Everyday English 1
Everyday English 1

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Everyday English 1

4.4 Past, present and future

The verb describes the action in a sentence. It also tells you when the action happens – in the past, the present or the future. This is called the tense.

For example, ‘I walked’ or ‘I was walking’ is past tense, ‘I walk’ or ‘I am walking’ is present tense and ‘I will walk’ is future tense.

Activity 29 Past, present or future?

Timing: Allow about 5 minutes

Read the following sentences and decide whether they are in the past, present or future tense.

1. I am walking.

a. 

Past


b. 

Present


c. 

Future


The correct answer is b.

2. You lost the match.

a. 

Past


b. 

Present


c. 

Future


The correct answer is a.

3. He will run in the race.

a. 

Past


b. 

Present


c. 

Future


The correct answer is c.

4. She posted it.

a. 

Past


b. 

Present


c. 

Future


The correct answer is a.

5. It was raining.

a. 

Past


b. 

Present


c. 

Future


The correct answer is a.

6. We are cooking.

a. 

Past


b. 

Present


c. 

Future


The correct answer is b.

7. You will be going on holiday.

a. 

Past


b. 

Present


c. 

Future


The correct answer is c.

8. They like singing.

a. 

Past


b. 

Present


c. 

Future


The correct answer is b.

Activity 30 Tenses in texts

Timing: Allow about 15 minutes

In the text below, highlight the ten mistakes in the use of tenses. Then rewrite the text correctly in the box underneath.

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Discussion

Here are the ten mistakes, in bold:

Last Tuesday I will go to the Post Office when I see a dog in the road. It will bark and is running in circles. I will go to talk to it when a lady came round the corner and calls ‘Henry, Henry’. He runs up to her and she will put him on the lead.

Here is the corrected text:

Last Tuesday I was going to the Post Office when I saw a dog in the road. It barked/was barking and was running in circles. I went to talk to it when a lady came round the corner and called ‘Henry, Henry’. He ran up to her and she put him on the lead.

Well done if you spotted some or all of these. When tenses get mixed up the result can be quite confusing.

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