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PAST PERFECT SIMPLE VS.

PAST SIMPLE & CONTINUOUS

NEF. Intermediate, U-1B By Cristina Rodríguez

PAST SIMPLE
USE 1: Completed Action in the Past
The Past simple is used to express the idea that an action started and finished at a specific time in the past. Sometimes, the speaker may not actually mention the specific time, but they do have one specific time in mind.

I saw a movie yesterday. I didn't see a play yesterday. Last year, I travelled to Japan.

PAST SIMPLE
USE 2: A Series of Completed Action in the Past
The Past simple is also used to list a series of completed actions in the past. These actions happen 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and so on.

I finished work, walked to the beach, and found a nice place to swim. Did you add flour, pour in the milk, and then add the eggs?

PAST CONTINUOUS
USE 1: Continuous Action in the past
•Use the Past Continuous to indicate that an action in the past has a duration. Sometimes two different past actions appear together, one of them (the shorter one) interrupting the longer one

I was watching TV when she called. While John was sleeping last night , someone stole his car.

Non-Continuous Verbs Abstract Verbs to be, to want, to cost, to seem, to need, to care, to contain, to owe, to exist... Possession Verbs to possess, to own, to belong... Emotion Verbs to like, to love, to hate, to dislike, to fear, to envy, to mind...

Mixed Verbs to appear, to feel, to have, to hear, to look, to see, to weigh...

EXERCISE 1:

Fill in the gaps with the correct tense: past simple or past continuous

1. A: What (you, do) when the accident occurred? B: I (try) to change a light bulb that had burnt out. 2. After I (find) the wallet full of money, I (go, immediately) to the police and (turn) it in. 3. Sebastian (arrive) at Susan's house a little before 9:00 PM, but she (be, not) there. She (study, at the library) for her final examination in French. 4. . A: I (call) you last night after dinner, but you (be, not) there. Where were you? B: I (work) out at the fitness center.

1. A: What WERE YOU DOING when the accident occurred? B: I WAS TRYING to change a light bulb that had burnt out. 2. After I FOUND the wallet full of money, I WENT INMEDIATELY to the police TURNED it in. 3. Sebastian ARRIVED at Susan's house a little before 9:00 PM, but

she WASN´T there. She WAS STUDYING AT THE LIBRARY for
her final examination in French. 4. . A: I CALLED you last night after dinner, but you WEREN´T there.

Where were you?
B: I WAS WORKING out at the fitness center.

PAST PERFECT SIMPLE
I left the school at 6pm. My husband started preparing dinner at 6 and finished at 7. I got home at 7:15 “When I got home, my husband had finished preparing dinner.”

Harry looked at the black clouds and took an umbrella.
It started raining heavily. However, Harry stayed perfectly dry.

Harry didn't get wet when it rained because

He had taken an umbrella ………………….……………….. with him.

Tim had a big black beard. He shaved it off two days ago.

I met Tim today but I didn't recognise Tim at all this morning because

He had shaved his big black beard ……………………………………….off.

PAST PERFECT SIMPLE
USE 1: Completed Action Before Something in the Past
The Past Perfect expresses the idea that something occurred before another action in the past. It can also show that something happened before a specific time in the past.

•I had never seen such a beautiful beach before I went to Kauai. •I did not have any money because I had lost my wallet. •Had Susan ever studied Thai before she moved to Thailand?

EXERCISE 2:

Fill in the gaps with the past perfect

1. I lost the key that he (give) to me. 2. She told me that she (see) a ghost. 3. I went downstairs because I (hear) a noise. 4. When they came home, Sue (cook) dinner already. 5. We could not send you a postcard because we (forget) our address book.

1. I lost the key that he had given to me.
2. She told me that she had seen a ghost.

3. I went downstairs because I had heard a noise.
4. When they came home, Sue had already cooked dinner

5. We could not send you a postcard because we had
forgotten our address book.

EXERCISE 3:

Fill in the gaps with the correct tense: past simple or past perfect

1. When he (wake up) , his mother (already / prepare) breakfast. 2. We (go) to London because the Queen (invite) us for tea. 3. He (hear) the news, (go) to the telephone and (call) a friend. 4. When she (start) to learn English, she (already / learn) French. 5. Jane (already / type) ten pages when her computer (crash) .

1. When he WOKE UP, his mother HAD ALREADY PREPARED breakfast. 2. We WENT to London because the Queen HAD INVITED us for tea. 3. He HEARD the news, WENT to the telephone and CALLED a friend.

4. When she STARTED to learn English, she HAD ALREADY LEARNT French.
5. Jane HAD ALREADY TYPED ten pages when her computer CRASHED.

6. By the time he (arrive) at the pub, they (run) out of

beer.
7. Before that day we (never / think) of going to Japan. 8. I (know) him for a long time before I (meet) his family.

9. They (not / know) where to meet because nobody (tell)
them. 10. It (be) cloudy for days before it finally (begin) to rain.

HAD TOLD

6. By the time he ARRIVED at the pub, they HAD RUN out of beer.
7. Before that day we HAD NEVER THOUGHT of going to Japan. 8. I HAD KNOWN him for a long time before I MET his family. 9. They DIDN´T KNOW where to meet because nobody HAD TOLD them. 10. It HAD BEEN cloudy for days before it finally BEGAN to rain.

Strange Days in a strange country Guess what had happened
•Anna was crying and her mum looked angry. •Stans’s underpants were on his head and he was wearing

a dress.
•Ian couldn't remember his name and his head ached. •Sara was sitting in a cell at the local police station. •Masha was running at midnight.