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We can use the past continuous with think, hope and wonder to give a polite or uncertain meaning. I was thinking of having a party next week. I was hoping you would join us at the cafe tonight. I was wondering if you could help me. The first one is done for you. Only use the past perfect where this is absolutely necessary. I think about something else. Everything had gone wrong!

When Professor Mallory, the famous archaeologist, Mallory discover an ancient map showing the position of the city, although no European 4 ever go to the area before. In fact, most of Mallory's colleagues either 5 that the city 6 believe never exist or 7 that it 8 feel vanish long ago and 9 become simply a legend. According to the Professor, the builders of the city 10 hide it among the mountains in order to protect its immense riches. He 11 believe that the descendants of these ancient people 12 still keep themselves apart from the rest of mankind for the very same reasons.

So when we 13 set off on a cool May morning towards the distant mountains, each of us 14 look forward to exciting discoveries. For a week or more we 15 climb higher and higher, following the map, which Mallory 16 time to time. Then one afternoon, while we 17 top of a valley, we 18 19 whose clothes 20 study from rest at the notice that a rider on a horse wave at us from the other side of the valley. A rider shine like gold!

Use a participle clause. After collecting the parcel, Norman realized it was the wrong one. Before c Mark was parking his car when he noticed the wing-mirror was broken. While d Julia cleaned the house, but then she fell asleep on the sofa.

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After e Brian bought a new television, but first he checked all the prices. Before f Alan was skiing in Switzerland and met his old friend, Ken. While g Kate took two aspirins, and then she felt a lot better. After h Sheila went out for the evening, but first she washed her hair. Before Key p o i n t s 1 2 3 4 5 6 The past simple describes completed events in the past, such as the main events in a narrative. It can also describe habits and routines in the past. The past continuous is used for: a background description. The past continuous cannot be used to describe past routines and habits.

Participle clauses can introduce a clause giving the main event. The subjects of both clauses must be the same. The past perfect describes a past event which took place before another past event. If before or after is used, the past perfect is optional. The past perfect is not used for an event that happened a long time ago in the past. Used to only refers to past time, and has no present form.

Would can be used to describe habitual actions in the past, usually in writing. It does not make such a strong contrast with the present as used to. Compare: Jim would always make his mother a cup of tea after lunch. Jim used to drink tea, but now he prefers coffee. Would cannot be used to describe states. Sally used to be a dancer.

Explanations Recent events Present perfect simple The present perfect simple is used to describe recent events.

I've left my shopping bag behind. The event happened in the past, but there is a result in the present.

Listening B2, FCE Practice Plus 2 (2015), Test 1, Part 1

I've broken my arm, as you can see. No definite time is given for the event, but to emphasise the idea of recentness we can use just. I've just broken my watch. We can also describe events that have not happened. They are a series of actions in our life up to now.

I've been to France three times. It also refers to our life up to now. This is the first time I have eaten Japanese food.

First Certificate Language Practice

I ate at a Japanese restaurant on Saturday. If we think of a definite place for an event, this may suggest a definite time. I've lived in this house for five years. The present perfect simple can describe a habitual action in a period of time up to the present. I've never worn a tie to work, and I refuse to start now! I've been living in this house for five years.

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There is little difference in meaning between simple and continuous in this case, or with How long questions. The verbs wait, sit, lie, stay prefer the present perfect continuous. I've been waiting for ages. Present perfect simple or continuous? I've finished my homework! If we say how many or how much we use the simple form. A certain amount has been completed. I've written ten pages of my homework!


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We've been walking for hours! Let's have a rest.

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I've been digging the garden. That's why I'm so dirty! I've written my homework.