1. Education

Advanced Level Tense Identification and Review

At the start of a new advanced level class I always find it helpful to have students spend some time reviewing basic tenses and their names. The following exercises serve two purposes: 1) Re-familiarization of standard tense names 2) Tense conjugation practice. These exercises are also very helpful to teachers, as they give a quick overview of how well the class copes with various tenses.

Aim: Review of tense forms

Activity: Tense form identification and later tense conjugation with original text

Level: Upper-intermediate to advanced

Outline:

  • Have students in small groups draw up a list of the tenses they know. Ask them to provide an example of each tense and the tense's name.
  • Discuss the lists in class.
  • Have students individually do the first work sheet in which students are asked to name tenses used in the short excerpt.
  • Have students re-read the text and then complete the second work sheet by now conjugating the verbs in the same short excerpt.
  • Ask students to discuss their answers in pairs before looking at the first work sheet to check their answers.
  • Discuss any correct variations of tense usage that may occur - there are a number of verbs that can be conjugated correctly in more than one manner.
Tense Review - 1 - Tense Identification
Read the following short story and identify the tenses used. Each tense is used at least once.
simple present
present perfect
present continuous
present perfect continuous
simple past
past perfect
past continuous
past perfect continuous
simple future
future perfect
future continuous
future perfect continuous
future intention

John has always traveled a lot. In fact, he was only two years old when he first flew to the US. His mother is Italian and his father is American. John was born in France, but his parents had met in Cologne, Germany after they had been living there for five years. They met one day while John's father was reading a book in the library and his mother sat down beside him. Anyway, John travels a lot because his parents also travel a lot.

As a matter of fact, John is visiting his parents in France at the moment. He lives in New York now, but has been visiting his parents for the past few weeks. He really enjoys living in New York, but he also loves coming to visit his parents at least once a year.

This year he has flown over 50,000 miles for his job. He has been working for Jackson & Co. for almost two years now. He's pretty sure that he'll be working for them next year as well. His job requires a lot of travel. In fact, by the end of this year, he'll have traveled over 120,000 miles! His next journey will be to Australia. He really doesn't like going to Australia because it is so far. This time he is going to fly from Paris after a meeting with the company's French partner. He'll have been sitting for over 18 hours by the time he arrives!

John was talking with his parents earlier this evening when his girlfriend from New York telephoned to let him know that Jackson & Co. had decided to merge with a company in Australia. The two companies had been negotiating for the past month, so it really wasn't much of a surprise. Of course, this means that John will have to catch the next plane back to New York. He'll be meeting with his boss at this time tomorrow.

Tense Review - 2 - Tense Conjugation
Once you have finished, re-read the text and make sure that you have understood everything. The next step is to complete the story (the text is exactly the same) putting the verbs into the correct tense.

John ________________ (always/travel) a lot. In fact, he _____ (be) only two years old when he first _____ (fly) to the US. His mother ___ (be) Italian and his father ___ (be) American. John ___ (be) born in France, but his parents ________ (meet) in Cologne, Germany after they ________ (live) there for five years. They ______ (meet) one day while John's father __________ (read) a book in the library and his mother ________ (sit down) beside him. Anyway, John ________ (travel) a lot because his parents also __________ (travel) a lot.

As a matter of fact, John ____________ (visit) his parents in France at the moment. He _______ (live) in New York now, but ______________ (visit) his parents for the past few weeks. He really _______ (enjoy) living in New York, but he also _______ (love) coming to visit his parents at least once a year.

This year he ___________ (fly) over 50,000 miles for his job. He _______________ (work) for Jackson & Co. for almost two years now. He's pretty sure that he ____________ (work) for them next year as well. His job __________ (require) a lot of travel. In fact, by the end of this year, he ____________ (travel) over 120,000 miles! His next journey _______ (be) to Australia. He really ________ (not like) going to Australia because it is so far. This time he __________ (fly) from Paris after a meeting with the company's French partner. He _______________ (sit) for over 18 hours by the time he ________ (arrive)!

John _____________ (talk) with his parents earlier this evening when his girlfriend from New York _________ (telephone) to let him know that Jackson & Co. ___________ (decide) to merge with a company in Australia. The two companies ______________ (negotiate) for the past month, so it really _______ (not be) much of a surprise. Of course, this _______ (mean) that John _______ (have to catch) the next plane back to New York. He ______________ (meet) with his boss at this time tomorrow.

Tense Identification Work Sheet

Tense Conjugation Work Sheet

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