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    Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #105899: Use of tenses : The worst enemy ? The best friend ? 2/2
    > Other English exercises on the same topics: Conditional and hypothesis | Past | Find the correct tense [Change theme]
    > Similar tests: - Past simple or present perfect - Past tenses - Conditional - Past simple (video) - Modal : may/might - Past simple or continuous - Placement test 1 - I wish, if only
    > Double-click on words you don't understand

    Use of tenses : The worst enemy ? The best friend ? 2/2


    When we left Joanna et Sue, Joanna's health was extremely bad and she had persuaded herself that she would die when the last leaf fell ...

    For long minutes, she had been staring at this last leaf, which was still holding on, and it had given her the energy and courage to fight for her life ...


    Remember, the tense used for narration is the   simple past .(To revise the way to build it, please, go to the first part of this story ; [105898] )

           ex : Sue stayed for days at Joanna's bedside. She worried a lot about her friend's health


        * As usual, if  two simultaneous past actions happened at the same time, then :

     the long (and important one) is in the -ing preterite and the short action interrupting it , is in the  simple past.

         ex: While she was staring at the leaf through the window, Joanna found the strength to fight for her life ...


        * If a past action happened  before an action in the simple past, it must be in the past perfect simple (or in the past perfect in -ing if we want to insist on the duration of the action ) :

                  had + verb in the past participe   or had + been + verb + ing  

    ex: When she had told the old model about Joanna's remark, he had found it stupid ! 


    *   If you have to use the simple future, remember that it doesn't get on well with the past ...  If you do need a simple future , (or a conditional ...),

        BEWARE !  after a temporal conjunction introduced by (after, before, when, while, once, as long as, as soon as, the simple future is impossible : it must be  replaced by the present (and the conditional by the preterite).

    ex : As soon as Joanna was cured, the two friends would go and paint the Bay of Naples.

         You'll have to use  the 'conditional' : would + verb

         ex : Joanna wouldn't like her friend to be worried about her health !

        *  You will need modal auxiliaries :  can => could   indicate a physical or intellectual capacity, and a permission (in informal language).

                                                            may=> might   express permission or an eventuality.

       must => have to  indicate either obligation, duty, or an almost-certainty.

      should   expresses advice or 'what would be good ...'

    ex: The doctor explained that Joanna could survive if she decided to !  She should wish to live ! 


         * Two constructions will have to be used :

         - to let somebody do something => Sue didn't want to let her friend die.

    Remember that : to let is followed by the verb (without to).

         - Less frequent, another expression may puzzle you : Try to remember it ...

    ex : There's no reason why Joanna should die, she's so young, strong and willing !

    ex : There's no reason why anyone should go out in such terrible weather !


    BEWARE of the sequence of tenses and the changes you'll have to make !

    You should be ready for the end of this beautiful story ... Give it the tenses it deserves !  Good luck !





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    My worst enemy ? My best friend ? (... continued)

    That night, before they put the blinds down, the young women that there were only two leaves left ... The storm was raging when they went to sleep. Sue often asked an old neighbour, 'an old failure of an artist', to pose for her pictures. for many, many years, but his paintings ... He of painting a masterpiece, some extraordinary painting him famous, rich and appreciated.
    When Sue told him about Joanna's decision together with the vine and explained Joanna's former desire to paint the Bay of Naples, the old man was outraged. 'How so stupid ? Why does she believe such stupid nonsense ?' he had exclaimed.
    When Sue opened the blinds after sleeping very little, there was only one leaf left, but, paradoxically, it gave Joanna more determination to cling to life just as the little fragile leaf was doing ... As Sue tried to give hope to her friend and cheer her up, Joanna realised that , she had been a bad girl and that like the small leaf ....
    Two days later, as Joanna's cheeks rosy again, and as her cough slowly subsided, staring at the clinging, unchanged leaf, she after all.
    A few days, later, Sue learnt that her old model of the Pneumonia outside on that terrible stormy night ...
    Joanna, was still looking at the last leaf clinging heroically to the branch. She started smiling ... From then on, the doctor gave Joanna six chances in ten to survive and said that totally ...
    A terrible and mean enemy, Pneumonia, her. Yet, her best friend, the old model, the utmost sacrifice for her ... and, doing so, he had created his masterpiece ... and saved Joanna too. A real hero !

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