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MISCELLANEOUS PRACTICE ON THE USE OF THE VARIOUS TENSE-FORMS IN THE ACTIVE VOICE
Present Simple/Present Continuous
Past Simple/Future Simple/Present Continuous/Present Perfect


1. Present Simple/Present Continuous.

 

I work in a large office with about thirty other people, most of whom I (know) quite well. We (spend) most of the day together, so we have all become friends. In fact, most of my colleagues are so interesting, that I (think) of writing a book about them!
Take Helen Watson, for example. Helen (run) the accounts department. At the moment she (go out) with Keith Bal-lantine, one of the sales representatives, and they (seem) very happy together. But everyone except Helen apparently (know) that Keith always (make) eyes at Susan Porter. But I (happen) to know that Susan (dislike) Keith. 1 can't stand people who (apologise) all the time!' she said to me. 'And besides, I know he (deceive) poor Helen. He (see) Betty Wills from the overseas department'. And plenty of other interesting things (go on). For instance, every week money (disappear) from the penny cashbox. When you (realize) that someone in your office is a thief, it (upset) you at first. But I also (try) to catch whoever it is before the police are called in. I'm not going to tell you who I (suspect). Well, not yet anyway!

 

Key:

know; spend; am thinking; runs; is going out; seem; knows; is always making (makes); happen; dislikes; apologize (are apologizing); is deceiving; is seeing; are going on; disappears: realize; upsets; am also trying: suspect.

 

2. Present Simple/Present Continuous.

 

Dear Aunt Ruby,
I just (write) to tell you how much I (appreciate) the money you sent me, and to tell you how I (get) on in my first term at college. I (study) very hard but at the moment I (spend) a lot of time just making friends. I still (stay) with my friend Jean and I (look) for somewhere of my own to live. Only a few of the first-year students (live) in college here and I (seem) to be spending a lot of time travelling backwards and f rwards. I (go) to lectures every morning and most afternoons I (study) in the library. In fact I (write) this letter instead of an essay on 'Macbeth'. I (think) I'll buy some new clothes with the money you sent. Everything (cost) a lot here, and I (save) to buy a winter coat. It (get) really cold here in the evenings. I (know) lots of other students and generally speaking we (have) quite a good time socially! I also (learn)
to drive.
See you shortly.
Sue

 

Key:

am writing; appreciate; am getting; study; am spending; am still staying; am looking; live; seem; go; study; am writing; think; costs; am saving; is getting; know; are having; am learning.

 

3. Present Simple/Past Simple/Future Simple/Present Continuous/Present Perfect

 

Dear Mr.Harrison,
James (come) back to school on Monday and my husband (ask) me to explain the situation to you. James (recover) just from his grippe, but the doctor (tell) me yesterday to keep him home for a few more days to be on the safe side. We hope he (not/miss) anything important since the term (begin).
We would like to ask you to watch over him for a while and not to let him take part in games or gymnastics for a week until he (be) well again. James (be) so keen on games that he (try) to play before he (be) fit enough unless someone (keep) an eye on him.
We (provide) him with all the clothes on the list except the red athletics vests and the blue shorts. He already (grow) out of last year's pair, but we only (discover) this yesterday and the local shop (not/have) any in stock. I (send) them by post as soon as I (buy) some. We (be) very happy that James (take) to boarding-school life so well last year and we trust he (continue) to be happy this
year. We both (be) very grateful to you for being so helpful last year and look forward to having another talk with you when we (come) to the parent-teacher meeting next month.
Yours sincerely, K. Williams

 

Key:

is coming; has asked; has recovered; told me; hasn’t missed; began; is; is; will try; is; keeps; have provided; has already grown; discovered; doesn’t have; I'll send; buy (have bought); are; took; he'll continue; we are both; come.

 

 

4. Present Simple/Past Simple/Future Simple/Present Continuous/Present Perfect

 

Dear Ashton,
I'm sorry I (not/write) to you for so long, but I (be) very busy lately. All last month I (have) exams and (have) to study very hard.
Anyway I (stop) studying now, and I (wait) for my exam results. As you see from my letter, my address (change) and I (live) in Leeds now.
My family (move) here three months ago. I hope when you (come) to Britain in the summer, you (visit) me. I (be) at home till the middle of August. Then I (go) on holiday to Scotland.
Hope to hear from you shortly.
Love,
Sarah

 

Key:

haven’t written; have been; had; had; have stopped; am waiting; has changed; live (am living); moved; come; you'll visit; I’ll be (I'm); I'll go (I'm going).

 

5. Present Simple/Past Simple/Present Perfect/Present Perfect Continuous.

 

My wife and I (live) in our present house in the country for five years. We (move) here after our second child (be) born. We (live) in town for ten years, and then (decide) that as soon as we could afford it we (move) away from the smoke and the noise of the city centre, which we finally (do) in 1985. We never (regret) it. We (be) reminded of the wisdom of our decision every morning when we (draw) the curtains to see open fields stretching before us. When the children (have I breakfast they (rush) outside to play which they (do) whatever the weather.

 

have been living (have lived); moved; was born; lived (had lived); decided; should (would) move; did; have never regretted; are; draw; have had; rush; do.

 

6. Present Simple/Future Simple/Present Continuous/Present Perfect.

 

Actually we (think) of moving. My wife (accept) a new job which she (start) next month. As soon as she (start) she (have) a journey of fifteen miles there and back and I (not/ think) that she (realize) just how tiring this business (be). I already (decide) that I (get) in touch with some estate agents. I (not/feel) happy until we (find) a house closer to my wife's job. I wonder what the children (say) when they (hear) that we (move).

 

are thinking; has accepted; stalls (is starting); starts (has started); she’ll have; don’t think; has realized (realizes); will be (is); have already decided; I'll get in touch; I won’t feel happy; find (have found); will say; hear; are moving (will be moving).

 

 

7. Present Simple/Past Simple/Future Simple/Present Continuous/Present Perfect/Present Perfect Continuous.

 

Dear Ann,
I (receive) your letter about two weeks ago and (try) to find time to write you back ever since. I (be) very busy lately. For the past two weeks I (have) four tests, and I (have) another test next week. In addition, a friend (stay) with me since last Thursday. She (be) fond of sightseeing, so we (spend) a lot of time visiting some of the interesting places here. Between showing her the city and studying for my exams, I barely (have) enough time to breathe. Right now it (be) 3 a.m. and I (sit) here for five hours doing my studying. My friend's plane (leave) at 6.05, so I (decide) not to go to bed. That's why I (write) to you at such an early hour in the day. I (get) a little sleepy, but I would rather stay up. I (take) a nap after I (get) back from taking her to the airport.
How you (get) along? How your classes (go)'l Please, write soon.
Love,
Мary

 

received; I’ve been trying; have been; have had; am having (I'll have); has been staying; is; have spent; have had; is; have been sitting; leaves; have decided; am writing; I’ve got; I'll take; get (have got); are you getting; are your classes going.

 

 

 

8. Present Simple/Past Simple/Present Continuous/Past Continuous/Present Perfect/Present Perfect Continuous.

 

You (hear) the latest news? Jane (get) married soon! When I first (hear) about it, two days ago, I (ring) her up to congratulate her. 'We (think) about it for a long time', she said, 'but we only (make) up our minds recently. We (quarrel) so many times since we first (start) to go out together, but we always (make) it up. You (remember) that Mark (go) to the USA two years ago? And all the time he (work) there, I (go) out with someone else but I (know) Mark (be) the person I really (love). Since he (come) back we (not/quarrel), so we (think) we'll be happy. He (live) quite near me now, so we (see) more of each other. And frankly speaking we (grow) more tolerant of each other's faults lately. We (not/have) an argument since the day before yesterday!'

 

have you heard; is getting (will get); heard; rang; have been thinking; have only made; have quarrelled; started; have always made; do you remember; went; was working; was going (went); knew; was; loved; came (has come); haven’t quarrelled; think; lives; see; have grown; haven’t had.

 

 

9. Present Simple/Past Simple/Present Continuous/Past Continuous/Present Perfect/Present Perfect Continuous.

 

-What you (do) with yourself lately? I (not/see) you for over a month.
-I (be) to Stockholm since I last (see) you.
- Really? How long you (be) there and what you (do)!
- Nearly three weeks. I (do) some research at the Royal Library. I think I already (tell) you that I (work) on a book about Scandinavia.
-Yes. How it (go)!
- Not so bad. I (hope) to have it in the hands of the publisher by the end of the year.

 

have you been doing; haven’t seen you; have been; saw; were; did you do (were you doing); did (was doing); have already told; am working; is it going (has it been going); hope (am hoping).

 

 

10. Present Simple/Past Simple/PresentContinuous/Past Continuous/Present Perfect/Present Perfect Continuous.

 

Yes, I'm at Georgina's house this evening. What I (do) here? I (baby-sit). She and her husband (go) to a party. Four -four children. They (be) usually rather wild. I (baby-sit) here once when they all (start) screaming. But they (be) very good at the moment. I can see the youngest now in the room next door. She (eat) a huge box of chocolates that Georgina (give) me before she (leave). The others (find) a tin of paint and happily (paint) the walls of the kitchen. They (assure) me that they (do) this before and that their mother and father (have) no objection then. I only (hope) that they (tell) me the truth. One of them (get) himself in a bit of a mess. I (try) to clean him up with paint remover, but so far without much success.

 

am I doing; am baby-sitting; have gone; are; was baby-sitting: started; are; is eating; gave; left; have found; are painting; assure (have assured); have done; had; hope; are telling (have told); has got; have been trying.

 

 

11. Present Simple/Past Simple/Present Continuous/Past Continuous/Present Perfect/Past Perfect/Past Perfect Continuous.

 

Brenda Pearl (join) our firm ten years ago. She (work) for the previous five years with an advertising company and (acquire) much useful experience. For the first eight years with us she (work) in the Sales Department and (work) there when I (become) Managing Director. Since then she (work) as my personal assistant and (prove) herself to be outstandingly capable on many occasions. She (work) on the top floor, in an office next to mine, but at the moment she (work) in London on a special assignment.

 

,joined; had been working (had worked); had acquired; worked; was working; became; has been working (has worked); has proved; works; is working.

 

 

12. Past Simple/Past Continuous/Past Perfect.

 

Last week I (have) a funny experience. I (be) on my own in the house because my husband (go away) on a business trip.
The first evening I (feel) rather tired as I (spend) the day shopping and cleaning. After supper I (watch) television for a while and then (decide) to go to bed early. I just (go) to lie down when I (hear) the sounds of men's voices, talking quietly. I (be) terrified. I (get) out of bed, and (creep) downstairs. The voices (come) from the sitting-room. I (tremble) all over. I slightly (open) the door and then (laugh) with relief. In my tiredness I (forget) to turn off the television...

 

had; was; had gone away; felt (was feeling); had spent; watched; decided; was just going to lie down; heard; was; got; crept; were coming (came); was trembling (trembled); opened; laughed; had forgotten.

 

 

13. Past Simple/Past Continuous/Past Perfect.

 

The Australian Salute.

 

Before I (visit) Australia, an Australian friend in London (tell) me that I (learn) the Australian salute there. 'What's that?' I (ask). 'You (find out) when you (get) there', he (say). I (arrive) in Sydney 2 weeks after my talk with the friend and (stay) at a nice hotel near a beautiful beach. I never (visit) Australia before and I (enjoy) my stay immensely. I (swim) every day and die) in the sun. One day an Australian friend (suggest) a tour into 'the bush'* . I (agree) at once. The first thing I (notice) when we (be) in the bush (be) the flies. After a while I (remember) the conversation I (have) in London before I (come) there. 'What's the Australian salute?' I (ask) suddenly, as I (wave) my right arm to keep the flies away. «That's it!» my friend (say), as he (wave) back!

 

(had) visited; told; should learn; asked; get; said; arrived; stayed; had never visited; enjoyed (was enjoying); swam; lay; suggested; agreed; noticed; were; were; remembered; (had) had; came (had come); asked; waved (was waving); said; waved (was waving).

 

 

14. Past Simple/Past Continuous/Past Perfect/Past Perfect Continuous.

 

I (go) to London for the first time in 1990 when I (be) just a child. My parents (be) already there many times so they (know) the city well. But they never (be) there with a child. so they saw a different side of London with me. We (go) out every day and (have) a fantastic time. My parents (study) English for many years so they (have) no difficulty with the language. It (rain) while we (be) there but we (pack) all our waterproof clothes so it (be) no problem. When the time (come) to leave, I (feel) quite sad because I (have) such a good time.

 

 went; was; had been; knew; had never been; went; had; had been studying; had; was raining; were; had packed; was; came; felt; had had.

 

 

15. Past Simple/Past Continuous/Past Perfect.

 

This time last year I (cycle) in the rain along a country road in France with a friend of mine. We (decide) to go on a cycling holiday in Normandy. Neither of us (be) to France before, but we (know) some French from our time at school and we (manage) to brush up on the basics. Now we (wonder) if we (make) the right decision. We (plan) our route carefully in advance, but we (forget) one important thing, the weather. It (rain) solidly since our arrival and that night we (end up) sleeping in the waiting room at a railway station. Then the next morning as we (ride) down a steep hill my bike (skid) on the wet road and I (fall off). I (realize) immediately that I (break) my arm, and after a visit to the local hospital I (catch) the next train to Calais for the ferry home. Unfortunately my parents (not/expect) me home for a fortnight, and (go) away on holiday. So I (spend) a miserable couple of weeks alone, reading «Teach Yourself French».

 

 was cycling; had decided; had been; knew; had managed; were wondering (wondered); had made; had planned; had forgotten; had been raining (had rained); ended up; were riding (rode); skidded; fell off; realized; had broken; caught; were not expecting (had not expected); went (had gone); spent.

 

 

16. Present Simple/Past Simple/Future Simple/Present Perfect/Past Perfect/Past Perfect Continuous.

 

Yesterday I (receive) a phone call from an old friend who I (not/hear) from for months. I (ask) him what he (do) lately, and he told me that he (spend) the past three months sailing around the world on an old-fashioned sailing ship. I always
(love) everything to do with the sea, so I was very excited to hear that he (manage) to do something so thrilling. I (ask) him if we (can) get together soon and (make) him promise that he (bring) all the photos he (take). When he (come) next week, I'll expect him to tell me exactly what the trip (he) like.

 

 received; hadn't heard; asked; had been doing (had done); had spent; have always loved; had managed; asked; could; made; would bring; had taken; comes; was.

 

 

17. Past Simple/Present Continuous/Present Perfect/Past Perfect/Past Perfect Continuous.

 

Yesterday evening Sally (miss) the last bus home because she (work) late at the office, so she (decide) to get a taxi. She (get) into the first one that (come) along, but immediately (regret) that she (do) so, because the driver (seem) a bit crazy. After he (go) through the third red light at top speed Sally said, 'You (drive) a bit too fast. Please slow down. I (be) in two car accidents already in my life'. 'That's nothing', (reply) the driver. 'I (be) in over a hundred!'

 

missed; had worked; decided; got; came; regretted; had done; seemed; had gone; are driving; I’ve been; replied; I’ve been.

 

 

18. Present Simple/Past Simple/Past Continuous/ Past Perfect/Past Perfect Continuous.

 

I (walk) down the street the other day when I (bump) into an old friend of mine. We (be) friends at university but we (lose) touch. We (talk) for a few minutes and he (tell) me that he (work) with computers for the past two years. I (can) hardly believe it; he (do) a drama degree at university and (act) in several films when he was younger. It (be) funny how things (turn out) sometimes.

 

was walking; bumped; were; had lost; talked; told; had been working (had worked); could; did; acted; is; turn.

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