Beginners’ English: Past tense exercises

7th July 2020

Grammar: verbs

Good list of 100 verbs in 3 forms at: https://www.linguasorb.com/english/verbs/most-common-verbs/

Learn English Online | British Council

Grammar – verb practice

Let’s start to use more verbs. Here’s the 15 most common:

infinite / present / past / past participle (verb 3)

1 to be am / was / been

are / were / been

2 to have have / had / had

3 to do do did done

4 to say say / said / said

5 to go go / went / gone

6 to get get / got / gotten

7 to make make / made / made

8 to know know /knew / known

9 to think think / thought / thought

10 to take take / took / taken

11 to see see / saw / seen

12 to come come / came / come

13 to want want / wanted / wanted

14 to use use / used / used

15 to find find / found / found

Past Tense Exercise

1. He (walk) to school yesterday.

He WALKED  to school yesterday.


2. They (do) their homework last night.

They ——-  their homework last night.


3. You (are) lazy last week.

You ——- lazy last week.


4. That woman (buy) a new book this morning.

That woman  ——– a new book this morning.


5. The janitor (clean) the blackboard yesterday.

The janitor  ——–  the blackboard yesterday.


6. My mother (cook) food yesterday.

My mother  ——– food yesterday.


7. This morning my teacher (teach) English.

This morning my teacher  ———-  English.


8. I (am) hungry yesterday.

I  ——- hungry yesterday.


9. The gardener (cut) the trees last month.

The gardener ———— the trees last month.


10. She (drink) milk this morning.

She  ——— milk this morning.


11. Last month the man (ride) a horse.

Last month the man ——–  a horse.


12. Sam (go) to Hong Kong last year.

Sam  ——- to Hong Kong last year.


13. The birds (fly) in the sky this morning.

The birds  ——— in the sky this morning.


14. I (know) Tom’s sister last year.

I  ——– Tom’s sister last year.


15. The joiner (make) tables and chairs yesterday.

The joiner  —— tables and chairs yesterday.


16. The farmer (grow) rice last year.

The farmer ——–  rice last year.


17. Two weeks ago the boy (has) a new bicycle.

Two weeks ago the boy  ——- a new bicycle.


18. He (feel) happy yesterday.

He  ——- happy yesterday.


19. We (work) hard last week.

We  ——– hard last week.


20. The students (meet) in the hall last week.

The students  ——– in the hall last week.
Asian female drinking milk stock photo © WONG SZE FEI (szefei ...
She drank milk

Sing On, Cowboy: Head to Old Town Scottsdale to See the Singing ...
He rode a horse and played guitar
Where to Find Girls in Hong Kong (Plus 9 Dating Tips) - Global Seducer
They went to Hong Kong

NOW make short sentences or stories from these exercises.

A. Complete the sentences, put the verb into the correct form, positive or negative. (simple past tense) 

1. It was warm, so I  off my coat. (take)

2. The film wasn’t very good. I  it very much. (enjoy)

3. I knew Sarah was very busy, so I  her. (disturb)

4. I was very tired, so I  to bed early. (go)

5. The bed was very uncomfortable. I  very well. (sleep)

6. Sue wasn’t hungry, so she  anything. (eat)

7. We went to Kate’s house but she  at home. (be)

8. It was a funny situation but nobody  (laugh)

9. The window was open and a bird  into the room. (fly)

10. The hotel wasn’t very expensive. It  very much. (cost)

11. I was in a hurry, so I  time to phone you. (have)

12. It was hard work carrying the bags. They  very heavy. (be)

Slight Hitch after birds tern on the island twitchers | UK | News ...
In this film, many birds flew into a room



B. Complete the exercise with the verbs inside the box. (simple past tense)

buycatchcostdrink
fallhurtsellspend
teachthrowwinwrite

1. Mozart  more than 600 pieces of music. Mozart WROTE more than 600 pieces of music

  1. ‘How did you learn to drive?’ ‘My father ——- me.’ 

    3. We couldn’t afford to keep our car, so we  ——– it. 

    4. I was very thirsty. I  the ——– water very quickly.

    5. Paul and I played tennis yesterday. He’s much better than me, so he ——–

     easily. 

    6. Don ——– down the stairs this morning and  his leg.

    7. Jim  ——– the ball to Sue, who ——–  it.

    8. Ann ——–  a lot of money yesterday. She  ——– a dress. It   ——– 100.

Past Tense

What did you do last night ?

Last night, I listened to music and played computer games.

Regular verbs add -ed:

Verb+ed
For example:
want+ed→ wanted
work+ed→ worked
Verb, ending in –e+d
For example:
dance+d→ danced
live+d→ lived
Verbs, ending in –y: y → i + ed
(* There are exceptions (for example played) )
For example:
cry→ cried
try→ tried
One vowel verb: double the consonant
For example:
stop → stopped
blog → blogged

Good verb list here: https://www.linguasorb.com/english/verbs/most-common-verbs/

Black Young Man Listening Music and Dancing by Stockland on Envato ...
Last night he listened to music and played computer games

irregular verbs – no rules.

Present – Past / Present – Past / Present – Past

I am – I was / begin – began / have – had

eat – ate / go – went / drive – drove

tell – told / hear – heard / catch – caught

buy – bought / write- wrote / see – saw

Listening: How many past tense verbs ?

Yesterday, I went to visit my friend. We played badminton then walked in the park.

After, we ate lunch and drank beer. Later, I bought coffee and wrote some emails.

Corrections: Write in the past tense

I (am) born in London and (arrive) in Viet Nam in 2015. I (work) as teacher in District 1 and 3 but I (want) to work near my home. Last week, my friend (have) a party. She (dance) all night and I (hear) her singing. In the morning, she (catch) a plane and (go) to Thailand.

Chut Thai: Thailand's Beautiful Traditional Dress
Welcome to Thailand

Art Cinema: The Cranes Are Flying 1957, USSR. Director : Mikhail Kalatozov

13th June 2020

The Cranes Are Flying | Jerusalem Film Festival
Looking up to see the cranes, flying

First, a thank you to Darrel over at ‘A World Of Films’:

https://aworldoffilm.com/2019/05/11/my-current-favourite-films/

Darrel lists his (current) top ten films, and topping the list was this Soviet film which I hadn’t seen. So I started searching online, and the clips I saw were so mesmerising, so dazzling, the reviews so laudatory, I had to see it. I began with a review:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCDHExdjO0M&t=6s

This introduction gives context and commentary on the film, as well as placing the film in relation to other noteworthy examples of Russian or Soviet cinema.

Despite only finding short, two-minute excepts with English text, I wasn’t going to be deterred. Instead, I decided to read the synopsis on Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cranes_Are_Flying

and then watch the original Russian version sans subtitles. I’ve recently been considering how cinema should (could) be told, and how so much exposition text is actually needed, how much text, in fact, is needed. As F.W. Murnau has beautifully shown in ‘The Last Laugh’ (1924), a film, a great film can be told without any need for dialogue or title cards. But that, as they say, is for another blog …

I will briefly relate the plot, then what attracted me to the film.

SPOILER ALERT: in order to highlight the creative camerawork and staging, the plot details need to be mentioned.

Boris and Veronika are young sweethearts, staying out late and risking family censure by sneaking home, trying not to wake their parents.

Film Reviews: The Cranes Are Flying
Happy in love, the sun reflecting off the water, life is a dance

However, when the Germans invade Russia, Boris, along with his close friend Stepan, join up. Boris has to catch a train to get to his battalion and Veronika rushes to say goodbye, but the crowds are so thick, she has no hope of seeing him. In vain, she throws her gift, but it falls and breaks on the ground. This clearly foreshadows the fate of their romance; they will never meet again.

Meanwhile, the War comes to the city, and Veronika’s parents are killed during an air raid. With nowhere else to go, Boris’ family take her in and during another air raid, with the living room symbolically shaken, glass shattered, Boris’ younger brother, Mark, sexually assaults Veronika. Her shame compels her to marry Mark, to the disdain and contempt of the family.

With the German advance, the Russians are moved eastwards. We see both the mounting Russian casualties and the sorry sordid state of the sham marriage.

Veronika is told that Boris is dead and runs frantically, racing a train under which she plans to throw herself … yet a young boy, who we later learn is also called Boris, diverts her attention, and she takes him home.

The film ends with Veronika waiting at the train station for the victorious Soviet soldiers to return. Amidst all the tearful reunions, Veronika meets Stephan; he confirms that Boris is indeed dead. Veronika is again denied any further contact by the sheer force of the crowd, her tears of heartbreak juxtaposed against the tears of happiness. As at the beginning, she looks up and sees, in a V-formation, the cranes flying.

I love the idea of the camera-stylo – the camera being able to move as freely as a pen, the director (and cinematographer, art-director, the whole team) being able to put their personalities on to the film so that by a mere shot or two we can detect a Hitchcock from a Hawks, a Kurosawa from an Ozu, a Godard from a Truffaut. Naturally, this will later clash with Roland Barthes’ essay, ‘The Death of the Author’ (1967) … again, for another blog.

I love the idea of a camera being free, released from the constrains of the studio, allowed to move and as it were, to breathe. From an actor’s point of view, it could be different, with concerns about hitting exact marks at exact times, instead of focusing purely on the performance (yes, another blog), but as a viewer, as a lover of cinema, ‘The Cranes Are Flying’ features some breathe-taking shots and said shots add meaning to the film … they are not mere decoration. Take this shot:

The Cranes Are Flying | Pima County Public Library

Veronika is so close to her goal yet blocked … and she had no where to turn, she is trapped, confined. This next still can’t capture the circular spinning of the camera, whirling up the stairs, as their hearts whirl with love, happiness and hope … none of which will last.

Russian Film Trailer: "The cranes are flying" 1957 - YouTube

Then we have the crowd scenes … and what scenes … the camera is like a character, bustling and elbowing its way through, between people, around vehicles, forcing its way off buses or onto trains.

The Cranes Are Flying - YouTube
The Cranes Are Flying (1957)
Marx and Matryoshka · The Cranes are Flying
Flowers for the lover destined never to return
The Cranes Are Flying: A Free Camera | The Current | The Criterion ...

I hope you enjoy it

Allez, ciao !

quote movie quotes talking jean-luc godard Vivre Sa Vie ...
Vivra Sa Vie – Jean-Luc Godard 1962