Past Perfect Simple or Past Perfect Continuous

I’m sorry I left without you last night, but I told you to meet me early because the show started at 8:00. I ____________________ (try) to get tickets for that play for months, and I didn’t want to miss it. By the time I finally left the coffee shop where we were supposed to meet, I ____________________ (have) five cups of coffee and I ____________________ (wait) over an hour. I had to leave because I ____________________ (arrange) to meet Kathy in front of the theatre.

When I arrived at the theatre, Kathy ____________________ (pick, already) up the tickets and she was waiting for us near the entrance. She was really angry because she ____________________ (wait) for more than half an hour. She said she ____________________ (give, almost) up and ____________________ (go) into the theatre without us.

Kathy told me you ____________________ (be) late several times in the past and that she would not make plans with you again in the future. She mentioned that she ____________________ (miss) several plays because of your late arrivals. I think you owe her an apology. And in the future, I suggest you be on time!


Past Simple or Past Perfect

I can’t believe I _____________________ (get) that apartment. I _____________________ (submit) my application last week, but I didn’t think I had a chance of actually getting it. When I _____________________ (show) up to take a look around, there were at least twenty other people who _____________________ (arrive) before me. Most of them _____________________ (fill, already) out their applications and were already leaving. The landlord said I could still apply, so I did.


I _____________________ (try) to fill out the form, but I couldn’t answer half of the questions. They _____________________ (want) me to include references, but I didn’t want to list my previous landlord because I _____________________ (have) some problems with him in the past and I knew he wouldn’t recommend me. I _____________________ (end) up listing my father as a reference.


It was total luck that he_____________________ (decide) to give me the apartment. It turns out that the landlord and my father _____________________ (be) at high school together years before. I was really lucky!




Past Tenses 1

Past Simple or Past Continuous?

Complete the conversations with the Past Simple or the Past Continuous form of the verbs in brackets.


1. A Sorry I ____________________ (not meet) you at the railway station – I ____________________ (wait) at the bus station.

B That’s OK. I ____________________ (wait) for fifteen minutes then I____________________ (take) a taxi.


2. After I ____________________ (find) the wallet full of money, I ____________________ (go, immediately)to the police and (hand) ____________________ it in.


3. A She ____________________ (not seem) very happy this morning.

B She ____________________ (not be)! Someone ____________________ (phone) while she ____________________ (sleep).


4. The doctor ____________________ (said) that Tom ____________________ (be)too sick to go to work and that he ____________________ (need) to stay at home for a couple of days.


5. A ____________________ you ____________________ (watch) the football last night?

B Yes, I ____________________ (see) it while I ____________________(do) the ironing.


6. A What ____________________ (you, do) when the accident occurred?

B I ____________________ (try) to change a light bulb that had burnt out.


7. A ____________________ you____________________ (look) for me earlier?

B Yes, I ____________________ (want) to ask you something.


8. Sandy is in the living room watching television. At this time yesterday, she ____________________ (watch) television too. That’s all she ever does!


9. A I ____________________ (start) skiing while I_____________________ (live) in Austria last year.

B I____________________ (not know) you’d lived there.


10. When I ____________________ (walk) into the busy office, the secretary ____________________ (talk) on the phone with a customer, several clerks ____________________ (work, busily) at their desks, and two managers ____________________ (discuss) methods to improve customer service.


Past Simple or Past Perfect?

 Complete the sentences with the Past Simple or the Past Perfect forms of the verbs in brackets.


1. He ____________________ (buy) her a ring after he ____________________ (know) her for a week.


2. I ____________________ (not ring) him because I ____________________ (forgot) to take his number with me.


3. He ____________________ (arrived) too late. The concert ____________________ (already finish).


4. When I ____________________ (get) home, I ____________________ (remember) that I ____________________ (leave) the baby in the shop.


5. He ____________________ (not know) how the cat____________________(walk) 100 kilometres to its old home.


6. She only ____________________ (hear) about the interview three months after she ____________________ (apply) for the job.


7. When he first ____________________ (go) to Moscow he ____________________ (never travel) abroad before.


8. They ____________________ (not enjoy) the film because they ____________________ (see) it before.


9. That’s a surprise! I ____________________ (not know) you two ____________________ (already / meet).


10. They ____________________ (be) married for five years when they __________________ (have) their first child.