually sleep late on Sunday morning.

    5. Peter works for 8 hours every day.6. We usually start work at 8 oclock.

    7. My children often watch TV in the afternoon.

    8. He always forgets his keys.

    When we talk about permanent or long-lasting situations


    1. I work in a bank.2. Kate speaks English very well.

    3. Tom lives in London.

    When we talk about people or things in general


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    People make choices because they cant have everything they want.

    2. Nurses work in clinics and hospitals.3. Football is a very popular sport in Bulgaria.

    To indicate general truths, facts and scientific lawsExamples:

    1. The Earth is spherical.

    2. My birthday is in May.

    3. California is in the United States.4. The sun rises in the east.

    5. Water freezes at 0C (32F).

    When we talk about travel plans and timetables (mainly with verbs such as go, leave, arrive, start, come, return


    Examples:1. We arrive in Rome at 6 p.m.

    2. The train leaves in five minutes.

    3. The course starts next Thursday.

    With state (or stative) verbs such as like, dislike, love, think, seem, look, know, feel, understand, want, need,hate, remember, forget, prefer, believe, mean, taste, hear, see, have (when the meaning is "possess") , own, belong

    etc. These verbs are not normally used in the Continuous Tense (but there are exceptions).Examples:

    1. She loves jazz music.

    2. My aunt hates travelling by train.3. I like ice cream. I dont like spinach.

    4. I think she is a wonderful person.

    5. Do you believe in God?

    6. I have no money at the moment.7. My brother has a new car.

    8. That bicycle belongs to me.

    To give instructions/directions


    1. Pour all ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix until smooth.

    2. Walk down the street to the corner and then turn right.

    The Present Simple Tense is also used in:

    sentences after when, after, while, till / until, before, as soon as - When the rain stops, well goout.

    Ill call you back as soon as I return home.

    zero conditional sentences (when the result of the condition is always true) - If you heat water to 100C (212Fit boils.

    first conditional sentences (Often called the real conditional because it is used for real (or possible)

    situations. These situations take place if a certain condition is met.) - If you finish your homework Ill bring you t

    the zoo.

    List of stative verbs

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    Here is a comprehensive list of stative verbs:

    to adore to fit to please

    to agree to hate to possess

    to appear (seem) to have (possession) to promise

    to appreciate to hear to realise

    to be to imagine to recognize

    to believe to include to remember

    to belong to to involve to resemble

    to concern to know to satisfy

    to consist of to lack to see

    to contain to like to seem

    to cost to loathe to smell

    to deny to look (seem) to sound

    to depend on to love to suppose

    to deserve to matter to surprise

    to detest to mean to taste

    to disagree to measure to think (opinion)

    to dislike to mind to understand

    to doubt to need to want

    to equal to owe to weigh

    to feel to own to wish


    1. Write down the missing sentences:


    I I play.

    you You help.

    he He does not answer.


    Does she sing?

    Doesnt she sing?

    it It rains.


    Do we dream?

    Dont we dream?

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    you You do not read.

    theyDo they work?Dont they work?

    2. Arrange the words to make sentences in simple present.

    I / to collect stamps I collect stamps

    we / to play card games - .he / to read comics - .

    Chris / to sing in a band - .we / to have a hamster - ...

    Andy and John / to like cola - .

    she / to be nice - ...

    they / to help their parents - .the children / to speak English - ..

    I / to buy a newspaper every Saturday - ..

    3.Choose the correct form.

    We sometimes (read, reads, doesnt read).. books.

    Emily (go, dont go, doesnt go)to the disco.

    It often (rain, dont rain, rains). on Sundays.Pete and his sister (doesnt drive, drives, drive). the family car.

    I always (walks, doesnt walk, walk).. to the bus stop.

    4. Put the verbs into the correct form.

    I (to like). lemonade very much.

    The girls always (to listen) to pop music.Janet never (to wear) ..jeans.

    Mr Smith (to teach) ..Spanish and French.

    You (to do) your homework after school.

    5. Fill in the correct form of the verbs.

    We (to have) .a nice garden.She (to be) six years old.

    Simon (to have). two rabbits and five goldfish.

    I (to be). from Vienna, Austria.

    They (to be) .Sandys parents.

    6. Make negative sentences.

    My father makes breakfast. .They are eleven. ..

    She writes a letter. ..

    I speak Italian.

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    Danny phones his father on Sundays.

    7. Make questions.

    you / to speak / English

    when / he / to go / home ..they / to clean / the bathroom ..

    where / she / to ride / her bike .

    Billy / to work / in the supermarket

    8. Find the signal words for simple present.

    1. Which is a signal word for simple present?a. now b. last Monday c. often

    2. Which is a signal word for simple present?a. sometimes b. the moment c.yesterday

    3. Which is a signal word for simple present?a. last Friday b. every Friday c. next Friday

    4. Which is not a signal word for simple present?

    a. never b. already c. usually

    5. Which is not a signal word for simple present?

    a. Listen! b. first ... then ... c. seldom

    Present Continuous Tense

    1. Structure

    The Present Continuous is made with the present form of the verb to be (I am, you are, he/she/it is, we are,you are, they are) + the -ing form of the main verb. The -ing form of the verb is called the Present Participle.


    I am reading I am not reading Am I reading?

    You are reading You are not reading Are you reading?

    He is reading He is not reading Is he reading?

    She is reading She is not reading Is she reading?

    It is reading It is not reading Is it reading?

    We are reading We are not reading Are we reading?

    You are reading You are not reading Are you reading?

    They are reading They are not reading Are they reading?

    Contracted forms: I am = Imyou are = youre

    he/she/it is = hes/shes/its

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    I am not = Im notyou are not = you arent

    he/she/it is not = he isnt/she isnt/it isnt

    we are = were they are = theyrewe are not = we arent they are not = they arent


    1. What are you doing? 3. He is reading a newspaper.

    2. Im having a bath. 4. Are they working?

    2. Using the Present Continuous Tense

    We most often use the Present Continuous when we talk about something which is happening at the time ofspeaking (now, at the moment):

    Examples: 1. Pamela is sleeping in the bedroom.

    2. The telephone is ringing!

    3. They are doing their homework.4. Im waiting for my girlfriend in front of the cinema.

    Present Continuous is also used when we talk about something which is happening at present, but not

    necessarily at the moment of speaking:

    Examples: 1. Im reading an interesting book.

    2. Tom is looking for a new job.

    3. We are studying English and Spanish.

    We can use the Present Continuous when we talk about temporary actions taking place only for a period of

    time (today, this week, this semester, this year):

    Examples: 1. My husband is working hard today.

    2. They are spending this week in Paris.

    3. She is teaching English this semester.

    4. We are staying at the Bristol Hotel tonight.5. Im living with my parents at the moment but soon Ill buy my own house.

    Present Continuous is also used to express current trends:

    Examples: 1. Fuel prices are rising constantly because of strong demand.

    2. On-line shopping is growing rapidly nowdays.

    We can use the Present Continuous when we talk about repeated actions which are irritating to the speaker

    (always, constantly):

    Examples: 1. He is always complaining from his colleagues.

    2. My son is always getting into trouble in school.

    Sometimes we use the Present Continuous to describe a planned action in the near future:

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    Examples: 1. Im leaving for Vienna tomorrow morning.2. We are having lunch at 12.30 oclock.

    Some verbs can be both stative and dynamic:


    be is usually a stative verb, but when it is used in the continuous it means behaving or acting

    you are stupid = its part of your personality

    you are being stupid = only now, not usually


    think (stative) = have an opinion

    I think that coffee is greatthink (dynamic) = consider, have in my head

    what are you thinking about? Im thinking about my next holiday


    have (stative) = ownI have a car

    have (dynamic) = part of an expression

    Im having a party / a picnic / a bath / a good time / a break


    see (stative) = see with your eyes / understand

    I see what you mean

    I see her now, shes just coming along the roadsee (dynamic) = meet / have a relationship with

    Ive been seeing my boyfriend for three years

    Im seeing Robert tomorrow


    taste (stative) = has a certain taste

    This soup tastes great

    The coffee tastes really bittertaste (dynamic) = the action of tasting

    The chef is tasting the soup

    (taste is the same as other similar verbs such as smell)


    1. Fill in the gaps with the correct form of the verb in brackets.

    Example:Iam listening(listen) to you.

    The train to Glasgow (leave) from platform 8.

    I ..(begin) to understand the Present Continuous now.Sue .(work) tonight.

    Listen! The telephone .(ring).

    Ms. Johnson .(see) a customer at 3 oclock.

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    2. Form complete sentences by putting the following words into the correct order:1 livingveryWereflat.inanice

    .2 image.companyhardimproveitsworkingtoTheis


    3 interestingChina.bookreadingaImveryabout


    4 Saturday.ThepartyaonarehavingBarrons


    5 playingteamareOurtoday.badly


    6 trainnewwithMyplayingsonhisisset.

    ..7 herSheilasmobile.tosomeoneontalking


    8 morning.ImBobtomorrowat12meeting

    ..9 isweek.RomeflyingtoMargotnext



    Present Tense Continuous Negative Form

    I m not playing football.

    You arent standing up.

    He isnt listening to music.

    She isnt swimming.

    It isnt playing with the ball.

    We arent going home.

    They arent running.


    1. Fill in the gaps with the correct form of the verb in brackets.

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    Example: We arent watching(not watch) the television.

    My Dad .(not have) his lunch now.The kids ....(not study) tomorrow.

    It ...(not rain) today.

    I.(not study) German.We (not go) to Egypt on summer holiday.

    2. Form complete sentences by putting the following words into the correct order:

    1 homework.isntEnglishAnitadoingher

    2 theProgresshavingWeTesttoday!arent

    3 forthedinner.comingarentUnfortunately,Petersons

    4 Thephotocopierisntworking.

    5 rentingarentandflatLisasisterahertogether.

    6 arentworkingSaturday.Wenext

    7 anywheregoingatCliveandIweekends.arent

    8 phoneisntringing.The

    9 Imanythingnotnow.doingright


    Present Tense Continuous Interrogative Form

    Am I doing it right?

    Are you listening to me?

    Is he working today?

    Is she speaking Chinese?

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    Is it working?

    Are we going home now?

    Are they watching TV?


    1. Fill in the gaps with the correct form of the verb in brackets.

    Example:Are you listening(you listen) to me?

    1. . (it start) to rain?2. .. (Sue study) to become a doctor?

    3. .. (you take) your daughter with you?

    4. ... (the dog play) with the kids?

    5. ... (they come) tonight?

    2. Form complete sentences by putting the following words into the correct order:

    1 tennisIswithplayingPamelayoutomorrow?


    2 tonight?youAredoinganything


    3 atheyinAreLondon?biggerofficeintomoving

    ..4 presentationsdoingonhisIsSeanWednesday?

    ..5 stayingIsanyoneclasses?afterelse

    6 Aregoingtheyalready?home

    7 yourback?Isntcomingwife


    8 youjoking?Are

    9 Areyourtakingplay?parttheinkids


    10 watchinganyoneTV?Is

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    Wh- Questions

    What am I doing?

    Where are you living now?

    Who is he speaking to?

    When is she coming?What is it doing here?

    When are we having the test?

    What are they watching?


    1. Fill in the gaps with the correct form of the verb in brackets.

    What company ..(you work) for?What class ..(they study) in?

    Who (John shake) hands with?

    What time ..(your friends come)?What country (they visit) at the moment?

    2. Form complete sentences by putting the following words into the correct order:



    2 visitingWhatyouvocation?countryonare


    3 arespeakingto?youWho


    4 youWheretonight?stayingare


    5 doing?helltheareWhatyou


    6 arrivingtrainisyourWheninMoscow?

    7 with?mydancingwifeWhos


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    8 buying?areWhatcarthey


    9 Howcoming?manypeopleare

    10 Whatyouaredrinking?


    Usually we add ing

    work working

    stand standing

    learn learning

    When the verb ends in an e, we drop the e and add ing

    come coming

    have having

    write writing

    If a one syllable (with only one vowel sound) verb ends in one consonant (for examplep, t, r) that follows one

    vowel (for example a, o, e), we double the consonant.

    swim swimming

    get getting

    stop stopping

    Some verbs have irregular ing form


    Make the ing form of the verbs:

    coming ..

    watch ..

    skate ..

    smile ..

    die ..speak ..

    run ..

    meet ..

    talk ..

    have ..

    take ..

    live ..

    lie lying

    die dying

    travel Br. travelling Am. traveling

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    sit ..

    go ..

    listen ..

    eat ..

    lie ..

    ski ..

    wear ..

    chat ..

    chew ..

    3. Choose the correct form of the verb depending on whether in this meaning it is an action or a state verb. If

    both the Present Continuous and the Present Simple tenses are possible, use the Present Continuous tense.

    1. a) Why are you smelling the soup?

    b) Why do you smell the soup?

    2. a) She was feeling his arm on her shoulder.b) She felt his arm on her shoulder.

    3. a) Are you having an English dictionary?

    b) Do you have an English dictionary?

    4. a) What are you thinking about?

    b) What do you think about?

    5. a) I am feeling much better today.b) I feel much better today.

    6. a) What are you looking at?b) What do you look at?

    7. a) I am not hearing you.b) I cant hear you.

    8. a) What are you thinking of me?b) What do you think of me?

    9. a) I am feeling we should go home now.

    b) I feel we should go home now.

    10. a) This bread is tasting funny.b) This bread tastes funny.

    Present Tense Simple / Present Tense Continuous

    Permanent (usual) and Temporary (now, around now) actions.

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    We use the Present Continuous tense to speak about things which are happening now or things which are


    I am not working now. I am on holiday.Sally is listening to a new CD.

    Who are you phoning?

    The Present Simple tense describes usual, repeated and permanent thingswhich happen for example, always, usually, often, sometimes, never.

    I work as an accountant.

    John doesnt know German.

    How often do you play tennis?

    Compare how these two tenses are used.

    Why are you walking to work? Dont you usually go by bus?I live in Kharkiv, but now I am living in Moscow.

    Usually we have dinner at 7, but today we are having it at 9.

    Some verbs are not normally used in the Continuous Tense. They are called state verbs.

    Present Continuous and Present Simple to talk about the future.

    We use the Present Continuous Tense for plans and arrangements.

    What are you doing tonight?Im seeing a very important customer in my office at 4 oclock.

    We are going to the see for our holiday.

    Where are you staying in Vienna?

    Im not going anywhere. It is final.

    We use the Present Simple in the conditional clauses after if, when, as soon as, untiletc, and when we talk about

    timetable, schedules, itineraries etc.

    What will you do if you fail your exam?

    We will wait until she comes.

    My plane takes off at 9.00.

    The President arrives in Norway on 17 September.What time does your train leave?


    1. Put the verb in brackets in the correct form, either the Present Simple Tense or the Present Continuous Tense.

    1. I ..a very interesting book.(to read)

    2. Joanne eight hours a day. (to work)3. Tonight we a play at the theatre. (to watch)

    4. Whoto? (he, to speak)

    5. I him very well. (to know)

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    6. What will you do if she..late?(to come)

    7. My wifecoffee for breakfast. (to have)8. What .for breakfast? (you, to have)

    9. Your train 17.25 from platform 3. (to leave)

    10. What? Shes a student. (she, to do)

    2. Put the verbs into present progressive.

    1. My sister (to clean) the bathroom.

    2. Look! They (to go) .inside.

    3. I (to wait) in the car now.

    4. Mrs Miller (to listen) to CDs.5. We (to speak) .English at the moment.

    3. Choose the correct form. Note that there are exceptions in spelling when adding ing.

    1. His brother .a test at the moment. (does, is doing, do)

    2. They .in the pool. (are swimming, swim, swims)3. Look! David and Max home. (come, comes, are coming)

    4. My dog Charlie the park. (go, goes, is going)

    5. I ..breakfast now. (make, is making, am making)

    4. Rewrite the sentences using the short forms (where long forms are given) or the long forms (where short

    forms are given).

    1. We are reading a letter. ....

    2. He is opening the window. ......

    3. I am playing computer games. .....4. Shes dancing at the party. ...

    5. Theyre drinking a cup of tea. ......

    5. Rewrite the sentences using the negative forms.

    1. We are playing a game. ..

    2. Im drawing a picture. 3. He is making pizza right now. ....

    4. Susan and her brother are taking photos.

    5. Dad is working in the kitchen.

    6. Write questions in present progressive.Robin / to ride / his bike ..

    where / she / to go ..what / your mother / to do / now

    7. Which is a signal word for the present progressive?

    1. often now sometimes

    2. always Look! at the moment


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    Past Simple Tense


    The past simple tense of the most English verbs (regular verbs) is formed by adding

    "-ed"/"-d" to their base form. (If the verb ends in "-e", we add"-d" to form the past simple.)

    There are also some verbs called irregular verbs that have special past tense forms.

    Here are some examples of irregular verbs:

    to do did doneto be was/ were been

    to make made - made

    Affirmative form

    Regular verbs:

    base form + "-ed" or"-d":

    work+ "-ed" = worked

    live + "-d" = lived

    I/you/he/she/it/we/they workedI/you/he/she/it/we/they lived

    Irregular verbs: past form onlyI/you/he/she/it/we/they saw

    To form the negative and interrogative sentences we use the past form of auxiliary verb do --> did:

    Negative form

    Iyou DID + NOT

    he/she/it /DIDN'T/

    we + WORKthey

    He didn't workyesterday.She didn't see him last night.

    Interrogative form



    DID he/she/it WORK?we


    Did he workyesterday?

    Did she see him last night?

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    If it is the verb "to be" we use was/were before the subject:

    Was he at the office the other day?

    Questions and short answers:

    Did you go to the cinema last night?

    Yes, I did.

    No, I didn't.

    Did he speakwith Kate yesterday?

    Yes, he did.No, he didn't.

    Spelling rules for the past simple of regular verbs:

    if a regular verb ends in consonant + y change y to i and add -ed:carry - carried, study - studied, fry - fried, try - tried

    if a one syllable regular verb ends in consonant + vowel + consonant double the final consonant and add -ed

    > stop - stopped, plan - planned, rob - robbed, beg - beggedif a regular verb has more than one syllable and ends in consonant + vowel + consonant, we double the final

    consonant only ifthe final syllable is stressed -- > preFER- preferred, regRET - regretted

    Exception: In British English verbs ending in -l have -ll before -ed whether the final syllable is stressed or not -- travel travelled

    Pronunciation of final "-ed" (regular verbs):

    after an unvoiced consonant sound (sh/ s / ch / p / k / f ) we pronounce /t/: wash (/sh/) - washed (/t/); kiss(/s/) - kissed (/t/); work (/k/) - worked (/t/); hope (/p/) - hoped (/t/); laugh (/f/) - laughed (/t/)

    after a vowel and voiced consonant sounds we pronounce /d/: phone (/n/) - phoned (/d/); judge (/dg/) -judged (/d/); turn (/n/) - turned (/d/); play (/ei/) - played (/d/); follow (/ou/) - followed (/d/)

    after /t/ and /d/ sounds we pronounce /-id/: visit (/t/) - visited (/id/); start (/t/) - started (/id/); need (/d/) -needed (/id/)

    Exception! The verb to be is different. We conjugate the verb to be (I was, you were, he/she/it was, we were, they

    were); and we do not use an auxiliary for negative and question sentences. To make a question, we exchange thesubject and verb. Look at these examples:

    subject main verb

    +I, he/she/it was here.

    You, we, they were in London.

    -I, he/she/it was not there.

    You, we, they were not happy.

    ? Was I, he/she/it right?

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    Were you, we, they late?

    We use the Past Simple Tense:

    to describe actions and situations that happened in the past. These actions and situations were started and

    finished in the past.


    1. We arrived at 9:00 o'clock.2. This morning I went to the supermarket.

    3. The teacherwent to the desk.

    4. He didn't hear the telephone.5. Susan bought her little sister a doll.

    6. We came here in 1980.

    7. I worked atJohnson & Co. from 1990 to 1995.

    8. My brotherlived in London for six years. (he doesn't live there anymore)

    The sentence often contains an adverb or adverb phrase of time, such as yesterday, the other day, last night,

    last week, three days ago, a few minutes ago, in (year), from (year) to (year), etc.

    to talk about habitual or repeated actions that took place in the past


    1. When she was young, she danced beautifully.

    2. He played the violin when he was a child.3. We often went there.

    4. I saw her every day.

    Note: This use is also often expressed with used to:

    Bob used to smoke 20 cigarettes a day.

    to tell a story and to express actions which follow each other in a story


    It happened one night in the winter.

    2. She opened her bag, took out the key and unlocked the door.

    to refer to the historical past or to events that have happened in the distant past relative to the speaker


    1. World War II ended in 1945.

    2. Romans built strong bridges.

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    for reporting what someone said (converting from direct to reported speech)


    1. David said that he was tired.2. The doctortold me that I would have to stay in the hospital for a week.

    to talk about action in the past that took place in the middle of another action


    1. When Peterarrived, I was reading a book.

    2. I was having a bath when the phone rang.

    for making second conditional sentences (also called conditional type 2) when we talk about an imaginary orunlikely situation and to describe its result. (If + past simple, would + infinitive)


    1. If I won the lottery, I would travel the world.

    2. If I were you, I wouldn't marry him.


    1. Put the verbs into the simple past:

    1. Last year I (go)to England on holiday.

    2. It (be) .fantastic.3. I (visit) .lots of interesting places. I (be) ..with two friends of mine .4. In the mornings we (walk) in the streets of London.

    5. In the evenings we (go) pubs.

    6. The weather (be) strangely fine.7. It (not / rain) .a lot.

    8. But we (see) ..some beautiful rainbows.

    9. Where (spend / you) ..your last holiday?

    3. Fill in the blanks below with one of the 15 irregular past tense verbs in the box.











    1. He. his homework before he went to school.

    2. It was cold so we some hot chocolate.3. I .. a sandcastle when I went to the beach.

    4. It was a hot day so she in the lake yesterday.


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    5. His car had a flat tire so he the bus to work.

    6. I a horse last summer when I went to my uncle's farm.7. I was late for class so I .. to school.

    8. I.. two hamburgers so I am full.

    9. Ia good book before I went to bed.10. She . a lion when she went to the zoo.

    11. A letter.. in the mail today.

    12. They .. hiking yesterday.13. I. my brother a game for his birthday.

    14. She.a good report card so her mom was happy.

    15. I my friends when we went to the park.

    4. Fill in with the correct form of the verb in brackets

    1. Yesterday I the movies. (go)2 .My sister ..a birthday cake for me last week. (make)3. Steve ..his bicycle to school yesterday. (ride)4. My friends to Los Angeles two weeks ago. (drive)5. Elizabeth some flowers to her mother last Saturday.(take)6. Kevin his leg while he was playing football. (break)

    7. Last week my aunt .a baby. (have)8. When we cleaned the yard, we ..a lot of work. (do)9. The child .some milk last night. (drink)10. My teacher some new books last month. (buy)

    The Past Continuous Tense


    The Past Continuous is made with the Past form of the verb "to be" (I was, you were, he/she/it was, we wereyou were, they were) + the '-ing' form of the main verb. The '-ing' form of the verb is called the Present


    Past Continuous (Progressive) Tense


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    Affirmative (Positive) Form Negative Form Question Form

    I was reading I was not reading Was I reading?

    You were reading You were not reading Were you reading?

    He was reading He was not reading Was he reading?

    She was reading She was not reading Was she reading?

    It was reading It was not reading Was it reading?

    We were reading We were not reading Were we reading?

    You were reading You were not reading Were you reading?

    They were reading They were not reading Were they reading?

    We use the Past Continuous Tense:

    We use the Past Continuous Tense to say that someone was at the middle of doing something at a

    certain time. The action or situation has already started before this time but hadn't finished yet:

    Examples: 1. What were they doing at 10 o'clock?

    They were working at the garden.

    2. Last summer at this time he was visiting Mexico.3. Karen was walking to school at 8.30 this morning.

    4. They were dancing at a friend's birthday party last night at 10.30 p.m.

    The Past Continuous is also used together with the Past Simple to say that somehing happens at the

    middle of something else:

    Examples: 1. David was reading a book in the park when suddenly it began to rain.

    2. While I was walking down the street I met an old friend.

    3. He phoned as we were leaving the house.

    4. They were playing cards when Jim came.

    We can use the Past Continuous to indicate that two actions in the past were in the progress

    simultaneously (with while):

    Examples: 1. While I was studying in one room my older sisterwas having a party in the other room.

    2. While James was washing the car his wife was cleaning the house.

    The Past Continuous is used to express action that were in progress at the time of another particular


    Examples: 1. It was snowing all morning.


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    2. They were driving all night long.

    The Past Continuous is also used to talk about irritating repeated actions in the past (with always,


    Examples: 1. My girlfriend was always coming late.

    2. He was always forgetting to close the door.

    We use the Past Continuous to make polite inquiries:

    Example: I was wondering if you could lend me your new car for a few hours.

    Remember that we do not normally use the Past Continuous with no action verbs likeseem, know,

    feel, hear,smell, taste, hate, hope, mean,prefer, love, like, etc.