mixed tenses quizHere’s a very short quiz to practice specific understanding of all the tenses. In many situations, different tenses can be chosen to show different meaning (for instance, I went to the park, I am going to the park, I had been going to the park…). Sometimes, the context makes one or more tenses inappropriate – or impossible – to use. The following quiz practices tests this understanding.

A quick tenses quiz! – Mixed Tenses Exercise

The sentences below can be completed with the verbs in brackets. Which answer does NOT create a grammatically correct sentence?

  1. I ________ tennis every Tuesday this month. (to play)
  • a. play
  • b. am playing
  • c. have been playing
  • d. played
  1. He ________ home when the platypus attacked him. (to run)
  • a. was running
  • b. had been running
  • c. had run
  • d. has run
  1. That group of musicians ________ even when it rains. (to perform)
  • a. has performed
  • b. performs
  • c. is performing
  • d. will perform
  1. We ________ to this abandoned castle far too many times. (to go)
  • a. have been going
  • b. had gone
  • c. will have been going
  • d. were going
  1. For some reason, our dogs ________ at the politicians for hours. (to bark)
  • a. were barking
  • b. had barked
  • c. have been barking
  • d. bark




  1. play – The present simple is used for timeless actions or events, so cannot be used for a specific time like this week.
  1. has run – The time clause is in the past tense, so the main clause must also have occurred in the past. Though the present perfect demonstrates a completed past action or event, it needs to relate to a current action or event (now).
  1. has performed – Similar to (2.), as the past perfect refers to relates to a current time or event it cannot be tied to a time clause demonstrating repeated times, when it rains.
  1. will have been going – The future perfect continuous should demonstrate duration; here, too many times is a number of times, not a duration.
  1. bark – As the present simple shows a timeless action or event, it cannot be used to demonstrate duration, for hours.

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