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Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #107876: Surprise ...Surprise!... 1/2
Surprise ...Surprise!... 1/2
Well well ... I haven't been telling you a story for long ... and I miss it ! Are you ready ?
Remember, the tense of narration is still the simple past .
ex: Congressman Quinn, who lived in Washington DC, was a very well-known and respected man.
the long (and important one) is in the -ing preterite and the short action interrupting it , is in the simple past.
ex: The Congressman was reading an important file when his phone rang.
* 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 participle or had + been + verb + ing
ex: Quinn had been working for hours when he felt someone was in his study, behind him.
* If you have to use the simple future, remember that it doesn't get on well with the past
Rather use the 'conditional' => would + verb
ex: It was sure that when Quinn finished working on that file that night, he'd(would) have a rest.
* If you need to use a modal auxiliary : can => could and may=> might and must => have to
ex: Quinn can't understand why he has so much work to do just now ...
* Some easy constructions will be very useful to you :
- to let somebody do something => Remember that to let is followed by the infinitive without to.
ex: Quinn won't let his opponents spoil his life!
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