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[1, p.134]

Narrative tenses Use the past simple to talk about consecutive actions in the past. We use the past simple for the main events in a story. Use the past continuous to describe a longer, continuous past action. This is often an action which was in progress when another action happened. Use the past perfect to talk about an action which happened before the specific time in the past when the main events of the story happened. Use the past perfect continuous to talk about a longer continuous action that was going on before the specific time in the past when the main events of the story happened.

v Underline the correct verb form.

Meg and Liam McGowan got/ were getting a nasty surprise when they had checked in/were checking in at Heathrow airport yesterday with their baby Shaun. They had won/won three free plane tickets to Rome in a competition and they were looking forward to their trip for months. But, unfortunately, they had been forgetting/ had forgotten to get a passport for their son and so Shaun couldn’t fly. Luckily they had arrived/were arriving very early for their flight so they still had time to do something about it. They had run/ run to the police station in the airport to apply for an emergency passport. Meg was going/went with Shaun to the photo machine while Liam had filled in/was filling in the forms. The passport was ready in an hour, so they hurried/were hurrying back to check-in and finally caught/had caught their flight.

Exercise 1. Work in pairs, make a dialogue about the book which you have recently read. Use the following tips:

Ø Focus on how the different tenses are used in the story.

Ø Focus on the regular and irregular verbs. Check you know how to pronounce them. Try to say them correctly when you retell the story.

Ø Remember to contract had to‘d when you use the past perfect (simple or continuous).


Exercise 2. From the list below, choose two true stories you could tell about yourself or someone else. Think about details.



a disastrous experience at a party a funny experience involving a pet/animal   missing an important occasion because seeing/taking part in a memorable sporting occasion of oversleeping/traffic problems   meeting a partner/ a friend in unusual being particularly lucky/unlucky recently circumstances

Exercise 3. Read an extract from the novel of M. Auezov Abai and translate the 3rd paragraph.

Abai Kunanbaev was the great poet and thinker of the Kazakh nation, the founder of the Kazakh literary language. His poetry, translations of works of Russian and West European authors, and philosophical reflections (words of edification) in their spirit, form and content marked a new stage in the history of Kazakh literature. Abai's name was included by the UNESCO Council in the list of outstanding people whose anniversary was celebrated by the world community in 1995.



Before crossing

He passed a sleepless night. It was only at dawn that Abai lay down, but feel­ing wide awake he soon returned to his desk, which was heaped with open books. Volumes in old Uzbek, a language he could freely read, jostled with others in Persian and Arabic, more difficult, and still others in Russian—even harder.

These polyglot friends had not got together on his table fortuitously. Life itself demanded of him the knowl­edge secreted in these folios. For several days Abai had been poring over them by day and night like an obsessed scholar or a devout recluse. Glancing up from the pages from time to time, he would look about, momentarily awaking to reality.

The Uzbek works carried Abai back to the flowering gardens of Shiraz; he saw the ancient tombs of Samar­kand, strolled through the orchards fringing the limpid waters of Merv and Mash-had, wandered through the fairy palaces, the madrasahs and the libraries of Herat, Ghazni and Baghdad, the land of the immortal poets. The books in Arabic and Persian conjured up scenes of the flashing scimitars with which the Arabs, Persians, Turks and Mongols settled scores in turn throughout the centuries. The Russian books disclosed the mysteries of the seas and sandy wastes of Central Asia, Persia, Arabia and the life of the great cities of barter and trade.

Abai wanted to know how these countries lived today. He made careful notes of the caravan routes and water­ways, of great cities and rich bazaars.


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