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grammar >
narrative tenses
 

narrative tenses

See also:
grammar: time expressions - past
functions: past events - talking about
skills: stories
skills: anecdotes
grammar: verb forms
 

 

narrative tenses - general



Worksheets for narrative tenses - general
 
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Narrative tenses practice - sentence completion and pairwork (933)
Eight personalized sentences with multiple choice endings. Students complete and then make questions to find their partner's answers. Concept check statements are included to check students' understanding of past tenses.
 
 

 

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Error slips - verb forms (654)
Error correction slips + multiple choice questions for past and present perfect tenses, would and used to

 
 

 

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Narrative tenses - Simple story - A lucky escape (105)
Story ordering and gap fill exercises for simple story narrative tenses. Updated 2016
 
 

 

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Plane anecdote with narrative tenses (103)
Story ordering. 10 - 20 students There are 15 strips, which can be reduced to 10 by removing those marked *, or increased to 20 by splitting longer sentences. Students get one segment each. They then sit or stand in circle and have to arrange themselves in the correct order of the story
 
 

 

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Locked out! - Cut up story (95)
Cut into 16 strips. The 3 strips marked * can be removed if necessary. Ss get one strip each. Sit or stand in circle. Arrange themselves in correct order of the story. Follow-up tenses gap-fill with answer sheet.
 
 

 

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Urban myth - madman on the loose (155)
Rather gruesome urban myth about a madman with a knife. Not for the faint-hearted. Cut-up story ordering task + gap fill.
 
 

 

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Past perfect anecdote (389)
Cut up story (office impostor) and analysis
 
 

 

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Jenny's trip to Taiwan (397)
Now includes analysis of tenses
 
 

 

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Mrs Jones's cat (96)
Goes with pic story formerly in Headway Intermediate. (Past simple and past continuous only.)
 
 

 

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Boracay story (102)
Revision of narrative tenses gap fill
 
 

 

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Bank robbery - alibis (82)
(1) Gapped bank robbery story. Students find missing information by asking partners. (2) Question formation: detective interviews suspect. This prepares students for alibis game.
 
 

 

 

Quizzes for narrative tenses - generalPage top ↑
 
Narrative tenses: a spooky experience (277)
Ten mulitple-choice questions that relate a short spooky experience.
 
 

 

 

Gap fill exercises for narrative tenses - generalPage top ↑
 
Narrative tenses news story (202)
Complete the news story by putting the verbs in the correct tense.
 
 

 

Narrative tenses - anecdote (203)
Complete the anecdote about an incident on a plane by putting the verbs in the correct tense.
 
 

 

Narrative tenses - James Bond (254)
Adaptation of a short passage from Diamonds are Forever
 
 

 

Pakistan - China by bicycle (347)
15 gap text: past simple, past continuous, past perfect, past perfect continuous.
 
 

 

Past simple and continuous - anecdote - the Donkey Dog (372)
Short anecdote about a frightening experience gapped for past continuous and past simple plus 'enormous' and 'the biggest'
 
 

 

 
 

 



Book references for narrative tenses - generalPage top ↑
 

General English course books (adults)


Global Intermediate Coursebook book cover Global Intermediate Coursebook 
Lindsay Clandfield   Rebecca Robb Benne   
Unit 2 Lives and Legends  Page 19   Past simple & past continuous
Unit 2 Lives and Legends  Page 21   Past perfect & past simple
 

Inside Out Student's Book Advanced book cover Inside Out Student's Book Advanced 
Ceri Jones   Tania Bastow   
Unit 2 Taste  Page 19   Past tenses
Three short exercise based on the preceding reading text
 

Inside Out Student's Book Upper Intermediate book cover Inside Out Student's Book Upper Intermediate 
Vaughan Jones   Susan Kay   
Unit 14 Review 2  Page 133 
 

New Cutting Edge Upper Intermediate students' book book cover New Cutting Edge Upper Intermediate students' book 
Peter Moore   Sarah Cunningham   
Module 3 Adventures and mishap  Pages 34 - 35  Verb forms in the narrative
Follow-up exercise and analysis of language in previous listening. Three short gapped stories with audio to check answers
 

New Inside Out Student's Book Upper Intermediate book cover New Inside Out Student's Book Upper Intermediate 
Susan Kay   Vaughan Jones   
Unit 4 Challenge  Page 39   Grammar: narrative tenses
Follow-up grammar exercises
 

Photocopiable resource books


Grammar Activities 2 - Upper Intermediate book cover Grammar Activities 2 - Upper Intermediate 
Will Forsyth   Sue Lavender   
48 - 51 Past tenses  Pages 48 - 51  Detective story
Complete a gapped story with pictures. Past simple, past perfect, past continuous.
 

Intermediate Communication Games book cover Intermediate Communication Games 
Jill Hadfield   
9 - Sci-fi dominoes / Fairytale dominoes  Page 9 
Story-making using picture card prompts.
22 - It wasn't me, Officer  Page 22 
Role play with cards. Ss have to identify various suspects for thefts.
 

Play Games with English Book 2 (1981-8) book cover Play Games with English Book 2 (1981-8) 
Colin Granger   John Plumb   
Memory 7 Accident page 45  Page 45 
Accident scene. Ss have to remember the exact scene and complete sentences (multiple choice) 'A man was just crossing / had just crossed / was just going to cross the road' etc.
 

General English adult course resource packs


Reward Intermediate Resource Pack book cover Reward Intermediate Resource Pack 
Susan Kay   
6 As different as chalk and cheese  Page 6 
Story writing activity. Ss complete sentences from prompts and pass to the S on the left.
 

Reward Upper-intermediate Resource Pack book cover Reward Upper-intermediate Resource Pack 
Susan Kay   
6a It made my day  Page 6 
Whole class / large group. Writing an anecdote. 'Write, fold and pass' activity to construct a funny anecdote.
8a Something strange happend on the way to...  Page 8 
Ss write a supernatural story using question prompts. Exchange and correct.
 


 

past simple tensePage top ↑

See also:
grammar: irregular verbs
 


Worksheets for past simple tense
 
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Past simple questions oxo (394)
Pairwork past simple questions
 
 

 

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Past simple questions dominoes (568)
Ss match segments of past simple questions and then match again to grammar labels ('past simple subject question' etc)
 
 

 

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Bank robbery - alibis (82)
(1) Gapped bank robbery story. Students find missing information by asking partners. (2) Question formation: detective interviews suspect. This prepares students for alibis game.
 
 

 

 

Gap fill exercises for past simple tensePage top ↑
 
Past simple and continuous - anecdote - the Donkey Dog (372)
Short anecdote about a frightening experience gapped for past continuous and past simple plus 'enormous' and 'the biggest'
 
 

 

 

Pictures for past simple tensePage top ↑
 
Historical events (104)
Photo presentation showing famous historical events with a date (4 so far)
 
 

 


 
Book references for past simple tensePage top ↑
 

General English course books (adults)


English Result Pre-Intermediate Student's Book book cover English Result Pre-Intermediate Student's Book 
Mark Hancock   Annie McDonald   
Unit 2 My region  Page 23   past simple
 

Global Intermediate Coursebook book cover Global Intermediate Coursebook 
Lindsay Clandfield   Rebecca Robb Benne   
Unit 2 Lives and Legends  Page 19   Past simple & past continuous
Unit 2 Lives and Legends  Page 21   Past perfect & past simple
 

Inside Out Student's Book Intermediate book cover Inside Out Student's Book Intermediate 
Susan Kay   Vaughan Jones   
Unit 3 Dating  Pages 25 - 27
 

New Cutting Edge Pre-Intermediate students' book book cover New Cutting Edge Pre-Intermediate students' book 
Sarah Cunningham   Peter Moore   
Module 2 Important firsts  Pages 16 - 17
Short text on the invention of TV. Quiz questions on 'important firsts' for question formation
Module 7 Ambitions and dreams  Pages 64 - 65
Short texts about people's careers. Contrasts present perfect with 'for' , and past simple; + throws in other uses of the present perfect
Consolidation modules 11 - 15  Page 138 
Tense identification exercise
 

Photocopiable resource books


Elementary Grammar Games book cover Elementary Grammar Games 
Jill Hadfield   
34 - was and were  Page 34 
Game 1. Picture story (soap opera cards). Ss arrange pictures to tell a story; then arrange word cards to make a sentence for each picture. + follow-up card game (groups) Game 2. Picture card matching game (Strange but True cards). requiring past simple questions and answers with the verb 'to be'.
35 - Past simple: affirmative and negative  Page 35 
Game 1. Matching game - Ss match past simple and bare infintive cards. (irregular verbs)
36 - Past simple: yes / no questions  Page 36 
Matching game with role cards. Ss ask yes / no questions to solve puzzle: where did they see each other last night?
37 - Past simple: wh- questions  Page 37 
Lotto game. Ss have to form 'wh' questions to match answers on an anwer card.
 

Grammar Games and Activities 1 book cover Grammar Games and Activities 1 
Peter Watcyn-Jones   
8 - Half a crossword : Irregular verbs  Pages 49 - 50
Ss complete crossword of irregular past tenses.
35 - Life stories  Pages 95 - 96
Ss in pairs each have a short biography. They ask and answer questions to find 12 differences.
 

Intermediate Communication Games book cover Intermediate Communication Games 
Jill Hadfield   
8 - Alien  Page 8 
Witnesses role play. Each S is a witness to an alien visitation. Task is to put info together to find out what happened.
12 - Good news, bad news  Page 12 
Picture card game in which Ss match good news and bad news cards.
27 - When did you last see your father?  Page 27 
past simple + ago. Questions, 'When did you last..?'
28 - The queue  Page 28 
Past simple. Yes / no questions. Ss have to reassemble a queue of people by asking yes / no questions and using information in role cards.
29 - Detective work  Page 29 
Card game. Small groups. Past perfect Past simple Language for making deductions. Murder-solving game with clue cards.
 

Play Games with English Book 2 (1981-8) book cover Play Games with English Book 2 (1981-8) 
Colin Granger   John Plumb   
Picure story Frank woke up page 9  Page 9 
Simple picture story. Ss order pics and make sentences from given verbs (regular and irregular)
When? page 28  Page 28 
Responding to past simple questions. Ss have to guess the answer to questions such as, "When did people start travelling in cars?'
 

Grammar books with exercises


Developing Grammar in Context book cover Developing Grammar in Context 
Mark Nettle   Diana Hopkins   
4 The past simple  Pages 18 - 22
 

General English adult course resource packs


Reward Pre-Intermediate Resource Pack  book cover Reward Pre-Intermediate Resource Pack  
Sue Kay   
6a A romantic meeting  Page 6 
Group story writing from question prompts
6b Shirley Valentine  Page 6 
Picture story with text. Students order pictures
7 Who were they?  Page 7 
Students answer quiz sheet in groups
8 A holiday to remember  Page 8 
Students arrange pictures to tell the story of a holiday they had. Partner then asks questions to find more information
Progress check 6 - 10a and 6 - 10b Bingo  Pages 6 - 10
Irregular past simple bingo
31b A dream  Page 32 
Students write a dream using picture prompts (28 cards)
32 Strange things happen  Page 32 
Students order 14 sentences to tell the story of a spooky experience while driving at night.
 




 

past continuous tensePage top ↑

 


Worksheets for past continuous tense
 
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Mrs Jones's cat (96)
Goes with pic story formerly in Headway Intermediate. (Past simple and past continuous only.)
 
 

 

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Past continuous dominoes (395)
 
 

 

 

Gap fill exercises for past continuous tensePage top ↑
 
Past simple and continuous - anecdote - the Donkey Dog (372)
Short anecdote about a frightening experience gapped for past continuous and past simple plus 'enormous' and 'the biggest'
 
 

 


 
Book references for past continuous tensePage top ↑
 

General English course books (adults)


Global Intermediate Coursebook book cover Global Intermediate Coursebook 
Lindsay Clandfield   Rebecca Robb Benne   
Unit 2 Lives and Legends  Page 19   Past simple & past continuous
 

Inside Out Student's Book Intermediate book cover Inside Out Student's Book Intermediate 
Susan Kay   Vaughan Jones   
Unit 4 Adrenalin  Pages 36 - 38
(1) 'Have you ever..?' questions (2) Listening: 'Have you ever + short anecdote. (3) Gap fill. (4) Reference notes p 38.
 

New Cutting Edge Pre-Intermediate students' book book cover New Cutting Edge Pre-Intermediate students' book 
Sarah Cunningham   Peter Moore   
Consolidation modules 6 - 10  Page 96 
Gapped story
Module 10 Take care  Pages 92 - 93
Listening about a man with a lot of lucky escapes Speaking: describing car accidents
Consolidation modules 11 - 15  Page 138 
Tense identification exercise
 

New Cutting Edge Upper Intermediate students' book book cover New Cutting Edge Upper Intermediate students' book 
Peter Moore   Sarah Cunningham   
Module 3 Adventures and mishap  Page 37   Language focus
Pictures with multiple-choice captions / speech bubbles. Analysis of examples. Follow up multiple-choice exercise. Listening - students guess the questions and then ask partner
 

Photocopiable resource books


Intermediate Communication Games book cover Intermediate Communication Games 
Jill Hadfield   
8 - Alien  Page 8 
Witnesses role play. Each S is a witness to an alien visitation. Task is to put info together to find out what happened.
 

Play Games with English Book 2 (1981-8) book cover Play Games with English Book 2 (1981-8) 
Colin Granger   John Plumb   
Memory 3 page 17  Pages 17 - 52
Large classroom pic. Memorize and answer true / false questions. 'Was there anybody doing a test?' Can be adapted for more straightforward past simple questions. 'How many people were reading?' etc.
Memory quiz 4 page 22  Page 22 
Large office pic. Memorize what everyone was doing when the boss came in.
 

Grammar books with exercises


Developing Grammar in Context book cover Developing Grammar in Context 
Mark Nettle   Diana Hopkins   
5 The past continuous and the past simple  Pages 23 - 28
 

General English adult course resource packs


Reward Pre-Intermediate Resource Pack  book cover Reward Pre-Intermediate Resource Pack  
Sue Kay   
31b A dream  Page 32 
Students write a dream using picture prompts (28 cards)
32 Strange things happen  Page 32 
Students order 14 sentences to tell the story of a spooky experience while driving at night.
 




 

past perfect continuous tensePage top ↑

 


Worksheets for past perfect continuous tense
 
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Past perfect anecdote (389)
Cut up story (office impostor) and analysis
 
 

 


 
Book references for past perfect continuous tensePage top ↑
 

Grammar books with exercises


Developing Grammar in Context book cover Developing Grammar in Context 
Mark Nettle   Diana Hopkins   
9 The past perfect  Pages 47 - 52
 




 

past perfect simple tensePage top ↑

 


Worksheets for past perfect simple tense
 
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Past perfect - explaining past situations OXO (1103)
Nine past simple statements (situations) that can be explained using past perfect sentences. Can be done as a noughts and crosses, a matching activity or pairwork
 
 

 

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Past perfect tense -uses - analysis and examples (495)
 
 

 

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Past perfect practice - revised (392)
Cut up. Students take it in turns to read out statements using the past simple: the house was a mess on Sunday morning. Others have to guess the reason using the past perfect: You'd had a party the night before.
 
 

 

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Past perfect anecdote (389)
Cut up story (office impostor) and analysis
 
 

 

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Past perfect oral practice - simple version (635)
past perfect for explaining past events. One student reads a question - example, 'Why was David so tired yesterday?' Other students have to guess the same explanation using the past perfect.
 
 

 


 
Book references for past perfect simple tensePage top ↑
 

General English course books (adults)


Global Intermediate Coursebook book cover Global Intermediate Coursebook 
Lindsay Clandfield   Rebecca Robb Benne   
Unit 2 Lives and Legends  Page 21   Past perfect & past simple
 

Inside Out Student's Book Intermediate book cover Inside Out Student's Book Intermediate 
Susan Kay   Vaughan Jones   
Unit 11 Journey  Page 98 

 

New Cutting Edge Pre-Intermediate students' book book cover New Cutting Edge Pre-Intermediate students' book 
Sarah Cunningham   Peter Moore   
Module 14 Money, money, money  Page 126 
 

New Cutting Edge Upper Intermediate students' book book cover New Cutting Edge Upper Intermediate students' book 
Peter Moore   Sarah Cunningham   
Module 5 Unusual achievements  Pages 54 - 55  Perfect tenses
Listening, analysis and follow-up exercises on present perfect simple, future perfect simple and past perfect simple
 

Photocopiable resource books


Intermediate Communication Games book cover Intermediate Communication Games 
Jill Hadfield   
29 - Detective work  Page 29 
Card game. Small groups. Past perfect Past simple Language for making deductions. Murder-solving game with clue cards.
 

Play Games with English Book 2 (1981-8) book cover Play Games with English Book 2 (1981-8) 
Colin Granger   John Plumb   
History quiz page 35  Page 35 
What had happened when these historic photographs were taken? 'The Wright Brothers had just made their first flight.'
Observation 4 page 46  Page 46 
Picture (1920s New York office) with anachronistic objects. Ss make sentences, 'Rock 'n' roll hadn't been thought of yet.'
 

Grammar books with exercises


Developing Grammar in Context book cover Developing Grammar in Context 
Mark Nettle   Diana Hopkins   
9 The past perfect  Pages 47 - 52
 

General English adult course resource packs


Reward Intermediate Resource Pack book cover Reward Intermediate Resource Pack 
Susan Kay   
35 Psychic link  Page 35 
Jigsaw story dictation. Pairwork.
 

Reward Pre-Intermediate Resource Pack  book cover Reward Pre-Intermediate Resource Pack  
Sue Kay   
40 Work it out  Page 40 
Six mystery puzzles of the dead-man-in-a-field-with-a-parachute-on-his-back kind. All contain examples of the past perfect.
 




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