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LANGUAGE TEST: Test your tenses

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Spotlight - epaper ⋅ Ausgabe 5/2019 vom 10.04.2019

Jahrestage, Sportveranstaltungen und Festivals – im April ist in Großbritannien einiges geboten. VANESSA CLARK stellt typische Ereignisse vor und testet bei der Gelegenheit auch gleich Ihr Verständnis der englischen Zeiten.


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How confident are you using different verb tenses in English? In one of our recent language features, “Grammar made simple”, we presented an easy guide to the main tenses in English. Here, you can check what you remember — and at the same time, take a tour of England and find out about some interesting events being held there in April.

Present simple and present continuous
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Present simple and present continuous
Write the verbs in bold in the correct tense: present simple (It happens ) or present continuous (It is happening ).

A. Spring is here and the warm days ________(come) at last.
B. Every year, thousands of cuckoos ________(arrive) in Europe from Africa.
C. They ________(stay) for four months every summer, then ________(make) the long journey back to Africa.
D. They ________(not care) for their own eggs, but ________(leave) them in the nests of other birds.
E. The number of cuckoos in the UK ________(fall) to a dangerously low level.
F. This week, the first cuckoos ________(start) to arrive in England.
G. Local birdwatchers here in Yorkshire ________(wait) eagerly for the first bird to be heard in our area.
H. The people of Marsden ________(prepare) for this year’s Cuckoo Day Festival.
I. The Marsden cuckoo ________(have) its own Facebook account.

Shakespeare was born on23 April 1564. You know Shakespeare — England’s greatest poet and playwright, the author of both tragedies and comedies, that bloke who wroteHamlet , the “to-be-or-not-tobe” guy… We all know about Shakespeare, don’t we? Whether you’re a serious fan of Shakespeare, with a season ticket for the Royal Shakespeare Company, or you know nothing more than his name (it’s William, by the way), you can find out ten interesting facts about the great man by doing our next grammar exercise.

Past simple
Read the following “facts” about Shakespeare’s life. They are all in the past simple (He did it orHe didn’t do it ). Warning: all the statements are false! To make them true, change the verbs from positive to negative — or from negative to positive.

A. Shakespearestayed ________ in his home town of Stratford-upon-Avon all his life; hedidn’t move ________ to London.
B. Hestudied ________ at university.
C. Heinvented ________ all his famous stories. Hedidn’t copy ________ many of them from old books and plays.
D. He probablydidn’t act ________ in his own plays.
E. Queen Elizabeth I and King James Ididn’t give ________ him their royal support.
F. Hewrote ________ all his love poems to a woman. Many are dedicated to a “fair youth” — a handsome young man.
G. Shakespearespelled ________ his name “Shakespeare”. He signed his name with different spellings.
H. Hedidn’t become ________ rich anddidn’t buy ________ the second-largest house in Stratford.
I. When he died, heleft ________ his house and all his money to his wife. He famously left her his “second-best bed”.
J. Shakespearedidn’t die ________ on his 52nd birthday.

Present simple and present continuous
A. are coming
B. arrive
C. stay, make
D. don’t care, leave
E. is falling
F. are starting
G. are waiting
H. are preparing
I. has
Past simple
A. didn’t stay, moved
B. didn’t study
C. didn’t invent, copied
D. acted
E. gave
F. didn’t write
G. didn’t spell
H. became, bought
I. didn’t leave
J. died

Present perfect simple and past simple
Read these sentences about the event. Choose the correct tense for each verb: present perfect simple (They have done it ) or past simple (They did it ).

A. Many of the trespassershave been / were communists and theyhave sung / sang “The Red Flag” during the protest.
B. A large number of policehave attended / attended the event.
C. Several walkershave been arrested / were arrested andhave gone / went to prison.
D. All the original trespassershave now died / died now , but their actionshave not been forgotten / were not forgotten .
E. The Mass Trespass is one of the most successful examples of direct action that wehave ever seen / ever saw in Britain.
F. Eighty-seven yearshave passed / passed since then and many positive changeshappened / have happened .
G. The Trespasshas resulted / resulted in the establishment of a new law in 1949, whichhas led / led to the creation of Britain’s national parks.
H. Ten national parkshave been created / were created since 1949.
I. Folk singer Ewan MacCollhas taken part / took part in the Mass Trespass and ithas inspired / inspired his song “The Manchester Rambler”.

This year, the 38th London Marathon will take place on Sunday,28 April . Its course is largely flat and centres round the River Thames, passing many of the city’s iconic landmarks.

The London Marathon is an elite sporting event, usually dominated by athletes from Kenya and Ethiopia. But it also includes around 30,000 amateur runners.

There is a wheelchair race, too. Over a million athletes have taken part since the first event, which was held in 1981.

The marathon is a charity event. The runners raise so much money for charities every year that it is the biggest annual fundraising event in the world.

Athletes are in good hands. Some 150 doctors and 1,500 first-aiders take care of the runners during the event.

Present perfect simple and present perfect continuous
Complete the sentences below with the correct tense of the verbs in brackets: present perfect simple (He has done it ) or present perfect continuous (He has been doing it ).

A. The Kenyan runner Eliud Kipchoge is hoping to win in London again this year. He ______(already win) the event three times before.
B. Sir Mo Farah ______(announce) that he will be taking part, too.
C. Farah ______(compete) in marathons only since 2016, when he changed over from middle-distance running, but he ______(already break) the British record.
D. A British athlete ______(not win) in London since Paula Radcliffe in 2005.
E. A group of 14 runners _____(complete) every one of the London Marathons since 1981. They call themselves the “Ever Presents”.
F. Together, the London Marathon runners ______(raise) over £500 million since 1981.
G. Many of the amateur runners ______(never run) such a long distance before.
H. We asked one of them: “How long ______(you train) for this event?”
I. She told us: “I ______(run) for only about six months, but I can’t wait for London!”
J. If you want to register, sorry, but it’s too late! All the places ______(already go) .

Present perfect simple and past simple
A. were, sang
B. attended
C. were arrested, went
D. have now died, have not been forgotten
E. have ever seen
F. have passed, have happened
G. resulted, led
H. have been created
I. took part, inspired
Present perfect simple and present perfect continuous
A. has already won
B. has announced
C. has been competing, has already broken
D. has not won
E. have/has completed
F. have raised
G. have never run
H. have you been training
I. have been running
J. have already gone

Past simple, past continuous and past perfect
Read these stories of April fool’s tricks. Write each verb in the correct tense: past simple (They did it ), past continuous (They were doing it ) or past perfect (They had done it ). Tip: each of the three tenses is used in every story.

A. On 1 April 1957, the BBC TV news reported on the spaghetti harvest. They showed scenes from the spaghetti fields in Switzerland. Farmers _____(pull) great quantities of spaghetti off trees. They explained that the harvest _____(be) bad the previous year, but 1957 was a record year. Some viewers _____(contact) the BBC to ask how to grow their own spaghetti! The answer was: put a piece of pasta in a tin of tomatoes and wait.

B. On 1 April 1962, TV viewers in Sweden _____(enjoy) their usual evening of TV shows when an expert came on and announced that he _____(invent) a technique to turn a black-and-white television into a colour one. He _____(tell) viewers to put a pair of tights or stockings over the set. Many Swedes say they remember their parents (in most cases, their fathers) trying it.

C. In April 2017, a British TV channel _____(announce) that it was making a new reality TV show and _____(look) for contestants. The year before, the same channel _____(have) a massive hit with the dating showLove Island . The new show,Chastity Island , would show couples not having sex. Now, that really is unbelievable!

The Grand National is the UK’s favourite horse race and the ultimate challenge in jump racing. It requires talent, strength, determination and courage — of the horses and the riders. The 172nd race took place at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, on Saturday,6 April .

The fences on the four-and-a-half-mile course are dangerously high and difficult to jump. The most famous is Becher’s Brook, which one jockey said was “like falling off the edge of the world”. With horses and riders falling at each fence — and falling over each other — the race often produces a surprise winner. It’s a massive sporting challenge and a dramatic event to watch.

Future tenses: present continuous, “going to” and “will”
Read these comments about the Grand National. They are all looking to the future. For each one, choose the correct verb form: present continuous (I’m doing it ), “going to” (I’m going to do it ) or “will” (I’ll do it ).

A. We predict that the Grand Nationalis attracting / will attract a global TV audience of 600 million people this year.
B. Whois winning / will win on Saturday?
C. My friends and I have made plans to watch the Grand National together. Weare going to watch / will watch it on the TV screen in the pub.
D. How many horses and jockeysare finishing / will finish the course, do you think?
E. We’ve got tickets for Aintree and we’ve booked our train seats, so we’re ready to go! Weare getting / will get the 8.15 from Birmingham tomorrow.
F. The lucky owner of the winning horseis receiving / will receive over £500,000 in prize money.
G. If my husband can’t watch the National live, heis recording / will record it to watch it later.
H. Bookmakers predict that the British publicare betting / will bet over £250 million on the Grand National this year.
I. If any horses are killed during the race, animal protestersare being / will be angry.

We hope you found these exercises useful. If you came through them all with near-perfect scores, congratulations! If you had problems with a particular tense, you can refer back to our language feature “Grammar made simple” in issue 2/19 (pages 40–46). It is available to subscribers in our download archive atwww.spotlight-verlag.de/digitalarchiv

Past simple, past continuous and past perfect
A. were pulling, had been, contacted
B. were enjoying, had invented, told
C. announced, was looking, had had
Future tenses: present continuous, “going to” and “will”
A. will attract
B. will win
C. are going to watch
D. will finish
E. are getting
F. will receive
G. will record
H. will bet
I. will be

Fotos: Kittima05; Mophart Creation/Shutterstock.com

Fotos: Kittima05; Mophart Creation/Shutterstock.com

Fotos: Kittima05, Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock.com

Fotos: Kittima05, Artur Balytskyi/Shutterstock.com