You are on page 1of 27


New English File Advanced A PowerPoint by Ana Flores

When we narrate a story, we use: Past Simple Past Continuous Past Perfect Past Perfect Continuous Would / Used to

We use narrative tenses when telling a story, or talking about situations and activities which happened at a past time. When telling past events, DO NOT mix past and present tenses.


We use Past Simple o to express a completed action at a definite time in the past: When I was little we lived in another village. o To express past habits: I woke up very late at weekends when I was a teenager.

We use Past Continuous o For an action which was in progress at a stated time in the past: At 3 o clock , my son was sleeping. o For a past action which was in progress when another action interrupted: I was talking on the phone when someone knocked at the door.


For two or more actions which were happening at the same time in the past: My husband was working on the computer while I was preparing lunch. o To give background information in a story: It was getting really dark and the wind was blowing as I was walking to work.


We use Past Perfect to go back to a sencond past. o We use it to talk about things that had already happened before that specific time in the past Some students got to school late. When they arrived, the exam had already started. o We use it to make the narrative more interesting and easy to read.


We use Past Perfect Continuous to talk about longer actions or situations which had continued up to the past moment: Before we went to bed that night, I had been reading a very scary story about a wicked witch.

WHEN+ SIMPLE PAST_________ SIMPLE PAST When I read the news, I cried.
WHEN+ SIMPLE PAST_____PAST CONTINUOUS When he phoned me, I was cooking.

WHEN+SIMPLE PAST_____PAST PERFECT When she arrived there, he had already gone.

WHEN+S.PAST____PAST PERFECT CONTINUOUS When they found a cure for cancer, they had been researching for years.

WHILE/AS/JUST AS+PAST CONT___SIMPLE PAST While I was watching a new serial on TV, I fell asleep. As I was walking along the street, I bumped into an old friend of mine.

WHILE/AS/JUST AS+PAST CONT___PAST CONT As I was writing an essay, my son was studying in his bedroom. While he was studying Maths, he was listening to music on his iPod. JUST AS/AS+SIMPLE PAST______ SIMPLE PAST As I woke up, I saw a cat staring at me! Just as I picked up the home phone,the mobile phone rang.

JUST AS+BE ABOUT TO______SIMPLE PAST Just as I was about to leave, my sister-in-law arrived. IT/THIS/THAT WAS THE 1ST,2ND,3RD.. TIME __ PAST PERFECT That was the last time I had seen her. It was the first time I had eaten octopus.

AFTER+SIMPLE PAST_____SIMPLE PAST After she graduated from Malaga University, she went to Oxford. BEFORE+SIMPLE PAST____PAST PERFECT Before she got married,she had spent most of her time in London. BEFORE+SIMPLE PAST____SIMPLE PAST Before I went to Italy, I bought a lot of new clothes.

BY THE TIME+SIMPLE PAST_____PAST PERFECT By the time his first film came out, he had taken part in lots of theatre plays. BY THE TIME+SIMPLE PAST___PAST P. CONTIN. By the time he settled down in Estepona, he had been travelling around the world. UNTIL/TILL+ SIMPLE PAST___SIMPLE PAST We waited until he finished his homework.


Until they found a new job,they had been unemployed for years.

As soon as I had seen her, I understood that something was wrong. Once she decided to leave him, nobody was able to change her mind.

BY +PAST EXPRESSION_______PAST PERFECT By the mid 20th century, many women had gained the right to teach. HARDLY/SCARCELY+PAST PERFECT(INVERSION) _______WHEN+SIMPLE PAST I had hardly entered the classroom when I noticed a student speaking in Spanish. Hardly had I entered the classroom when I noticed a student speaking in Spanish.

NO SOONER+PAST PERFECT(INVERSION)___ THAN+SIMPLE PAST No sooner had I left the office than it started to rain.


When a verb describes a state and not an action we do not use the continuous tense. For example, 'play' is an action so we can say 'playing' whereas 'be' is a fixed state which does not change: 'To be, or not to be'. Grammatically it is not correct to say "Im loving it" even though McDonald's have made this expression famous. 'Love' is a state verb and so we should say "I love it".

State verbs generally fall into 4 groups: Emotion: love, hate, want, need Possession: have, own, want, belong Sense: see, hear, smell, seem Thought: know, believe, remember

Here are some more examples of state verbs: doubt dislike understand suspect loathe like mean forget prefer live Some verbs can be both state and action verbs The meaning of these verbs is then different. Have a look at these:

'I have a car.' state verb showing possession 'I am having a bath.' action verb which, in this case, means 'taking'. 'I think you are cool.' state verb meaning 'in my opinion'. 'I am thinking about buying a motorbike.' action verb meaning 'considering'.


USED TO: (semi-modal) I used to go climbing a lot ( but I dont now) The negative form is either: I didnt use to or I used not to ( rare for some speakers). The form I didnt used to may also be found. This is usually considered incorrect, unless we consider used to as an unchanging semimodal form.

USED TO it is used to describe past habits or states. When we use used to we suggest that the action is no longer true and so make a strong contrast with the present. I used to get up at 8, now I get up at 7 (habit) I used to live in a flat, now I live in a house ( state)

WOULD it is used to describe a persons typical activities in the past.It can only be used to describe repeated actions, not states. It is mainly used in writing, and in personal reminiscences. Every evening was the same. Richard would turn on the radio, light his pipe and read a newspaper.

Thats all folks!!!