Narrative Tenses

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This is a small reminder of the structure of the narrative tenses and their uses.

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Narrative Tenses : 

Narrative Tenses Prepared by Samantha Arias

What are narrative tenses? : 

What are narrative tenses? Narrative tenses are the tenses we use in a language to tell a story. They are all of the forms in past that a person can possibly use.

Simple Past : 

Simple Past Remember that there are phrases and helpers in your sentence that can help you identify the simple past tense. They are called Key Words. Key Words: Last ago in 1990 yesterday I woke up (1) at half past seven yesterday, I had a shower (2) and ate some breakfast (3). I left for work (4) at quarter past eight.

Past Continuous : 

Past Continuous When I saw her (1), she was wearing (2) a blue dress and was driving (2) a Mercedes. Key Words: When while

Present Perfect Simple : 

Present Perfect Simple Key Words: Already yet just still ever so far up to now Since for recently

Present Perfect Continuous : 

Present Perfect Continuous Key Words: All day the whole day Since for how long

Past Perfect Simple : 

Past Perfect Simple I woke up (1) at half past seven yesterday. I had slept very badly (2) because there had been a power cut (3) during the night. Key Words: Already just never by the time

Past Perfect Continuous : 

Past Perfect Continuous He looked very tired (1), he had been working very hard (2) over the past three weeks. Key Words: How long Since for

Practice : 

Practice Put the verb in brackets into the correct form in the gap AFTER the verb. Where no verb is given, put one of the following linking words into the gaps. While finally and although however as soon as but then before when The Unlucky Burglar One evening Paul (watch) ____________ the television ____________ (eat)____________ his supper ____________ the door suddenly (open) ____________ and a burglar (come) ____________ in. He (wear) ____________ a mask and (carry) ____________ a sack. ____________ doing anything else he (tie) ____________ Paul to the chair. ____________ he went upstairs to look for money. ____________ he (not find) ____________ any money he (find) ____________ a lot of jewelry, which he (put) ____________ into his sack. In his rush to get downstairs he (not see) ____________ the dog (lie) ____________ at the bottom of the stairs, and he (fall) ____________ over it, losing his glasses. ____________ the burglar (look for) ____________ them, Paul (try) ____________ to free himself. ____________ Paul (manage) ____________ to escape and he (phone) ____________ the police. ____________ the burglar (find) ____________ his glasses he (run) ____________ out of the house. ____________ unfortunately for him, the police (wait) ____________ for him at the end of the garden.

Expansion : 

Expansion Put the verb in brackets into the correct form. Where possible, use 'used to' and 'would'. Charles Dickens Charles Dickens ____________ (born) in 1812 in Portsmouth. The family ____________ (move) to London in 1823. When he was twelve he ____________ (work) in a blacking factory. He worked by a window facing the street and passersby ____________ (pause) and watch him at work. Everyday he ____________ (trudge) through the London streets from Camden Town to Southwark. His family ____________ (be) very poor. His mother ____________ (hope) to open a small school. While she ____________ (try) to do this, her husband ____________ (send) to prison for being £40 in debt. When Charles ____________ (be) twenty-four, his first work, sketches by Boz, ____________ (publish). This ____________ (follow) by Pickwick Papers with which he ____________ (achieve) financial security and popularity. For the rest of his life, work simply ____________ (pour) from his pen. He ____________ (die) of a stroke in 1870.

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