Grammar-QuizzesVerb PhrasesVerbsPast Tense

Past Tense

Summary of Practices



Past Diagnostic: identify specific points that need review

Running with the bulls

Quiz 1: beginning – intermediate

Quiz 2: intermediate – advanced

Past Complete: report events that occurred in the past

Beginning– Intermediate ESL, Native Speakers–spelling

Young man remember speeding ticket he got

I got a speeding ticket on June 16, 2008.

I have gotten several tickets in the past.

Past Progressive: report past temporary, repeated, or background activity

Beginning–Intermediate ESL


Alison lived in San Francisco after she finished school.
Alison took the train while she was living in San Francisco.

We saw two cars crash.
As we were walking along the sidewalk, we saw two cars crash.

Would / Used to: report past behavior vs. past habits

Intermediate–Advanced ESL

Dish washing in the 1950s

We would go to the beach after school.
We used to go to the beach after school. (earlier stage of life)

She used to have a surf board.  (state of possession)
She would have an amazing tan by the time summer ended.   (conditioned outcome)

Reporting Source: report a past activity (not its timing)

Beginning–Intermediate ESL


Where did you get those jeans?
Where have you been? (for the past few hours)


Wow! He did a back flip! (emotional response)
He has done lots of back-flips in his career.

Past Series: report a series of past events

Intermediate– Advanced ESL, Native Speakers

Policecar with siren chasing porcshe

I got in my car, headed for the highway, drove several miles.

I looked behind me a saw a police car. He had been following me for a mile.

Past Perfect: contrast earlier from later events

Intermediate– Advanced ESL, Native Speakers

lunch with friends

After we had ordered from the menu, we began to talk.

First, we ordered from the menu. Then, we began to talk.

We had just ordered from the menu when the electricity went off.

Irreg Verb Forms 1: Review past and participle verb forms (A – L)

Beginning–Intermediate ESL


Jaycee (spinned, span, spun?) _____the ball on his toe last night.

Irreg Verb Forms 2: Review past and participle verb forms (L –W)

Beginning–Intermediate ESL


Jamie (let) _____the ball drop in yesterday's final play.

Been / Being: contrast the sounds of been and being

Beginning–Intermediate ESL

Doctor spanking baby

We've been quiet. (present perfect - active)

We're being quiet.   (present progressive - active)

We've been seen by Dr. Allen.   (present perfect - passive)

We 're being seen by Dr. Allen (present progressive - passive)