Exercise 1

Choose the correct option to complete the text below.

Many years ago I 1 to spend New Year's Eve with my family. I 2 new year with my parents but I had nowhere to go, and being with my family seemed preferable to being on my own.

When my parents 3  the door I could see they 4 , and that they were genuinely happy to see me. I 5 addicted to heroin for 10 years, and for them, seeing me was the confirmation that I wasn't dead in an alley. Unfortunately, I 6 nothing new or exciting to tell them, just the same sad old stories. I 7 from crappy job to crappy job, being invariably sacked, and I 8 to crime whenever I was out of money. Same old, same old.

During dinner, I 9 a few glassfuls of whisky. I 10 something to make ease the pain, because for the whole evening my sisters 11 at me with such contempt that it was unbearable. My own sisters 12 me. Then I had a moment of realisation; I 13 that they would never hate me as much as I hated myself.

When we finished dinner I 14 my glass. "I'm going into rehab," I said. My parents 15 at me with some kind of hope. Parents never lose hope. But my sisters just 16 down with disdain. They 17 perfectly well that I had been in rehab centres many times before, and that this time wouldn't be different.

But this time it was different. After that day, I 18 that look in my sisters' eyes every day, every time I 19 to shoot some heroin.  10 years later, on a New Year's Eve, I thanked my sisters because they 20  my life. They kissed me with their new look in their eyes, the look of love.  


 

 

Past simple

 
We use the past simple to talk about past events in chronological order; i.e. for the main events of a story.

  • When she opened the door, she pretended that we weren’t there and she went to her room. 
  • He called me and told me to go, but when I arrived he wasn’t there. 

We also use the past simple to talk about past habits or past states.

  • We often went to the bar for a drink before dinner.
  • He really liked sport, and was very fit.

 

Past continuous

 
We use the past continuous the set the scene in a story.

  • Last night I was walking home and listening to my ipod when …
  • The sun was shinning and lots of tourists were lying on the beach. Suddenly …

We use the past continuous for actions in progress in the past or longer actions interrupted by shorter actions in past simple.

  • After dinner I went into the living room and saw that she was crying
  • When she opened the door, we were talking about her. 

 

Past perfect simple

 
We use the past perfect simple to talk about an earlier past: events which happened before the main event.
 

Earlier single events

 
We use the past perfect simple to talk about earlier events and experiences, or single actions completed earlier in the past.

  • When she opened the door, he had already left.  
  • I realised that I had been there before. 
  • When I met her, I had never been in a serious relationship. 
  • He noticed I had cleaned the car. It was smooth and shiny. 

We use the past perfect simple (and not continuous) to say how much or how many we had done of something earlier in the past.

  • We had driven 500 miles and we needed some rest. 
  • How many hours had he slept when you woke him up?

 

Duration from earlier in the past (stative verbs)

 
We use the past perfect simple with stative verbs to talk about states or situations that had started earlier in the past. We often use how long, for or since, always, etc.

  • The day Anne died, they had been married for 48 years. 
  • The day I left, I had been in England for exactly 4 years. 
  • She told me she had always hated her sister. 

 

Past perfect continuous

 

Duration from earlier in the past (dynamic verbs)

 
We use the past perfect continuous with dynamic verbs to talk about longer continuous actions that started earlier in the past than the main events of the story.

  • I was very angry. I had been waiting for him in the cold, and he didn’t call to say he’d be late. 
  • We had been driving for less than an hour when the car broke down. 

 

Repeated actions from earlier in the past (dynamic verbs)

 
We use the past perfect continuous with dynamic verbs to talk about repeated actions from earlier in the past.

  • I couldn’t believe it. She had been writing a letter every day for over a year. 

 


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