We at ITTT have changed the lives of over 100,000 people around the globe who have graduated with our internationally accredited TEFL and TESOL courses. Move abroad, travel the world and change your life forever with ITTT - where the world is your classroom.
Below you can read feedback from an ITTT graduate regarding one section of their online TEFL certification course. Each of our online courses is broken down into concise units that focus on specific areas of English language teaching. This convenient, highly structured design means that you can quickly get to grips with each section before moving onto the next.
[VERB+ed] or irregular verbs
? You called Debbie.
? Did you call Debbie?
? You did not call Debbie.
USE 1 Completed Action in the Past
Use the Simple Past to express the idea that an action started and finished at a specific time in the past. Sometimes, the speaker may not actually mention the specific time, but they do have one specific time in mind.
? I saw a movie yesterday.
? I didn't see a play yesterday.
? Last year, I traveled to Japan.
? Last year, I didn't travel to Korea.
? Did you have dinner last night?
USE 2 A Series of Completed Actions
We use the Simple Past to list a series of completed actions in the past. These actions happen 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and so on.
? I finished work, walked to the beach, and found a nice place to swim.
? He arrived from the airport at 8:00, checked into the hotel at 9:00, and met the others at 10:00.
? Did you add flour, pour in the milk, and then add the eggs?
USE 3 Duration in Past
The Simple Past can be used with a duration which starts and stops in the past. A duration is a longer action often indicated by expressions such as: for two years, for five minutes, all day, all year, etc.
? I lived in Brazil for two years.
? Shauna studied Japanese for five years.
? They sat at the beach all day.
? They did not stay at the party the entire time.
USE 4 Habits in the Past
The Simple Past can also be used to describe a habit which stopped in the past. It can have the same meaning as \"used to.\" To make it clear that we are talking about a habit, we often add expressions such as: always, often, usually, never, when I was a child, when I was younger, etc.
? I studied French when I was a child.
? He played the violin.
? He didn't play the piano.
? Did you play a musical instrument when you were a kid?
[was/were + present participle]
? You were studying when she called.
? Were you studying when she called?
? You were not studying when she called.
USE 1 Interrupted Action in the Past
Use the Past Continuous to indicate that a longer action in the past was interrupted. The interruption is usually a shorter action in the Simple Past. Remember this can be a real interruption or just an interruption in time.
? I was watching TV when she called.
? When the phone rang, she was writing a letter.
? While we were having the picnic, it started to rain.
USE 2 Specific Time as an Interruption
In USE 1, described above, the Past Continuous is interrupted by a shorter action in the Simple Past. However, you can also use a specific time as an interruption.
? Last night at 6 PM, I was eating dinner.
? At midnight, we were still driving through the desert.
? Yesterday at this time, I was sitting at my desk at work.
In the Simple Past, a specific time is used to show when an action began or finished. In the Past Continuous, a specific time only interrupts the action.
? Last night at 6 PM, I ate dinner.
I started eating at 6 PM.
? Last night at 6 PM, I was eating dinner.
I started earlier; and at 6 PM, I was in the process of eating dinner.
USE 3 Parallel Actions
When you use the Past Continuous with two actions in the same sentence, it expresses the idea that both actions were happening at the same time. The actions are parallel.
? I was studying while he was making dinner.
? While Ellen was reading, Tim was watching television.
? Were you listening while he was talking?
While vs. When
Clauses are groups of words which have meaning, but are often not complete sentences. Some clauses begin with the word \"when\" such as \"when she called\" or \"when it bit me.\" Other clauses begin with \"while\" such as \"while she was sleeping\" and \"while he was surfing.\" When you talk about things in the past, \"when\" is most often followed by the verb tense Simple Past, whereas \"while\" is usually followed by Past Continuous. \"While\" expresses the idea of \"during that time.\" Study the examples below. They have similar meanings, but they emphasize different parts of the sentence.
? I was studying when she called.
? While I was studying, she called.
REMEMBER Non-Continuous Verbs / Mixed Verbs
It is important to remember that Non-Continuous Verbs cannot be used in any continuous tenses. Also, certain non-continuous meanings forMixed Verbs cannot be used in continuous tenses. Instead of using Past Continuous with these verbs, you must use Simple Past.
? Jane was being at my house when you arrived. Not Correct
? Jane was at my house when you arrived. Correct
The examples below show the placement for grammar adverbs such as: always, only, never, ever, still, just, etc.
? You were just studying when she called.
? Were you just studying when she called?
ACTIVE / PASSIVE
? The salesman was helping the customer when the thief came into the store. Active
? The customer was being helped by the salesman when the thief came into the store. Passive
[had + past participle]
? You had studied English before you moved to New York.
? Had you studied English before you moved to New York?
? You had not studied English before you moved to New York.
USE 1 Completed Action Before Something in the Past
The Past Perfect expresses the idea that something occurred before another action in the past. It can also show that something happened before a specific time in the past.
? I had never seen such a beautiful beach before I went to Kauai.
? I did not have any money because I had lost my wallet.
USE 2 Duration Before Something in the Past (Non-Continuous Verbs)
With Non-Continuous Verbs and some non-continuous uses of Mixed Verbs, we use the Past Perfect to show that something started in the past and continued up until another action in the past.
? We had had that car for ten years before it broke down.
? By the time Alex finished his studies, he had been in London for over eight years.
Unlike with the Present Perfect, it is possible to use specific time words or phrases with the Past Perfect. Although this is possible, it is usually not necessary.
? She had visited her Japanese relatives once in 1993 before she moved in with them in 1996.
Past Perfect Continuous
[had been + present participle]
? You had been waiting there for more than two hours when she finally arrived.
? Had you been waiting there for more than two hours when she finally arrived?
We use the Past Perfect Continuous to show that something started in the past and continued up until another time in the past. \"For five minutes\" and \"for two weeks\" are both durations which can be used with the Past Perfect Continuous. Notice that this is related to the Present Perfect Continuous; however, the duration does not continue until now, it stops before something else in the past.
? They had been talking for over an hour before Tony arrived.
? She had been working at that company for three years when it went out of business.
Using the Past Perfect Continuous before another action in the past is a good way to show cause and effect.
? Jason was tired because he had been jogging.
? Sam gained weight because he had been overeating.