I had a few responses to The English Tenses Exercise Book from readers who would like more material for beginners. My material is usually aimed at intermediate or advanced students, as they are who I most commonly teach, but I would be happy to produce some more beginners’ material, if I’m able! So below is a mixed tenses exercise comparing the simple and continuous tenses in the past and present.

Let me know what you think – if the level is good, and if similar exercises would be helpful! (I am considering the next exercise book.)

Mixed English Tenses Exercise – For Beginners

Put the verb in brackets in the correct simple or continuous tense, using the information provided. Remember: simple tenses are used for timeless actions (present) and complete actions (past) or states/conditions/senses (past or present), while continuous tenses are used for temporary/ongoing actions or to show duration.

For example:

  • I __________ the car when she called. (to wash)
  • I was washing the car when she called.

 

  1. We both __________ cats. (to like)
  2. My mum __________ outside now. (to wait)
  3. They __________ when we arrived. (to talk)
  4. Bob __________ boats for a living. (to build)
  5. Luna __________ in a café until June. (to work)
  6. She __________ a cake yesterday. (to eat)
  7. I __________ to the cinema now. (to go)
  8. Charlie __________ me chocolate for my birthday. (to give)
  9. He __________ for lunch last week. (to come)
  10. I __________ a chair but it is not finished yet. (to make)
  11. I __________ every morning. (to run)
  12. Tim and Olive __________ last night. (to dance)
  13. You __________ on my foot, please move. (to stand)
  14. They __________ for more tea but he did not hear them. (to ask)
  15. He __________ when I called earlier. (to cook)
  16. “Where is Jane?” – “She __________ a letter.” (to write)
  17. “How are you?” – “I __________ very good.” (to feel)
  18. “Did you pass your exam?” – “Yes, I __________.” (to pass)
  19. “What are you reading?” – “I __________ a book about pirates.” (to read)
  20. “Can I borrow your pen?” – “No, I __________ it.” (to use)

 

Answers

  1. We both like
  2. My mum is waiting outside now.
  3. They were talking when we arrived.
  4. Bob builds boats for a living.
  5. Luna worked in a café until June.
  6. She ate a cake yesterday.
  7. I am going to the cinema now.
  8. Charlie gave me chocolate for my birthday.
  9. He came for lunch last week.
  10. I am making a chair but it is not finished yet.
  11. I run every morning.
  12. Tim and Olive were dancing last night.
  13. You are standing on my foot, please move.
  14. They asked for more tea but he did not hear them.
  15. He was cooking when I called earlier.
  16. “Where is Jane?” – “She is writing a letter.”
  17. “How are you?” – “I feel very good.”
  18. “Did you pass your exam?” – “Yes, I passed.”
  19. “What are you reading?” – “I am reading book about pirates.”
  20. “Can I borrow your pen?” – “No, I am using

     

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