Here is a short video clip explaining how to use different past tenses when telling a story.

Useful time phrases:

* Last (year/summer/month/week) * Yesterday

* After an hour *One week ago

* After a few minutes •Fortunately / Unfortunately

* Suddenly/Out of the blue/ All of a sudden

* In the end / After(wards) / Finally

OPTIONAL: A link to a podcast about telling stories from Luke’s English Podcast . You can download the audio from the site. There are also practice activities to go with the story. Listen to it on the drive to work one day!

Luke’s podcast 29: Mystery Story

Now try this online exercise: Narrative quiz: a creepy story

Here are two short and funny clips from Desperate Housewives that use narrative past tenses.

Listen for the past simple, past perfect and the past continuous. Pay attention to how time words are used as well.

TO POP THE QUESTION = to ask someone to marry him/her


If you enjoyed these, go to LearnWithVideos YouTube site for more.


Click the link to do a narrative tenses quiz: NARR TENSES QUIZ

And lastly, a listening activity with past perfect practice quiz from British Council ESOL: One of those days


About Michele

Energetic and passionate English (EFL) teacher with more than ten years teaching experience.

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