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Past Tense Verb Form Practice


Fill the gaps in this letter with the appropriate form of the verb in parentheses, a preposition or another word. Most of the verbs are in a past tense as the letter speaks about vacation experiences in the past. Read the letter through once to make sure you have understood the general context of the letter, and then begin filling in the gaps. Be careful to pay attention to the various time relationships between the verbs.

Dear Jason,

Thank you so much for your recent letter. I really _____ (enjoy, read) about your holiday _____ Spain. It sounds _____ you _____ (have) a wonderful vacation. Let me tell you about our summer holiday in Greece!

The flight _____ Greece _____ (go) smoothly. However, we had some problems with the ferry in Athens! We _____ (book) a ferry crossing two weeks before we _____ (leave) and arrived at the port with our tickets in hand. _____, the ferry _____ (be) nowhere in sight! We rushed about the port _____ (try) to find the ferry, but no one _____ (ever hear) of the ferry lines! Finally, after we _____ (wait) for about four hours, a man _____ (tell) us that the ferry line _____ (change) owners and had a new name and kindly _____ (direct) us to the correct ferry. Well, we were pretty lucky as the ferry _____ (prepare) to depart that very moment! We hopped _____ board and _____ (drink) a beer to calm our nerves.

After that, the vacation really _____ (begin) to be fun. We arrived in Sifnos (one of the many marvelous Greek islands) and _____ (find) our apartment. The apartment _____ (be located) directly _____ the beach with a marvelous _____ of the sea. We _____ (stay) in a small village which _____ (have) about 200 inhabitants during the year, but _____ (swell) to over 2,000 _____ the summer holiday months. We _____ (spend) our days reading, swimming, napping and having a very relaxing time indeed. We also _____ (take) a number of long walks _____ the island.

I'll always remember one walk in particular: We _____ (wake up) early that morning so as to get an early start. I _____ (make) coffee when my brother-in-law, who _____ (join) us in Sifnos, _____ (burst) in saying, "Susan _____ (be) ill and we have to go to the doctor's". We _____ (get into) the car and, after a short journey up the road the nearest doctor's, Susan got the medicine she _____ (need). We _____ (return) to our apartment and Susan went to bed _____ the day. Daryn, my brother-in-law, and I _____ (decide) to go on our hike even _____ we _____ (lose) a few hours going to the doctor. By that time, the sun _____ (rise) high in the sky and we _____ (set off) in blistering heat. A slight breeze _____ (blow) so we really _____ (not notice) the heat. After we _____ (walk) for about an hour, the wind suddenly _____ (stop) and we found ourselves alone in the countryside without a drop of water. We decided we _____(keep) walking as we were sure to find somewhere to stop and have a drink and a rest. Unfortunately, as we later _____ (discover), the closest village was another five kilometers _____. We _____ (carry on) in the boiling sun_____ we finally reached the village. We _____ (go) into the nearest bar to have something to drink. It was then that I _____ (realize) that I _____ (leave) my wallet in the apartment _____ I _____ (rush) to get out the door and go on the hike! We were 15 kilometers _____ our apartment and _____ (hike) through 100 degree heat and _____ (not have) a dime (well, a drachma actually!) to buy ourselves something to drink! Luckily, the people of the island are really friendly, so we _____ (explain) our situation and the owner _____ (offer) us a Coke _____ the house. I don't think I _____ (ever enjoy) a drink so much in all my life.

The rest of the vacation was spent relaxing. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and _____ (already plan) our next vacation in Greece _____ two years time.

I hope you and Barbara are well. Write me soon.

Best wishes,


Check you answers on the following page.

Related Video
ESL: Past Tense for Beginners
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