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Past Tenses

1. You are going to hear Jack talking to his grandmother about something he did last week. Before you listen, look at questions 1–5. Guess which things Jack, his mother and his grandmother did. Write J, M or G.

A. go to London __J___

B. see a famous footballer ______

C. go up to town alone ______

D. worry about school work ______

E. go to a club ______

2. Listen and check if you were right.

3. Listen again and answer these questions.

a. What does Jack say about a coach?

b. What does Jack say about a film?

c. What tense does he use?

d. What does Gran say about autographs?

e. What does Gran say about going to town?

f. What does Gran say about pop concerts?

g. Does she do these things now?

h. Did she do them regularly in the past?

Recording Script

Gran: Hello, Jack! Come in.

Jack: Hello, Gran. How are you?

Gran: Fine, thanks Jack. What about you?

Jack: Oh, you know, too much college work. We had an exam on Thursday. But I went to London last Saturday with some mates. We had a great time.

Gran: Oh, yes? I suppose you spent all your money.

Jack: No, it wasn’t really expensive. We caught the coach, so it was only ten pounds return.

Gran: But isn’t it slow?

Jack: Well, we did some revision for our exams while we were travelling, so it didn’t matter.

Gran: Well done. Where did you go?

Jack: Oh, you know, round the shops.

Gran: That’s what I did too, but not in London. I was hoping to find a new jacket. But there wasn’t anything I liked.

Jack: And then we went to see a film. But the brilliant thing was, when we were queuing for the cinema, we saw a really famous footballer. He was buying a burger from a stall near us like an ordinary person and all the crowds were walking past but nobody noticed him except me.

Gran: So did you get his autograph?

Jack: No, I didn’t want to embarrass him.

Gran: Ooh, when I was your age, I used to collect all the autographs of film stars and singers and so on. I would go up to town on my own and wait outside the theatre till they came out.

Jack: Really?

Gran: Yes. And I used to scream at pop concerts. I really enjoyed myself when I was a teenager. But don’t tell your mother. She never used to do anything like that.

She was always worrying about her homework.

Jack: OK. So do you want to hear about the club we went to after the cinema?

Gran: You bet!

Jack: Well, it was really …


Complete the text with the past simple form of these verbs.

be / begin / come / drink / eat / explain / feed / find / get / give / go / have / know / learn

/ meet / read / seem / speak / spread / write

The mystery of Kaspar Hauser

The mystery of Kaspar Hauser began (1) in Nuremberg, Germany, about 200 years ago. One morning, the people of the town __________ (2) a young man standing alone in the square. He was holding a piece of paper in his hand. The paper __________ (3) only that he __________ (4) the son of a soldier. Kaspar __________ (5) how to say a few words and when given a paper and pencil he __________ (6) his name, but he __________ (7) completely ignorant about everyday life. At first, he __________ (8) only bread and __________ (9) only water, but he gradually __________ (10) used to ordinary meals. He also __________ (11) to talk properly. The real truth about his birth remains a mystery, but it is probable that his father kept him in one small room for the whole of his early life. He __________ (12) him on bread and __________ (13) him water to drink. Kaspar never __________ (14) out, he never __________ (15) to anyone or __________ (16) other children. In spite of this extraordinary childhood, Kaspar was not stupid. He __________ (17) books and __________ (18) discussions with teachers and philosophers. News about Kaspar __________ (19) through Europe and visitors __________ (20) from abroad to meet him.


Choose the correct form of the verbs in this text.

My granny is 93 and she’s come to live with us at our house. We’re all pleased because we love having her near us. She’s a very independent person and until this year, she (1) refused / was refusing to move to the flat on our ground floor. But last month she suddenly (2) changed / was changing her mind and I (3) asked / would ask her why. She explained that for years, nobody in her village (4) would lock / was locking their front doors and the place (5) used to feel / would feel safe, but last month (6) she met / was meeting a neighbour in the street when she (7) was walking / would walk home from the shops and (8) heard / was hearing some bad news. Thieves (9) were breaking / got used to breaking into people’s houses while they (10) were sitting / would sit in their back gardens. She (11) realised / was realising that she (12) wasn’t wanting / didn’t want to live alone any more. She (13) isn’t used / didn’t use to being in the town yet, but it’s not as difficult as she (14) was thinking / thought it might be, and she loves seeing us more often.


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