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English language quizzes

Narrative tenes exercise: past perfect simple and continous; past simple

Gap-fill exercise

Fill in all the gaps, then press "Check" to check your answers. Write full words, not contractions (I'm, we've, she's etc.) Use the "Hint" button to get a free letter if an answer is giving you trouble. Note that you will lose points if you ask for hints.
This happened over twenty years ago. I (stay) with some friends who (buy) a cottage in southern Italy and I was flying back home to London. We were about twenty minutes into the flight when I (realise) something was wrong. We (climb) to 10,000 meters and the pilot (switch off) the seat belt sign. We (fly) smoothly for about five mintues when I (see) an old man on the other side of the cabin staring out of the window with an expression of pure terror on his face. Then he (raise) his hands in the air and (say) very loudly, 'My God, we are all going to die!' Two flight attendants, who (chat) nearby, came over and (look) out of the window. One of them immediately (run) to the front of the plane and (go) into the cockpit, and at the same time, I felt the plane begin to lose height. Then the pilot made an announcement. He said we (lose) one engine and we would have to return to the airport. At the time I thought this meant one engine (stop) working, but I later learned that the engine (actually / fall off) the plane and I wondered whether it (hit) anybody on the ground. I never (find out) but at least the mishap (not / damage) the wing or any other parts of the aircraft and we (land) about 30 minutes later without trouble.
Resources page for narrative tenses
Notes on narrative tenses
Gap fill exercises
Narrative tenses news story
Complete the news story by putting the verbs in the correct tense.
Narrative tenses - anecdote
Complete the anecdote about an incident on a plane by putting the verbs in the correct tense.
Narrative tenses - James Bond
Adaptation of a short passage from Diamonds are Forever
Pakistan - China by bicycle
15 gap text: past simple, past continuous, past perfect, past perfect continuous.
Past simple and continuous - anecdote - the Donkey Dog
Short anecdote about a frightening experience, gapped for past continuous and past simple plus 'enormous' and 'the biggest'
Quizzes - multiple choice / short answer
Narrative tenses quiz: a spooky experience
Ten mulitple-choice questions that relate a short spooky experience.


ESL lesson plans

Reading and vocabulary: workplace discrimination

Reading and vocabulary: workplace discrimination: picture
Work clothing vocabulary.
News story in graded English about woman who was sent home for refusing to wear high-heeled shoes.
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Download Dress code (PDF)

ESL lesson plans

Reading and vocabulary: How Donald Trump got rich: a tale of three Trumps

Reading and vocabulary: How Donald Trump got rich: a tale of three Trumps: picture
Three articles in graded English with lead-in and comprehension tasks.
Jigsaw reading for groups of three.
Grammar follow-up on participle clauses (PDF advanced version)
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Download Intermediate (PDF)
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Download Advanced (PDF)