IELTS, Speaking Test Part 3. Theme: Education

24th September 2020

Part 3 of the speaking test can be tremendously daunting. However, with some tricks up your sleeve, you will be able to ace the test, pass with flying colours and do yourself proud.

Captain Picard Facepalm Meme - Imgflip
An expression meaning to have a great idea or plan to help you be successful

I covered this in detail in a previous blog: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/09/15/ielts-speaking-test-part-3-how-to-nail-it/

So this is a brief summary, the ‘Cliffs Notes’ version, if you will.

CliffsComplete Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet: Complete Study Edition (Cliffs  Notes): Amazon.co.uk: Shakespeare, William, Jacobson, Karin, Lamb, Sidney:  0785555026179: Books
Cliffs Notes are guides for students studying Literature. There are many similar concepts online, for example Sparknotes.com

Right off the bat, relax … be cool. You merely have:

1) To demonstrate you understand the question

2) To demonstrate you have IELTS-standard language to respond

3) To reply based on either your opinion or experience. YOU DECIDE

As per usual, let’s kick off with a killer introduction. Prepare some expressions so you can adapt them for the specific question. To refresh your memory:

Well, that’s a very complicated question …

What a hard question, I may have to think about this …

I’m not sure I know how to answer that because I don’t have enough information, however …

Next stage is to explain how you’re going to answer:

in my experience

allow me to tell you what I do

I can’t speak about other people, but I …

Finally, exactly, spot on; you answer … only now, YOU are in control, you are in the driving seat. Respond in a way that will earn you points. We want to hear low-frequency words, idioms, phrasal verbs, vernacular (“big time !”). Furthermore, frame your answers in complex sentences, use body language and intonation and stress. If you can illustrate your response with an anecdote, all the better.

Should I Take an IELTS Class?

Examples

What do you think schools will be like in the future ?

This type of question invites you to give YOUR thoughts (“In my opinion,” etc)

Well, I’m currently in my last year of high school, so this is a very pertinent question for me. Naturally, I can’t foresee the future however, I could offer some predictions though, of course, this is just my opinion.

To start with, I can only speak about …… (say your country) as I don’t know enough about the educational systems in other countries.

For me, I feel that technology will play a greater part in schools, such as using the internet, working on tablets and joining online groups. Personally, I’m in a small Facebook group to help with learning English and I find it tremendously helpful and rewarding.

On the other hand, this can be extremely expensive. Providing tablets for a whole school will cost an arm and a leg, so maybe this will only occur in private schools. Furthermore, as the population increases, there will be many more students. This could lead, inevitably, to larger class sizes.

I really hope our system continues to improve although we have to be realistic; higher standards means higher costs … but I feel it will be worth the expense.

Now, that was quite a long reply but let’s break it down:

The first paragraph personalises the question, as well as adapting an introduction expression.

The second explains how you are going to answer.

The third states your main point. Moreover, it includes an anecdote (this doesn’t have to be true).

The fourth gives an opposing view – thus affording you the chance to use a discourse marker, to alter your body language and intonation, and to throw in an idiom for good measure. Also, some L-FWs, which are always impressive (if used correctly).

The final paragraph is to conclude and is, as you can clearly see, purely personal. Did you also notice the poetic repetition ? Allow me to point it out – “Higher standards means higher costs.”

Use this as a model … and now

Drew's Reviews (at home): Good Night, and Good Luck (2005) | WRGB

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3: Booking a room, and hotel vocabulary.

18th September 2020

A variety of speaking exercises and pair work to help you on your travels.

 

Welcome to the Haiyatt; in China, it's not the hotel it sounds like
File:WGBC2018IN-Participants at hotel reception 01.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Booking a hotel room

Vocabulary:

adjoining rooms– rooms next to each other 

amenities– services, shops, transport

bed and breakfast – small hotel or a room in someone’s house. 

complimentary breakfast– free, included in the price. 

Deposit – money paid in advance 

High season / low season– popular times

housekeeping– cleaning staff 

late charge– extra fee for not checking out on time.

Rate– the fee per room per night, per person. 

vending machine – machine that sells snacks, drinks.

Are Hotels a Great Location for Vending Machines?
B&B Là Gì? Khám Phá Thuật Ngữ B&B Trong Nhà Hàng Khách Sạn

You are going to Bangkok and need to book a hotel. What questions would you have ?

Airplane Arriving To Bangkok Airport Travelling To Thailand by moovstock on  Envato Elements

How much is the rate for 4 people ? What time is check-in / out ?

Could I book adjoining rooms ? What is in the area ?

Where exactly is the hotel ?

How do we get to the hotel from the airport ? 

Approximately how much is the taxi ?

Getting Around Bangkok - A Guide to Taxis, Buses, Trains and Mobile Apps -  BEAT HOTEL

Make a list.

Take turns being a tourist and working on front desk / booking.

Language to use:

Receptionist: Greet the guest / Ask for ID (passport, ID card). Check how many nights the guest(s) are staying / Ask to see booking confirmation /

What else could you ask ?

Guest: Explain you have a reservation / Present ID and booking confirmation. Ask about amenities in the hotel and what to see in the local area.

You could check if the hotel has a laundry service // can they book a taxi ? / do they organise tours ? Are there vegetarian restaurants in the area, or banks, money exchange, hairdressers ? What else could you need ?

Now … your experiences:

TripAdvisor's Worst Hotels In The World - Thrillist Nation
Terrible And Dirty Broken Shower In A Cheap Hotel Stock Image - Image of  repair, cheap: 114694251

What was your favourite hotel room and why ?

 Conversely, what was your worst room ?

What was bad about it ? In what way were you disappointed ? 

How did the service excel ? Was it good value for money ?

Would you strongly recommend it ?

How did you find the staff ? Was it easy to get to ?

Is it in a safe neighbourhood ?

American Horror Story: The Cecil Hotel | by Josh Dean | Matter | Medium

IELTS: complex sentences

7th September 2020

Last week, I asked a typical warm up question, “What did you do today ?”

Quarantine Memes - MemeZila.com

Remember, when we ask questions we are just giving you a chance to show off and practice your English, so be creative. However, even if you can’t think on your feet, you can make even the most prosaic day more interesting. Allow me to demonstrate:

Today I met my friend and we went to see a movie. After that we had coffee and had some street food.

Asian Girl Shows Emotions During Stock Footage Video (100% Royalty-free)  12386756 | Shutterstock

OK, we can easily make that more appropriate for IELTS.

Firstly, an introduction. Then … details, tell me about the film, about your friend, about the coffee shop and about the food … there is SO MUCH to talk about. Write a longer answer, I’ll give you three minutes.

EXAMPLE

I didn’t go to school (work) today so I had some free time

I met my friend Nancy who I have known for over five years

I had a date with my friend who is from USA

We were at the mall and decided to take in a movie

We were in the mood for a film

We had our heart set on seeing ‘Parasite’ which is Korean film that has won many awards

After, we needed some coffee so we headed for the nearest coffee shop, which was Highlands Coffee. The prices are sky-high however the coffee is delicious. Additionally, there is free Wi-fi.

Later on, we grabbed some coffee at one of the ubiquitous coffee shops. I had a large cappuccino which cost an arm and a leg, however it really woke me up.

It was late, so we felt quite hungry. There is a lot of affordable and delicious street food. I had some chicken and rice and my friend, who is vegetarian, had rice, eggs and salad.

After the movie, we were hungry but the food at the mall is not very exciting and the prices are sky-high, so we went for some street food which is ubiquitous in this city.

Now … you turn

What will you do on your next free day ?

Remember … this is future tense and you can express the uncertainty in your answer.

Target language:

I’d love to … / I’m planning to / I have my heart set on … /

I’m not absolutely sure yet, but I plan to … / I wish that I could …

I’ll probably … / I keep telling myself that I will finally …

Use at least one of the above expressions.

Use relative pronouns to give more information.

See if you can add an idiom (or two).

EXAMPLE

Vietnamese fast food

I really need a free day because I’ve been burning the candle at both ends this week.

I’m not absolutely sure yet, but I plan to meet up with some friends and just hang out. We have all been so busy, we haven’t seen each other for ages. (for a long time).

As you may know, I’m a vegetarian. However, all my friends love fast food especially burgers and fries. We often go to Lotteria which, I believe, started in Japan, and now they are ubiquitous in Sai Gon and easily seen with their bright red stores and big white ‘L’ logo. Despite not eating meat, I can order a fish burger but, in my opinion, the food is not exactly mouth-watering and the service can be rather slow.

Afterwards, I’ll probably go home as I have my heart set on playing a new computer game that my friend, Tony, lent me. Tony, who is actually from Ha Noi, is a real computer geek, he loves gaming, maybe too much. As for me, I get a little bored after an hour so then it’s time to put my nose to the grindstone and hit the books (study) again. “The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.” That quote, from the Greek philosopher Aristotle, inspires me to work harder, even if sometimes the work is quite tedious.

53 Three Happy Chinese Students Having Fun Hong Kong China Stock Photos,  Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock
Enjoy your free day

For my students with a speaking test soon … Best of British !

Present Perfect exercises

6th September 2020

Resultado de imagen de present perfect tense verbs | Perfect tense, Present  perfect, Activities for teens

A compilation of exercises to practise using the present perfect form

Present perfect

Subject + have/ has + past participle [verb 3]

She has been to New York / They have visited London

NEGATIVE:

Romcom classic My Sassy Girl will get a K-drama remake | My sassy girl, Sassy  girl, Romcom
gatsby - todo um novo mundo | Libri, Leggende

I haven’t read The Great Gatsby

have not seen My Sassy Girl

QUESTION:

Have you read Romeo and Juliet?

[Have / has + subject + verb 3 … ?]

Change the verb into the correct form:

  1. I (read) your book several times. I have read your book several times
    2. She has (wear) that skirt many times. [worn /wear / wore]
    3. My family (visit) Brazil a few times.
    4. I (eat) already.
    5. Marta (finish) her homework.
    6. You (break) the glass again.
    7. They (pay) for everything.
    8. It (never snow) like that.
    9. I (meet) Anna once.
    10. We (see) him before.

Change simple past into present perfect 

Example – I started a band = I’ve started a band / I have started a band

1 I went to Ha Noi // 2 We explored a cave // 3 I ate cake // 4 We saw a famous building // 5 She buys many dresses and visited many friends

Correct the mistakes

I have go to Ha Noi

She have seen the London Eye

We have eat English food

Has you going to Thailand ?

He not has bought iPhone X

Extra activities on this link:

https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/07/04/adult-speaking-class-level-2-present-perfect-exercises/

Adult Speaking Class, level 2: Modal verbs that you ought to know.

25th July 2020

Modal verbs and when to use them

These Are The Most Tubular Slang Words From 1940 to Today | Best Life
History of the OED | Oxford English Dictionary

can / could / have to / may / must

ought to / should / will

Modal verbs are used for:

Permission // Possibility // Obligation

Request // Speculation // Suggestion

Cab Calloway's Hepster's Dictionary: A Guide To The Language Of ...

Sounds confusing ? Don’t worry – English is meant to be USED, not just studied and so, without further ado, some examples:

Can I get a bus to Ben Thanh Market ?

Can I get a bus to Main Street from here ?

This means is it possible to get a bus from here ?

Your Comprehensive Walk-through of Ben Thanh Market | Cmego Travel ...
Sai Gon’s iconic Ben Thanh Market
London's 10 Best Bus Routes | Londonist
Can I get a bus to Big Ben from here ?

Can you hit the lights, please ?

A request to turn on / off the lights.

Turn Off Unneeded Lights – Air Conditioning Appreciation Days -

We use can to ask if something is possible and to request help.

Who’s that ? It could be Peter. Speculation, a guess

You have to get over 60% or you will fail. Obligation

Oh, you must see the new Quentin Tarantino film. Suggestion

Will you help me with my tieng Viet ? May I go to the party ? Request

You musn’t use your phone when riding a motorbike. Permission

You ought to stop drinking so much coffee. Suggestion

You should all read English books. Suggestion

Exercises:

can // could // have to // may // must

ought to // should //will

[answers at end of exercise]

First, decide which of the six classes is needed (permission, request etc). The first two are indicated, after that, you’re on your own.

… I use my mobile phone in class ? Request

You … answer all three questions. Obligation

It’s too heavy; … you help me lift it ?

Don’t wait too long, he … not come.

… I buy an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy ?

Apple and Samsung mediation to take place on May 21st and 22nd

May I use my mobile phone in class ?

You have to answer all three questions.

It’s too heavy; can you help me lift it ?

Don’t wait too long, he may not come.

Should I buy an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy ?

Do all Quentin Tarantino's movies actually take place in the same ...

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3: Street crime.

23rd July 2020

Have you witnessed any crimes ? Have you been a victim of crime ?

What crimes are there in your city ?

What can you do to protect yourself ?

Listening exercise:

Listen to non-native speakers talk about crime-prevention in a big city.

listen for: 

snatch and grab // petty theft // tip // during // dynamic // pay attention

What should you do with your bag ?

What shouldn’t you do with your phone ?

Vocabulary:

procedure // happened // suddenly // officially  // relatively // contents // grabbed

I was walking with a friend along Pham Ngu Lao, around 4 in the morning. The street was ………….quiet, just some tourists and a little traffic. 

I was wearing a small bag, strung across my shoulder. A security guard was behind me, talking to a person in a car. …….., a motorbike came towards me on the pavement. He stopped, …………..my bag strap, then drove away.

Naturally, I shouted but it was too late; he was gone. My friend was worried but I told her it was OK, nobody was hurt. The ………of the bag were really worthless: pens, some medicine, a book, but also my designer glasses.

The security guard was comical in his incompetence. He shook his head, mouth open wide, and said, “It all ………. so quickly, there was nothing I could do.” 

I should, …….. , have reported it to the police, that was the ……….. but people told me the thief would never be found. What I learnt from this unfortunate experience was to be very careful and never walk around with valuables.

Could you be a good witness ?

Tell me about the first criminal – height, weight, hair, features …

What was the second man wearing ?

Who stole the motorbike ?

Third conditional

A compilation of exercises and examples

18th July 2020

Third conditional We talk about something that happened to us in the past and how we would have changed it IF we had known some information.

A basic example: A visit a friend and it is her birthday, but I didn’t know.

If I had known it was her birthday, I would have bought her a present.

To illustrate: my friend Richard …

Related image

… is married to Ms Linh. Yesterday was their wedding anniversary … but he forgot. Ms Linh was …

Image result for angry asain lady

She was absolutely livid (extremely angry, disappointed and heartbroken)

If he had remembered it was his anniversary, he would have bought her a present, some flowers and taken her out to a romantic restaurant.

However, it is too late NOW ! He’s in the doghouse (in trouble).

Notice all the past tense verbs. Furthermore, would is commonly used in conditional sentences.

If + Subject + had + past participle (verb 3) …… subject + would (or wouldn’t) have.

Now – your turn.

Make a story about my friend Tom, who came to Sai Gon on holiday:

My friend Tom, from London

Tom came to Sai Gon, and wanted to go to a nice bar. He heard about the Skybar in Bitexco. The bar is quite luxurious.

Panoramic views over the Sai Gon skyline.

Image result for friendly viet bar girls

Tom began to make friends, and invited them for cocktails. However, when the bill came …

And …

What do you think happened ?

Write a sentence, in the third conditional to explain Tom’s situation.

Project work

These people also came to Sai Gon. Write third conditional sentences to encapsulate their situation

Try to use some of these words or phrases:

typical / typically / obvious / obviously / insist / suggest / essential 

Why didn’t she (he, they) … have a good time ?

If (he/ she / they) had known it was so (expensive, noisy, boring …)

Emma, 19 Backpacker. Likes shopping, dancing, eating street food. She didn’t book ahead and was too tired and hot to walk around looking for a cheap hotel so she had to stay in a four-star hotel and spend nearly all of her money.

Japanese family. Like family activities, souvenirs and quiet nights. They stayed in the noisy backpacker area, with shouting and screaming and drunken karaoke all night.

Young men wanting a ‘Stag Night’ party, here to have a last hurrah ! They chose a quiet town in the Mekong Delta, but there was only one bar and it closed at 8.00 pm.

(a stag night is a wild party for a man before he gets married. There is normally a lot of drinking … and other activities)

Jewish students. They do not eat pork, or shell-fish. Want to see history and temples. Their guide keeps taking them to eat sea-food and pork restaurants because the guide only speaks Vietnamese and Chinese, and the students only speak Hebrew and English.

If these visitors came to your city or town, could you recommend places for them to visit ?

What are your suggestions?

Remember, Emma wants somewhere fun but cheap, the family want someone quiet but close to family attractions, the young men want lots of bars and clubs, while the Jewish students have strict dietary rules.

Now … some more exercises:

I was very hungry but too lazy to cook, so I went out to grab a bite to eat.

I thought I’d try the new restaurant. 

I, obviously, ordered pho, (traditional Vietnamese food).

However, after I had eaten 

I saw the chef !

If I had known the chef was so filthy, I wouldn’t have eaten there !

This is the 3rd conditional. 

Something that happened in the past BUT you can’t change it now.

If I had known the film was so bad, I never would have gone !

If he had bought his wife flowers, she wouldn’t have been angry at him

If they had studied English, they would have passed the test.

Finally …

… a true story that my history teacher told me back in London.

My teacher was a somewhat dishevelled gentleman in his mid-30s. Let’s call him Mr Bowditch:

Mr Bowditch, history teacher at an east London school

Mr Bowditch lived in a bedsit, which is basically renting one room in a large house and sharing the kitchen and bathroom with other tenants. His room was not particularly comfortable:

One night, Mr Bowditch was in his room and began to feel a little hungry. He wanted some chocolate so decided to go to the off-license and buy some sweets (an off-licence is a shop that sells basic food and sweets but also alcohol and cigarettes. It used to be open until 11.00pm when most shops would close around 6.00 pm). He decided to buy, among other items, some ‘Fry’s Turkish Delight’ a sort of jelly covered in chocolate:

OK, so far so good. However, Mr Bowditch lived in a rather bad part of London, it wasn’t always safe to walk alone at night. Unfortunately, on the way home, Mr Bowditch meet the following young men:

They called out to Mr Bowditch and stopped him walking. They demanded:

Mr Bowditch had none, as he had just spent his money on sweets (candy). They didn’t believe him and began to search him. He showed them:

That was all he had … a few pounds, about 100 000 VND. The men became very angry and aggressive. Suddenly, they heard a police car siren. The men tried to drag Mr Bowditch into the tunnel, away from the road but he is very tall and stopped them. As the police car got closer, the men ran away. Mr Bowditch has never eaten ‘Fry’s Turkish Delight’ again.

There are several instances of the third conditional in the above story.

If Mr Bowditch had bought sweets on his way home, he wouldn’t have gone out later and been mugged (mugged means being robbed, often with violence or the threat of violence).

If Mr Bowditch had gone to a different shop, he wouldn’t have meet the muggers.

If the police car hadn’t been passing, Mr Bowditch might have been seriously hurt.

If Mr Bowditch hadn’t been so tall, he would have been dragged into the tunnel and maybe beaten or worse.

The structure: the first clause starts with ‘If’ then using a comma before completing the sentence. The first verb can be positive or negative (in the examples, I use ‘had’ and ‘hadn’t’).

We use this to talk about things that DIDN’T happen. 

Adult Speaking Class, Level 3: New Slang (when you notice the stripes). Idioms & expressions

15th July 2020

I recreated the shirt from the New Slang music video : TheShins
The US band The Shins with their song ‘New Slang’

Notes, new idioms & slang

Why the long face ? Someone looks miserable or unhappy.

She can talk the hind legs off a donkey ! Talking non-stop !

The tip of the iceberg.

The Unusual Meaning and Origin of the Idiom 'Tip of the Iceberg ...

Piece of cake No problem, easy, no trouble

Same thing, day in, day out everyday is exactly the same, very boring.

On the lookout looking for something

Cooking the books cheating with the company accounts. Writing false information.

Insurance Company Broker Caught Cooking the Books - Workers ...
Pros and Cons of Utlizing a Traditional Grading Scale

A bright spark someone who is very clever

You’re pulling my leg ! joking but pretending to be serious.

The boot’s on the other foot the situation has changed.

You can’t miss it you will certainly recognise it when you see it, when you are there.

Big time ! (US modern popular culture) Absolutely, totally, very, very much

Brass monkeys it’s extremely, painfully cold

Once in a blue moon something that happens extremely rarely

Bob’s your uncle there you are ! No problem, all fixed ! (UK slang)

Now … your turn

Practice using these saying in everyday conversations … answers, as per usual, at the end of the blog.

10 Surprising Facts about Japanese Schools. Daily life as a ...

1) I love the beach. but I rarely go, just ……………………………….

2) If you’re late for class again, the teacher will be furious …….

3) You look so sad ……………………… ?

4) I’m freezing ! It’s ……………………. in here

5) Seriously ? You can marry three wives in UK ? No, you’re ……..

6) Oh, my job is so tedious, …………………………

7) She wouldn’t shut up ! She ….

8) It’s no problem; I’ll clean your laptop, remove the virsus and Trojans and ………

9) I used to earn more than my wife but she got a big promotion, so now …………. She earns more than me !

10) I need a new pair of shoes. I’m ………………… for some high quality Italian leather.

11) The accountant was sacked. He was ……… but that was not all ! That’s just the …………………… He was also stealing computers and selling them.

12) This lesson was a ………………… for me because I’m such a ……………….

13) I didn’t use ‘you can’t miss it.’ Write your own sentence.

Top 6 Most Difficult Courses To Study in Nigeria

Answers

1) once in a blue moon

2) big time

3) why the long face ?

4) brass monkeys

5) pulling my leg

6) Same thing, day in, day out

7) can/could talk the hind legs off a donkey.

8) Bob’s your uncle

9) the boot’s on the other foot.

10) on the lookout

11) cooking the books / tip of the iceberg

12) piece of cake / bright spark

Well, if you’re such a bright spark, write you own sentences and test your partner.

BONUS: what expressions can you hear in this song ?

NOTE TO TEACHERS; IF POSSIBLE, TURN OFF THE OVERHEAD SO STUDENTS CAN’T SEE THE SONG TITLE.

Ms Nanci Griffith: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmvyBTXuRQw

Past tense, past continuous: Various exercises

12th July 2020

Various exercises for you to practise grammar, both past simple and past continuous. Answer follow the photos.

Past Tense exercises

Past simple: most common way of talking about the past. 

Regular verbs just add –ed e.g. walk = walked / look = looked / play = played

Past continuous: was / were + verbing e.g. I was playing / We were looking

Irregular verbs not used in past continuous e.g. we were seeing a film OR we saw a film NOT we were sawing a film.

Present perfect– talk about an action that happened in the past

subj + have/has + verb3 (past participle).

Past perfect – talking about two actions, both in the past, one before the other

e.g. I had listened to the CD before I saw the band play live.

Subj + had + verb3

The verb ‘to be’

I am / I was // you are / you were // he, she, it is / was // they, we are / were

Past tense / Shakespeare exercise

Change these lines into the past:

1 In Act One, Romeo ….. (is) in love with _________

2 Benvolio ……… (try – past continuous) to stop the fight.

3 The Prince ………. (demand – past perfect) to see Capulet before seeing Montague.

4 Romeo, Mercutio & Benvolio ……. (are) in the street talking.

5 The two families …… …. (be, present continuous) been fighting for years.

6 Romeo ….. (ask) the Nurse who Juliet is.

7 Mercutio & Benvolio …… (do, not) know Romeo was in love with Juliet.

8 The famous ‘balcony’ scene … (take) place in Act 2.

9 The Friar ……. ……. (go, past perfect) out collecting flowers.

10 At the end of Act 2, Romeo and Juliet …… (are) married. 

Which is the best screen version of Romeo and Juliet? Don't look ...

ANSWERS

1) was (Rosaline) 2) was trying 3) had demanded 4) were 5) have been 6) asked 7) did not (didn’t) 8) took 9) had gone 10) were

Past tense exercise

Change the verb form – can be:

past simple (think about regular & irregular verbs)

past continuous (verb + ing)

present perfect (subject + have/has + verb3)

past perfect (subject + had + verb3)

It is …. a hot, Sai Gon night. The wind blow …….. up from the river, but the humidity drive ….. me crazy. Sweat pour ……… down my back. 

I were walk …………. by the Old Town, lanterns were light ……. and sway ….. in the breeze. I … visit …….. an old friend before I decide ………. to take this long, steamy walk. I …. live ……….. here over two years, but everyday, I am almost 

kill ……. by crazy motorbikes. I need …. .. a coffee and see …… a cafe over the road. As I were cross ……………….. the street, a motorbike race …….. towards me. If I ……. jump ……… aside, he wouldpresent perfect…. hit …. me. But that were …… his idea.

He turn ….. around and pull …… out a gun, aim …… and fire ……… . I ……. ……….(be) present perfect shot at more times than I care to remember, I know …….. the score; duck and run. I run …… .I ………did, (negative) have time to think. I can … think later – if I am still alive. I make …. it into the coffee shop, and were look ……. out the window across the street.

The shooter were dress …… all in black and keep …… his helmet on. He were walk …………. this way. Quickly, I look ……. around. Were there another exit ? Can …. I escape by a back door ? Yes ! I ……. be (past perfect) ……here…before. I remember ………. a fire exit on the first floor. I leap …… for the stairs, just as the shooter were about to open the door.

Film Noir Review: Armored Car Robbery (1950) | Classic Movie Hub Blog

Answers: was / blew / drove / poured // was walking / lit / swayed / visitid / decided / lived // killed / needed / saw / was crossing / raced / jumped / have hit / was // turned / pulled / aimed / fired / I have been shot at / knew / ran / didn’t / could / was / made / looked // was dressed / kept / was walking / looked / was / Could / had been / remembered / lept

Here are 7 verbs in the PRESENT. Choose the correct verb AND use it in the correct tense.

teach / live / go / see / drink / am / have 

Harry (1) …….. drinking tea yesterday, when he (2) ……. an idea. I haven’t (3) …….. my neighbours how to drink tea. I am sure they will be happy. They have not (4) …… to the UK yet. I have (5) …. in many cities in England. Now I am in Viet Nam. I have (6) …. many wonderful sights, but I have never (7) …… a cup of good, English tea.

Beautiful Young Woman Drinking Hot Tea With Nature Green ...

Answers: 1) was 2) had 3) taught 4) been 5) lived 6) seen 7) drunk

Put the present tense verbs into past continuous

EXAMPLE Linh drinks tea – Linh was drinking tea

1 Tina watches TV

2 Sam shouts, ‘Oh, no!’

3 My father plays football

4 Bella designs a beautiful dress

5 The cat sings karaoke all night long ! 

6 Paul listens to The Beatles

7 Anna buys an Apple.

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Answers: 1) was watching 2) was shouting 3) was playing 4) was designing 5) was singing 6) was listening 7) was buying

75 % of verbs are REGULAR – just add -ed to form past tense

visit visited // watch watched // talk talked // walk walked

BUT

Others are IRREGULAR – you just have to learn them !

Go – went // see – saw // is – was // sleep – slept // spend – spent

Put the verbs into the simple past:

  1. Last year I (go) …………to England on holiday.
  2. It (be) ……..fantastic.
  3. I (visit)…… lots of interesting places. I (be) ….. with two friends of mine .
  4. In the mornings we (walk)…… in the streets of London.
  5. In the evenings we (go) ….. to pubs.
  6. The weather (be) …… remarkably pleasant. (nice)
  7. We (watch) …… a great Korean film.
  8. But we (see) …… some beautiful rainbows.
  9. Where (spend / you) ……. your last holiday?
Take Care of My Cat

Answers: 1) went 2) was 3) visited & went 4) walked 5) went 6) was 7) watched 8) saw 9) did you spend ?

Grammar exercise simple past tense form of the verb.

1. I …………………………. him yesterday.

a) saw b) was seeing c) had seen

2. I ………………………. his letter yesterday.

a) received b) was receiving c) had received

3. She ……………………….. school last year.

a) will leave b) leave c) left

4. Last night I …………………………….. sleep well.

a) don’t b) didn’t c) hadn’t

5. He ……………………………. asleep while he was driving.

a) fell b) falls c) was falling

6. I ………………………… a new bicycle last week.

a) bought b) had bought c) have bought

7. We ………………………….. our breakfast half an hour ago.

a) finished b) have finished c) had finished

8. When I was in the US, I …………………………….. Chicago, Boston and California.

a) visited b) was visiting c) would visit

9. I …………………………….. an old classmate of mine at the library.

a) had seen b) was seeing c) saw

10. She ………………yesterday that she would not go.

a) says b) said c) had said

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Answers: 1) a 2) a 3) c 4) b 5) a 6) a 7) a 8) a 9) c 10) b

Put into simple past

Last year I (go)  went to England on holiday. 

  1. It (be)   fantastic.
  2. I (visit)   lots of interesting places. I (be)   with two friends of mine . 
  3. In the mornings we (walk)   in the streets of London. 
  4. In the evenings we (go)   to pubs. 
  5. They (hear)   strange music. 
  6. It (not / rain)   a lot. 
  7. But we (buy)   some beautiful clothes. 
  8. How much money (spend / you)  in the shops ?
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Answers: 1) was 2) visited & was 3) walked 4) went 5) heard 6) did not [didn’t] 7) bought 8) did you spend

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The verb changes form in the PAST tense. Regular verbs add -ed, but many verbs are irregular e.g.

walk = walked / jump = jumped push = pushed (regular verbs)

begin began // bring brought // find found // come came // do did //

drink drank // eat ate // get got // make made // speak spoke

A good list is here:

http://www.gingersoftware.com/content/grammar-rules/verbs/list-of-irregular-verbs/

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

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He rode a horse and played guitar
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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.

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