Past tenses exercise: choose from past simple and perfect tenses

mixed past tenses exercise

Complete the following sentences choosing between the past simple and past perfect tenses, using the verb that is given. Explained in my previous article, you should use past simple for an action or event that was complete before another event in the past, and past perfect for an action or event that happened before another event, or to show that an action was actively done.

Comparing past simple and past perfect exercise

  1. We _____ dinner in the park. (had)
  2. He _____ to the church before. (be)
  3. He _____ scared of spiders. (be)
  4. I _____ the film at the weekend, so I did not want to see it again. (see)
  5. You _____ the exam with excellent marks. (pass)
  6. They _____ down the wrong road when they visited the farm. (walk)
  7. She _____ after she _____ a large dinner. (sleep / eat)
  8. I _____ the trophy because I _____ hard. (win / practise)
  9. My hands _____ because of the cold weather. (hurt)
  10. The play _____ and we left the theatre. (finish)
  11. The dogs _____ all night. (bark)
  12. The game _____ but the fans did not leave. (finish)
  13. I _____ too much cake before dinner. (eat)
  14. She _____ frightened of clowns before she met the friendly mime. (be)
  15. The cats _____ so much in the night that I was exhausted in the morning. (howl)
  16. We _____ the book fourteen times already. (read)
  17. I _____ because the train smelt of rotten food. (complain)
  18. The madman _____ twenty people, so I did not want to make him angry. (kill)
  19. There was no one in the office: they _____ early. (left)
  20. She did well because she _____ every topic in the exam just before it began. (revise)

 

 

Past Tenses Exercise Answers

  1. We had dinner in the park.
  2. He had been to the church before.
  3. He was scared of spiders.
  4. I had seen the film at the weekend, so I did not want to see it again.
  5. You passed the exam with excellent marks.
  6. They walked down the wrong road when they visited the farm.
  7. She slept after she had eaten a large dinner.
  8. I won the trophy because I had practised hard.
  9. My hands hurt because of the cold weather.
  10. The play finished and we left the theatre.
  11. The dogs barked all night.
  12. The game had finished but the fans did not leave.
  13. I had eaten too much cake before dinner.
  14. She had been frightened of clowns before she met the friendly mime.
  15. The cats had howled so much in the night that I was exhausted in the morning.
  16. We had read the book fourteen times already.
  17. I complained because the train smelt of rotten food.
  18. The madman had killed twenty people, so I did not want to make him angry.
  19. There was no one in the office: they had left early.
  20. She did well because she had revised every topic in the exam just before it began.

 

If you have any questions about why these sentences should be past simple or past perfect, please ask in the comments below. Some of them are tricky, and could use either the simple or perfect tense, so do check the details!

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  1. Pingback: myCAELab » Past Perfect or Past Simple?

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