Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 15 – Grammar Skill – Past Simple, Continuous & Perfect

Welcome back to another podcast/blog on grammar!  Today I’m combining all three and putting it in bulk so you guys can do the exercises down below.  Here are the rules!

a. When I had gone to the store, I ran into one of my friends.

b. I went to the store and I bought some food for the Superbowl party.

c. While I was walking down the street, a woman asked me a question in regards to getting back to Bangkok.



  1. We use the ______to talk about actions that happened before another action in the past.
  2. We use the ______ to describe finished actions or situations in the past, or to say that one thing happened after another.
  3. We use the ______ to talk about activities in progress at moment in the past, to describe scenes in a story or description, or to talk about an activity in progress in the past that is interrupted by another action.

Additional Practice

Rewrite these sentences, first in the negative, form and then in question form. 

  1. He bought food.
  2. I was walking.
  3. She had gone to the store.


Complete the sentences with the past simple or past continuous form of these verbs: buy, catch, hear, look, ride, shine, snow, wait

  1. When I went for a run around 6:45 in the morning, the sun was __________________.
  2. I ___________ the 11:30am train to meet Frederick at the Opera House.
  3. When I got in line during the Black Friday sales, a lot of many were ______________ electronics.
  4. While I was ___________________ an elephant, I realized how unbelievable the sunset in Tanzania truly was.
  5. While I was _____________ in my bad, a lady swindled me.
  6. There was a massive delay heading into Hokkaido International Airport because it was ______________ pretty hard, reducing the visibility to 5 meters.
  7. As she was sitting on the chair, she _____________ her name called.
  8. She heard a loud bang when she was _____________ for the moped taxi to come, only to realize that it was the Tuk-Tuk driver’s exhaust pipe from across the road.

Task II

Write explanation in the past perfect.

  1. Example: Why was she crying? miss the plane

Because she had missed the plane.

2. Why couldn’t he find his car? somebody steal it

3. Why did they buy a new car?  have the old car for 5 years

4. Why were you scared of flying?  never fly before

5. Why was everything white in the morning? snow the night before

6. Why didn’t she pass her exam? not study much

7. Why didn’t she board the plane? lose passport

8. Why didn’t Shelia have any money? spend it

9. Why did you miss the bus? didn’t leave on time



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