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Past time: past simple, past continuous, past perfect simple, past perfect continuous, would, used to/be/get used to


( Past simple )

Form: statement:    I/you/he/she/it/we/they played...      

           negative:       I/you/he/she/it/we/they didn'tplay ...              

           question:       Did I/you/he/she/it/we/they play... ?

Note: Irregular verbs do not take 'ed' in the past simple. Learn the past simple form of irregulairverbs.

See page 194.

Use Example
Single completed actions Tom and Iplayed a game of chess and he won.
Habits in the past Did you collect stamps when you were younger?
Permanent situations in the past A famous footballer lived in our house before we bought it.
General truths and facts about the past Crosswords didn'tbecome popular until the 1930s.
The main events in a story The referee blew the whistle and Simon passed the ball to James, who ran towards the goal.


· You can also use did in past simple statements for emphasis.

ü 'Why didn't you win your match yesterday?" – I did win. Who told you I didn't?'

ü We lost 5-0 but at least we did get into the final.


( Past continuous )

Form: statement: I/he/she/it was playing...   You/we/they were playing ...

negative: I/he/she/it wasn't playing...  You/we/they weren't playing...

question: Was I/he/she/it playing... ? Were you/we/they playing... ?

Use Example
Actions happening at a particular moment in the past At five o'clock, Iwas reading my new book.
Temporary situations in the past Greg was living in London at the time.
Annoying past habits (usually with always) When we were young, my brother was always borrowing my toys.
Actions in progress over a period of time Daniel was playing video games all morning yesterday.
Two actions in progress at the same time Were Ulla and her friends playing Monopoly while we wereplaying Draughts?
Background information in a story The sun was shining and the birds were singing. Lisa opened the window and I looked out.


•        When one action in the past interrupts another action in progress, we use the past simple and the past continuous together.

ü I was playing on my computer when it suddenly crashed.

•        Do not use the past continuous for regular or repeated actions in the past.

ü When we were on holiday, we played volleyball every day.

ü When we were on holiday, we were playing volleyball every day.

•        Do not use stative verbs in continuous tenses. See Unit 1, page 7.


( Past perfect simple )

Form:              had + past participle

Use Example
Situations and states before the past We'd lived next to the gym for a couple of months before I decided to join.
Completed actions before a moment in the past I'd alreadybought the computer game when I saw it was cheaper in another shop.
Completed actions where the important thing is the result at a moment in the past We didn't feel like playing Scrabble because we had just finished a long game of Monopoly.


•        There is often little or no difference in meaning between the past perfect simple and the past simple.

ü We'd lived next to the gym for a couple of months before I decided to join.

ü We lived next to the gym for a couple of months before I decided to join.

•        After you have used the past perfect simple once, we often then use the past simple instead of continuing to use the past perfect.

ü I had already had one flying lesson, which was great fun, and I knew immediately that I wanted to get my pilot's licence.

•        Phrases such as It was the first/second/etc time... are followed by the past perfect simple.

ü It was the second time I'd been on a plane.


( Past perfect continuous )

Form statement: I/you/he/she/it/we/they had been playing...

negative: I/you/he/she/it/we/they hadn't been playing...

question: Had l/you/he/she/it/we/they been playing... ?

Use Example
Actions continuing up to a moment in the past When you saw us, we had been running for six miles - and we still had a mile to go!
Actions stopping just before a moment in the past Sarah looked tired because she had been exercising all morning.


( would )

Form:              would + bare infinitive

Use Example
Past habits, particularly for the distant past When I was very young, my grandfather would take me to the park to play.


•        Don't often use would in questions or negative statements with this meaning. In negative statements, you can use would never.

ü We would never play games together as a family when I was growing up.


( used to )

Form:              used to + bare infinitive

statement: I/you/he/she/it/we/they used to train three times a week.

negative: I/you/he/she/it/we/they didn't use to be good at football.

I/you/he/she/it/we/they never used to be so good at football.

I/you/he/she/it/we/they used not to be good at football.

question: Did I/you/he/she/it/we/they use to play hockey here?

Use Example
Past habits and states, particularly for the distant past My mother used to play a lot of squash before I was born.


•        To talk about a past state, you can use used to, but not would.

ü We used to have a house that was right next to the park.

ü We would have a house that was right next to the park.


( be/get used to )

Form:              be/get used to + -ing form / noun

Use Example
A situation that is familiar or no longer strange I didn't like being the goalkeeper at first but now I'm used to it.


• When you want to talk about the process of becoming familiar with something, use get used to

ü I'm gradually getting used to being in a new team.



A   Circle the correct word or phrase.

1. I saw / was seeing Maria for the first time at Ray's birthday party.

2. Richard watched / was watching TV when the phone rang.

3. When we were on holiday, we went / were going to the cafe almost every day.

4. Denise practised / was practising the song every day until she could sing it perfectly.

5. The phone was engaged when I called. Who did you talk / were you talking to?

6. Mr Connors owned / was owning two houses and a villa in the south of France.

7. I did / was doing my homework as soon as I got home from school.

8. A car came round the corner and I jumped / was jumping out of the way.

9. When my dad met my mum, he worked / was working as a bus driver.

10. I got / was getting up at six o'clock every morning last week!

11. My cousin and I played / were playing on the computer when there was a power cut.

12. No, that's not right. I did pass / was passing the test. I got a B.


В   Complete using the correct form of the verb in brackets.

1. Where ________ (you / go) when I saw you on the bus last night?

2. ________ (you / enjoy) the film?

3. When we shared a room, Zoe ________ (always / take) my things. It was so annoying!

4. When I went to get the tickets, I realised I________ (not / have) any money.

5. When I was young, we ________ (go) to France every year on holiday.

6. Elvis ________ (become) famous for the song Blue Suede Shoes.

7. When you rang last night, I ________ (work) in the garden so I didn't hear the phone.

8. I ________ (hear) from Davina last night. She says hello.

9. The old man ________ (appear) to be very tired and he slowly sat down.

10. We ________ (throw) a surprise party for my brother last Saturday.


С   Circle the correct word or phrase.

Dear Lisa,

Thanks for your letter. I (1) just left / had just left for school when I saw the postman and he (2) gave / had given it to me. It was really funny! I (3) read / had read it during maths and it (4) made / had made me laugh. I almost (5) got / had got in trouble! Anyway, I'm excited because I (6) had / had had my first judo lesson yesterday. I (7) was / had been late for the lesson because when I (8) got / had got there, I suddenly realised I (9) left / had left my judo suit at home! So I (10) went / had gone all the way home and when I (11) got / had got back, the lesson (12) already began / had already begun. The instructor was really nice, though, and I (13) learned / hadlearned how to do some basic throws. Can't wait till next time!

What about you and your taekwondo? The last time I (14) spoke / had spoken to you, you (15) talked / had talked about giving it up. What (16) did you decide / had you decided? I think that's all for now. My mum and I are going shopping shortly, so I'd better post this.


Speak to you soon. Love,



D   Complete using the past perfect simple or past perfect continuous of the verbs in the box. You may need to use a negative form.

eat • stay • wait • know • write • see • listen • get • have • run

1. By the time he died, Beethoven _________ nine symphonies.

2. We chose the Hotel Rio because we _________ there before.

3. We _________ for over an hour when the train finally arrived.

4. I was completely out of breath because I _________.

5. I _________ the film before, so I knew how it ended.

6. When he got married, I _________ Chris for about two years.

7. Johnson _________ ready for the race for six months and finally the bigmoment came.

8. Vivian _________ computer lessons for very long so she wasn't sure how to use the Internet.

9. Holly _________ oysters before, so she wasn't sure what to do with them.

10. I _________ to my new CD for a few minutes when the CD player started making a funny noise.


E   Choose the correct answer.

1. My brother and I _________ swimming almost every day last summer.

A went                  В had been going  С were going         D had gone

2. We _________ when someone knocked at the door.

A talked     В had talked          С were talking       D were talked

3. When the robbery happened, the security guard _________.

A slept       В was sleeping      С had slept            D was slept

4. Jack _________ chess before so I showed him what to do.

A hadn't been playing В didn't play Сwasn't playing     D hadn't played

5. I wasn't sure how Belinda would react because I _________ her long.

A didn't knowВ wasn't knowing С hadn't been knowing D hadn't known

6. Ian _________ at the factory long when he was made a manager.

A hadn't been working В wasn't working С didn't work D wasn't worked

7. I wanted to say goodbye to Jerry, but he _________ .

A was already left В already left С had already been leaving Dhad already left

8. When we got to the airport, I realized I _________ my passport at home!

A was left В had left              С left                     D had been leaving


F   Circle the incorrect words or phrases and rewrite them correctly.

1. I had paint on my shoes because I'd painted my bedroom all morning. (I'd been painting)

2. I missed the start of the film because I buy popcorn.

3. It was obvious that Bill has worked because he was very tired when I saw him.

4. We had been tidying the garden for hours and I was needing a rest.

5. When the bus was arriving, we missed it because we were talking.

6. During the Christmas holiday, I was eating too much and watching too much TV!

7. Julian was learning all about computer games by the time he was six.

8. My grandfather was owning a hotel by the beach until he sold it last year.


G   Circle the correct word or phrase.

1. When she was a girl, my mum would / used to live in a village.

2. I really can't be / get used to having a new baby brother.

3. People would / are used to die of diseases in the past that we can cure today.

4. There would / used to be a cinema on this corner, but they knocked it down.

5. It was strange at first, but I'm used to play / playing the bagpipes now.

6. Didn't you use to / be used to have blonde hair?

7. Christopher was being / getting used to the idea of joining the army.

8. People never would / used to be so worried about crime in this area.


H  Complete each second sentence using the word given, so that it has a similar meaning to the first sentence. Write between two and five words in each gap.

1.People walked more fifty years ago than they do now.                                                 would

Fifty years ago, _____________________ than they do now.

2.My parents wouldn't let me stay out late when I was young.                                        used

My parents _____________________ let me stay out late when I was young.

3.Did you know that Carol played basketball for her country?                                  to

Did you know that Carol _____________________ basketball for her country?

4.Sending messages around the world instantly is no longer unusual.                             got

We _____________________ messages around the world instantly.

5.When he was a teacher, my dad often used to get home quite late.                              would

When he was a teacher, my dad _____________________ quite late.

6.Do you think you could learn to live without your mobile phone?                                used

Do you think you could _____________________ without your mobile phone?

7.In the past, people wouldn't go as far away on holiday as they do today.                                use

In the past, people _____________________ as far away on holiday asthey do today.

8.This town has a lot more cinemas than it had in the past.                                              used

This town _____________________ so many cinemas.


I   Find the extra word in each line.


1 __________ Childhood would used to be quite different from what it is today. Young

2 __________ people didn't use not to have so much leisure time. Today's children may

3 __________ complain about their schoolwork, but our great-grandparents would to go

4 __________ out to work at a very young age. They had often been left school by

5 __________ the time they were fourteen and were found a job. This meant that they

6 __________ have had little free time for hobbies or leisure activities, especially when

7 __________ they had been working hard all day. Of course, they got themselves used

8 __________ to working long hours eventually, but it would meant that they had to

9 __________ grow up very quickly. Today, we are got used to having some free time to

10 __________ do things we enjoy, a luxury people in the past rarely were had.


J   Write one word in each gap.


Jane lay awake. She had (1) __________ preparing for the next day (2) __________ a long time and now she couldn't sleep. Her team (3) __________ playing the local champions atwater polo in the final and Jane was the captain. She (4) __________ feeling the pressure.

She turned over and remembered how she (5) __________ learned to swim. Her father hadtaught her. They (6) __________ go to the local pool every day after school and her father (7) __________ to show her what to do. She hadn't liked the water at first, but she soon (8) __________ used to it. She learned quickly and joined the water polo team. She had (9) __________ their youngest member!

She quickly got used to scoring goals and (10) __________ under pressure, but tomorrow wasdifferent. It was the biggest match of her life. She closed her eyes again and tried to get to sleep. 'I (11) __________ used to have problems sleeping,' she thought to herself. 'But then again, I didn't

(12) __________ to be the captain of the team.' She watched the clock change slowly and knew that it was going to be a long night.



Unit 4        Vocabulary

Hobbies, Sport and Games


Topic vocabulary in contrast                                                                see page 186 for definitions

pitch / track / court / course / ring / rink umpire / referee sport / athletics
win / beat / score final / finale / end / ending interval/half time
play/game bat / stick / rod / racket draw / equal
spectator / viewer amateur / professional competitor / opponent


Phrasal verbs

bring forward change the date/time of an event so it happens earlier knock out defeat and remove from a competition; make unconscious carry on continue look out be careful get round to start (after planning to do sth for a long time) pull out stop being involved in an activity get up to do; do sth you should not do put off delay, postpone go in for enter (a competition, etc); like put up with tolerate go off stop liking take to start (as a habit) join in participate, take part take up start (a hobby, sport, etc); fill an amount of space/time


Phrases and collocations

best make the best of sth; do your best; the best at sth/doing
chance have/take/get a chance to do; have a chance of doing; some/little/etc chance of (your) doing; the chances of (your) doing; take a chance (on sth); chance of a lifetime
go your go; have a go
height in height; afraid of heights; height of sth
mad mad about/on sth/sb/doing; go/become mad
pleasure take pleasure in sth/doing; gain/get pleasure from sth/doing
popular popular with/among
side (on) the opposite side; (on) the far side; side with sb; on the winning/losing side
talent have a talent (for sth/doing); talent contest
time on time; (just) in time; the whole time; high/about time; take your time (doing); take time to do; sth takes up (your) time; spend time doing; spend time on; at/for a certain time; time passes; find time to do; make/ find time for; for the time being; have a good/nice time (doing); tell the time; free/spare/leisure time
turn turn (a)round/away;turn sth over; in turn;take turns;take it in turn(s) (to do);yourturn (to do)


Word patterns

compete against/with sb; compete for/in sth listen to sth/sb
concentrate on sth/doing love sth/sb/doing; love to do
difficult to do; find sth difficult; find it difficult to do mean to do; it/this means that; it/this means sth/doing
fond of sth/sb/doing prefer to do (rather than [to] do); prefer sth (rather than sth); prefer sth/doing (to sth/doing)
free to do; free from/of sth; free for sth stop sth/doing; stop to do; stop sb from doing
interested in sth/doing sure/certain make/be sure/certain that; sure/certain to do; be sure/certain of sth

involve sth/doing; involved in sth/doing


Word formation

allow disallow, allowance, allowable fortune misfortune, (un)fortunate(ly) medal medallist, medallion
associate disassociate, association, (un)associated interest (un)interesting(ly) oppose opposition, opponent, opposite, opposing
compete competition, competitor, competitive(ly) know knowledge, (un)knowledgeable practice practise, (im)practical(ly)
enjoy enjoyment, enjoyable lose lost, loss train retrain, trainer
equip equipment, equipped

maintain maintenance


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