ESL Grammar Activity – The Past Tense
Past Tense 2
For regular verbs, forming the past tense is simply a matter of adding “ed” to the
root form of the verb. (The root form of the verb is the infinitive without the “to”.)
Example: Infinitive: to walk
Root form: walk
Past tense: walked.
Unfortunately, there are many verbs that are irregular in the past tense. The irregular forms can only be memorized.
Put the following sentences into the past tense:
Pick the answer you think is correct, then check your answer below.
1. The road went for two kilometers before it (to end)____________________.
a The road went for two kilometers before it ends.
b The road went for two kilometers before it will end.
c The road went for two kilometers before it ended.
2. We will (to go)____________________ toParis in the fall.
a We went toParis in the fall.
b We go toParis in the fall.
c We are going toParis in the fall.
3. We (to see)____________________ lots of tourists on the streets.
a We are seeing lots of tourists on the streets.
b We will see lots of tourists on the streets.
c We saw lots of tourists on the streets.
He (to say) ____________________ it is wrong.
a He said it is wrong.
b He is saying it is wrong.
c He had said it is wrong.
The road went for two kilometers before it ended.
We went toParis in the fall.
We saw lots of tourists on the streets.
He said it is wrong.
Alphonse the Human Cannonball – ESL Teaching Activity Handout
Here is the script for the video “Alphonse the Human Cannonball”. See if you can put in the correct past tense of the missing verbs. When you have finished you can see the correct version by clicking “Answers”. You can also view the video here
Bill was discouraged.
He had worked for a number of years in the construction industry, but then the boom (to end)__________________. No one was building. So Bill lost his job.
He (to go) __________________ all over the city, but it was always the same story. No one was hiring new employees.
One evening on the way home from his job hunting, he (to see) _____________ a carnival in town. “Maybe they’ll have a job for me there,” he thought.
He (to see)__________________ the manager.
The Manager (to say) __________________:
“Yes, I think we could use you. The pay’s not good, but we supply the uniform. Come tomorrow at 9 o’clock.”
At first, Bill was ashamed to tell his friends what he was doing. When he was asked, he just said: “I work for the carnival.”
He soon got to really like his job. He (to make) __________________ all the children laugh.
Bill (to be) __________________Chico the Clown.
One day the manager (to come) __________________ to Bill.
“What is it?” Bill (to ask) _________________.
“Alphonse, the Human Cannonball has taken off. Will you take his job? It’s more money, and you only have to do two shows a day, one at 4 and then again at 9.”
And so, Bill, who (to be) __________________Chico the Clown, (to become) __________________Alphonse, the Human Canon Ball.
Every day at 4 o’clock and at 9, Alphonse, the Human Canon Ball was shot from a canon.
The crowds (to love) __________________ him! People came from all around to see the Human Canon Ball.
The girls especially (to love) __________________ him!
Everything (to go) __________________ well for months, until one day…
” Boss, I can’t do this any more! It’s just too hard on me, being shot from a canon twice a day.”
” But Bill! Where will I find a man of your caliber?”