Spot the Mistakes 2 – A Short History of Piers

history of piers exerciseOne of the things Brighton is most famous for, and a common sight in any great English seaside resort, is piers. Following on from my brief tale of Walking on the Beach, then, the subject of piers is a good topic for our next spot the mistake reading exercise. Again, the passage below contains mistakes that focus on the rules of the English tenses and verb use. These are designed to be tricky!

In the following reading exercise, see if you can spot 15 mistakes relating to English tenses. To help you out, a number in brackets indicates how many mistakes are in each paragraph – otherwise, it’s up to you! The answers, with brief explanations where necessary, are shown below.

 

A Short History of Piers – Spot the Mistakes 2 (English Tenses)

A pier is a raised platform supported by many pillars. As the pillars are spacing apart, the tides and currents of seas and rivers could flow through them, making them safe in flowing water. (2)

A pier can be any structure on pillars, for example the base of a bridge, building or walkway. This means they have several uses, to include supporting bridges and docks for boats. In different parts of the world, piers treat differently. In Europe, and particularly the UK, piers are associated with the pleasure pier of the Victorian era. (2)

Pleasure piers are platforms primarily going to be used for leisure. They may have once been used for docking ships, and since be converted, or they may be purpose built for pleasure. Such piers were first built in Britain during the early 19th Century; with the first structures being the Ryde Pier (built in 1813/4), the Trinity Chain Pier (1821) and Brighton’s Chain Pier (1823). (2)

Increasing rail travel made it possible for larger numbers of tourists to be visiting seaside towns at this time. The sea were not always visible from dry land, due to changing tides, so piers were constructed to give pleasure-seekers the chance walk nearer the water. The world’s longest pleasure pier – in Southend-on-sea, Essex – stretches for 1.3 miles. (3)

Early pleasure piers were made of wood, though iron followed with the world’s oldest iron pier build in 1834 in Gravesend. The construction of the Margate Jetty, in 1855, started the use of iron in seaside piers. The pier has become a symbol of the British seaside holiday during the Victorian era, and by 1914 there were over 100 around the UK. (2)

Many piers are lost to bad weather, fires and other problems. In Brighton alone, only 1 out of 3 piers remained (the Palace Pier). However, with their various amusements on offer, and 55 piers still active on the UK coast, piers have become an icon of British culture that’s here staying. (3)

 

Answers to the Exercise

The mistakes are indicated in the text in bold below, with the correct answers following in brackets (with an explanation if necessary). How did you get on? Any questions, let me know! Enjoyed this exercise? Try the first reading exercise here.

 

A pier is a raised platform supported by many pillars. As the pillars are 1. spacing (spaced – passive present is appropriate here, which uses a past participle) apart, the tides and currents of seas and rivers 2. could (can – this sentence should be in present tense) flow through them, making them safe in flowing water. (2)

A pier can be any structure on pillars, for example the base of a bridge, building or walkway. This means they have several uses, 3. to include (including) supporting bridges and docks for boats. In different parts of the world, piers 4. treat (are treated – passive tense, as the active subject is not stated) differently. In Europe, and particularly the UK, piers are associated with the pleasure pier of the Victorian era. (2)

Pleasure piers are platforms primarily 5. going to be used (used – present simple is most appropriate) for leisure. They may have once been used for docking ships, and since 6. be (been – continuing the present perfect) converted, or they may be purpose built for pleasure. Such piers were first built in Britain during the early 19th Century; with the first structures being the Ryde Pier (built in 1813/4), the Trinity Chain Pier (1821) and Brighton’s Chain Pier (1823). (2)

Increasing rail travel made it possible for larger numbers of tourists 7. to be visiting (to visit) seaside towns at this time. The sea 8. were (was) not always visible from dry land, due to changing tides, so piers were constructed to give pleasure-seekers the chance 9. walk (to walk) nearer the water. The world’s longest pleasure pier – in Southend-on-sea, Essex – stretches for 1.3 miles. (3)

Early pleasure piers were made of wood, though iron followed with the world’s oldest iron pier 10. build (built) in 1834 in Gravesend. The construction of the Margate Jetty, in 1855, started the use of iron in seaside piers. The pier 11. has become (had become or became – this was a complete past action) a symbol of the British seaside holiday during the Victorian era, and by 1914 there were over 100 around the UK. (2)

Many piers 12. are (have been / were – past event) lost to bad weather, fires and other problems. In Brighton alone, only 1 out of 3 piers 13. remained (remains – it is still true now) (the Palace Pier). However, with their various amusements on offer, and 55 piers still active on the UK coast, piers have become an icon of British culture that’s here 14. staying (to stay). (3)

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