Past Perfect

The past perfect tense is quite easy for students to understand.  Here are some oral activities for them to practise this tense with.

Past Perfect Circle

  1. Remind the students of the structure of the past perfect – HAD + THE PAST PARTICIPLE OF THE PRINCIPAL VERB.

  2. Remind the students when it is used – WHEN AN ACTION IN THE PAST HAPPENED BEFORE ANOTHER ACTION.

  3. Sit the students in a circle.  Tell them they are going to talk about their day backwards.

  4. The first student starts with the sentence – I went to bed.

  5. The second student repeats the first sentence starting with before and continuing with the past perfect – BEFORE I WENT TO BED I HAD HAD SUPPER.

  6. The next student repeats the above and adds what he did before having supper.

  7. Older students can be encouraged to use ALREADY.

  8. Students can be eliminated if they forget the order of the sentences or make a grammar error.

Exciting Experiences

Students need to use their imagination in this activity.

  1. Give the students cues such as BEFORE GOING TO SCHOOL/ VISITING A NEW COUNTRY.

  2. Tell them to think of things they had never done before – I HAD NEVER EATEN SNAILS BEFORE I WENT TO FRANCE.

  3. Students can be given points for the most imaginative experiences.