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Elementary

1.Complete the past continuous form in the following:

1 I (read) a book when he came in.


2 The sun (shine) when we went out.
3 He (sit) in the garden when the house fell down.
4 When you came in I (write).
5 I came in while he (write).
6 It (rain) this morning when I got up.
7 He (work) all day yesterday.
8 Who you (talk) to in the club last night when I asked you for a cigarette?
9 We (live) in France when the war began.
10 When I arrived at his house he still (sleep).
11 The boy jumped off the bus while it (move).
12 The fire still (burn) at six o'clock this morning.
13 He (walk) across the bridge when his hat blew off.
14 She cut her finger while she (cut) the bread and butter.
15 The bus started while I (get) on.
16 When I (listen) to the radio last night, I heard a loud scream.
17 The light went out while we (have) supper.
18 She finished the housework while she (cook) the lunch.
19 The children (do) their homework when their father came back from the office.
20 I took another cake when you (not look)!

Key: - All in past continuous

Elementary
2.Supply suitable past tenses of the verbs in brackets:
1 He (sit) in a cafe when I (see) him.
2 When I (go) out the sun (shine).
3 The boy (fall down) while he (run).
4 When the war (begin) we (live) in London.
5 The light (go out) while I (have) tea.
6 I (have) tea when the light (go out).
7 My friends (sing) when I (come) into the room.
8 While you (play) the piano I (write) a letter.
9 When I (be) at school I (learn) Latin. (To be has no continuous form.)
10 He (eat) his dinner when I (go) to see him.
11 When my grandmother (go) for a walk she always (wear) gloves.
12 When it (rain) she (carry) an umbrella.
13 She (die) while she (run) after a bus.
14 We (drink) coffee every day when we (be) in France.
15 You (wear) your new hat when I (meet) you yesterday.
16 When I (have) a dog I always (take) him out for a walk in the evening.
17 When the phone (ring), I (have) a bath.
18 I (lay) the table for dinner while you (wash) your hands.
19 When we (live) in that house we (have) three servants.
20 Large crowds (wait) at the station when the Prime Minister (arrive).

Key: (s=past simple; c=past continuous): 1 c/s 2s/c 3s/c 4s/c 5s/c 6 c/s 7 c/s 8c/s(c) 9s/s 10 c/s 11 c/s I2s(c)/s I3s/c 14S/S 15 c/s 16s/s 17s/c
18 s(c)/c 19 c(s)/s 20 c/s

Intermediate
3.Put the verbs in the following sentences into a suitable past tense; notice where sensible alternatives are possible:

1 I (speak) to her several times, but she always (read) and (not hear) me.
2 He (lose) his watch while he (see) the sights of the city.
3 He (teach) English for two months when he (live) in Germany and (work) as a journalist.
4 I (open) the door just as Cyril (ring) the bell.
5 The house (burn) fast, so we (break) a window to get out.
6 Maisie (cook) fish when I first (ask) her to marry me.
7 We (walk) to the station when it (begin) to rain.
8 We (run) under a bridge when the storm (break).
9 My sister (drop) two cups while she (wash up) last night; neither of them (break).
10 She (put) on her raincoat when it (start) to rain.
11 When the teacher (come) in, the boys (play) 12 The ship (sink), so all the passengers GumP) into the boats.
13 He (think) of something else all the time you (talk) to him.
14 He (eat) three sandwiches while you (talk) to him.
15 When I (see) him, he (sing) and (smoke) a cigar at the same time.
16 Maisie (peel) potatoes when Cyril (ask) her to marry him.
17 The dog (bite) her on the ankle while she (catch) it.
18 While he (get) off the tram, he (fall) and (cut) his face.
19 He (lean) against the door and (listen) to the radio when I first (try) to speak to him.
20 While he (write) a letter the telephone (ring); as he (go) to answer it, he (hear) a knock at the door; the telephone still (ring) while he (walk) to the door; but just as he
(open) it, it (stop).
.
Key : 1. spoke/was reading/didn't hear 2. lost/was seeing 3 taught/was living/ was working 4 opened/was ringing (rang) 5 was burning/broke 6 was cooking/asked 7 were walking/began 8 ran/broke 9 dropped/was
washing/ broke 10 put (was putting)/started 11 came/were playing 12 was sinking/ jumped 13 was thinking/were talking 14 ate/were talking 15 saw/was singing and smoking 16 was peeling/ask17 bit/was
catching 18 was getting/fell/ cut 19 was leaning and listening/ tried 20 was writing/rang/was going/ heard/was still ringing/was walking/was opening (opened)/stopped

Intermediate
4.Supply suitable past tenses: Simple Past or Continuous

We (enter) Port Said harbour when I (come) on deck. As soon as our ship (come) near enough, a large number of boats (set out) from the shore. We could see that they
(bring) money-changers, guides, and men selling all the wonderful things of the East. While I (leave) the ship I (notice) that the rest of the passengers (argue) about the
prices in loud voices. I (walk) about for an hour and (watch) the gay street life; men (sell) strange fruits and vegetables, and tradesmen (mend) shoes or (make) carpets in
their little shops. I (return) to my ship as the sun (set); the 'market' on the ship still (continue). An old man who (sit) on the deck (offer) me a beautiful Persian rug for only
20. I (talk) hard for ten minutes, and just as the ship (go) I (buy) it for 2. As I (go) to my cabin I (see) a sailor with a rug like mine. I (ask) him the price. 'Fifty pence,' he
said, 'but I (pay) too much for it. A man that I (talk) to just now only (pay) twenty-five pence.' As I (undress) that night, I (notice) a little piece of cloth which (hang) from
one corner of my rug. On it were the words 'Made in Manchester'.

Key: were entering/came/came/set out/were bringing/was leaving/noticed/ were arguing/walked/watched/were selling/were mending/or making/ returned/was setting/was still continuing
(continued)/was sitting/offered/talked/ was going/bought/was going/saw/asked/ paid/was talking/paid/was undressing/ noticed/was hanging

Advanced
5.Put the verbs in the following sentences into the most suitable past tense:
1 Scenes from the whole of his past life (flash) through the sailor's mind as he (drown).
2 He (remember) the day he first (go) to school.
3 The other children (go) to their classrooms as his mother (lead) him into the hall, and everyone (turn) and (stare) at him.
4 The next thing he (remember) was the face of the headmaster, who (stand) on the platform.
5 It was a long and stern face, but with eyes that (twinkle) in a kindly way.
6 Later when he had left school and (look) for a job, he (meet) a school-friend of his whose uncle was a merchant seaman.
7 Shortly afterwards he (run) away to sea with his friend and soon (work) as a cabin boy on the Saucy Sue.
8 He quickly (discover) that he was expected to do a good many different jobs
9 If he (not peel) potatoes, he (wash) up the crockery or (scrub) the decks or (clean) the Captain's sea-boots.
10 By the time the Saucy Sue (reach) New York, her first port of call, he (feel) at least ten years older; he always (complain) he had too much work.
11 In due course he (marry), and although his wife's name was not Sue, he (find) her a saucy thing.
12 She (always nag) him, and she (allow) him no peace except when she was asleep.
13 One day, while his wife (stay) at her mother's for a weekend, he (run) away for the second time.
14 He forever (grumble) about his fate, and (decide) that he was not a lucky man.
15 Like all sailors, he was superstitious, and (feel) convinced that something terrible (go) to happen to him.
16 He was right, for his ship (strike) a rock and (tear) a gaping hole in her side when she (make) for America.
17 As the ship (sink) fast he (jump) overboard, together with the rest of the crew who were still alive.
18 He (cling) to a small raft that (float) in the sea, and thus (keep) himself afloat.
19 He (be) bitterly cold, and he (begin) to wish that death would come and end his misery.
20 While he (wish) this, a piece of floating timber (strike) him on the head, and he was unable to hang on to the raft any longer.

Key 1 flashed/was drowning2 remembered/went 3 were going/led (was leading)/turned/stared 4 remembered/was standing 5 twinkled (were twinkling) 6 was looking/met
7 ran/was soon working 8 discovered 9 was not peeling/was washing/scrubbing/ cleaning 10 reached/felt/was always complaining 11 married/found
12 was always nagging/allowed 13 was staying/ran 14 was forever grumbling/ decided 15 felt/was going 16 struck/ tore/was making 17 was sinking/ jumped 18 clung/was
floating/kept 19 was/began (was beginning) 20 was wishing/struck

Advanced
6.Put the verbs in the following passage into a suitable past tense form (simple or continuous):
The afternoon sun (get) low as the Rat (scull) gently homewards in a dreamy mood, murmuring poetry-things over to himself, and not paying much attention to Mole. But
the Mole (be) very full of lunch and self-satisfaction and pride, and already quite at home in a boat - so he thought -and (get) a bit restless besides; and presently he (say)
'Ratty! Please, / want to row now!'

The Rat (shake) his head with a smile. But he (begin) to feel more and more jealous of Rat, sculling so strongly and so easily along, and his pride (begin) to whisper that he
(can) do it every bit as well. He (jump) up and (seize) the sculls so suddenly that the Rat, who (gaze) out over the water and (say) more poetry-things to himself, was taken
by surprise and (fall) backwards off his seat with his legs in the air for the second time, while the triumphant Mole (take) his place and (grab) the sculls with entire
confidence.
- Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

Key was getting, sculled, was, was getting, said, shook, began, began, could, jumped, seized, was gazing, saying, fell, took, grabbed

Advanced
7.Put the verbs in the following passage into the most suitable past tense form (simple or continuous):

The gypsies (see) at once that she (be) a little lady, and were prepared to treat her accordingly. There was a group round the fire when they (reach) it. An old gypsy woman
(sit) on the ground, occasionally poking a skewer into the round kettle that (send) forth an odorous steam; two small shock-headed children (lie) prone and (rest) their elbows
something like small sphinxes; and a placid donkey (bend) his head over a tall girl, who (scratch) his nose and (indulge) him with a bite of excellent stolen hay. The slanting
sunlight (fall) kindly upon them, and the scene (be) really very pretty, Maggie (think), only she (hope) they would soon set out the tea-cups. It (be) a little confusing, though,
that the young woman (begin) to speak to the old one in a language which Maggie (not understand), while the tall girl, who (feed) the donkey, (sit up) and (stare) at her
without offering any salutation.
George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss

Key saw, was, reached, was sitting, sent, were lying, resting, was bending, was scratching, indulging, fell, was, thought, hoped, was, began, did not understand, was feeding,
sat up, stared

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