Past Perfect Games, ESL Activities and Worksheets

Past Perfect Truth Seekers

ESL Past Perfect Game - Reading, Matching, Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 25 minutes

In this fun past perfect speaking activity, students play a true or false game where they ask and answer questions about their experiences of growing up. Students begin by matching an activity with one of the pictures on the worksheet and writing the activity under the picture. Students then put a cross through one activity in each category. Next, in pairs, students take it in turns to ask and answer past perfect questions about the activities in the pictures, e.g. 'Had you broken a bone by the time you were seven?' When a partner asks about the activities that are crossed out, the other student lies about their experiences. When talking about experiences that are not crossed out, the student tells the truth. Their partner then asks follow-up questions to help them find out if the student is telling the truth or lying. Their partner then guesses whether the student is lying or telling the truth and the answer is revealed. For each correct guess, students score a point. The student with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.
Past Perfect Truth Seekers Preview

Interactive Version - In this past perfect interactive breakout room activity, students play a true or false guessing game where they ask and answer present perfect questions about growing up.

 

What had happened?

ESL Past Perfect Game - Reading, Writing, Matching and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 35 minutes

In this entertaining past perfect game, students complete and match past simple sentences with explanations in the past perfect. In pairs, students look at incomplete past simple sentences on numbered cards and think about what had happened and how each sentence might be continued using the past perfect. Students do this orally or by writing their ideas on a piece of paper. Next, students play a past perfect matching card game by taking turns matching each past simple sentence with an explanation. Each time a student matches two cards together, they complete the gap with the verb in brackets in the past perfect tense and keep the two cards. Students score one point for each correctly matched and completed pair of cards. The student with the highest score in each pair wins the game.
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Why did you say that?

ESL Past Perfect Game - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate (A2) - 25 minutes

Here is a free past perfect game to use in class with your students. In the game, students write explanations for saying certain things and then try to match a partner's explanations to questions. First, students write explanations in the past perfect tense for saying the things shown on their worksheet, e.g. 'Why did you say 'I'm sorry' to your friend?' 'I had forgotten her birthday'. In pairs, students then take it in turns to read one of their explanations at random to their partner. Their partner has one chance to try to match the explanation to the right 'Why did you say...?' question. If a student makes a correct match, they score a point. This continues back and forth until all the past perfect explanations have been read out. The student with the most points at the end of the game wins.
Why did you say that? Preview
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Interactive Version - In this free interactive past perfect breakout room activity, pairs of students use the past perfect to write explanations for saying things. The students then play a guessing game, matching their partner's explanations to questions

 

Fact or Fiction?

ESL Past Perfect Game - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 40 minutes

In this free past perfect game, students write realistic and imaginative explanations for situations. In pairs, students write two explanations for each situation on their worksheet - a realistic explanation (Fact) and an imaginative explanation (Fiction). Next, read the first situation from the worksheet to the class, i.e. 'I walked into class, but I didn’t recognize anyone'. The pairs then take it in turns to read their ‘Fact’ explanation to the class using the past perfect, e.g. 'You had walked into the wrong class'. The class then votes for the most realistic explanation. The winning pair scores a point. The pairs then read out their 'Fiction' explanations, e.g. 'You had lost your memory'. Again, the class votes for the best one. This process continues with the second situation and so on. The pair with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.
Fact or Fiction Preview
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Interactive Version - In this free interactive past perfect worksheet, students do an exercise where they use the past perfect to write realistic and imaginative explanations for given situations.

 

Past Perfect and Past Simple

ESL Past Perfect and Past Simple Worksheet - Reading and Writing Exercises - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

This past perfect vs. past simple worksheet helps students learn and practice how to use the past perfect with the past simple and sequence words. Students start by completing sentences with the past perfect or past simple form of the verbs in brackets. Next, students rewrite sentence parts in the correct order. Students then move on to match past perfect and past simple sentence halves together. After that, students complete past perfect and past simple sentence halves with their own ideas. Finally, students answer questions using sequence words.
Past Perfect and Past Simple Worksheet Preview

Interactive Version - This past perfect and past simple interactive worksheet contains a range of exercises to help teach students how to use the past perfect with the past simple.

 

Past Perfect Explanations

ESL Past Perfect Game - Reading, Listening and Speaking Activity - Intermediate (B1) - 25 minutes

Here is an amusing past perfect game to play in class. Students take it in turns to pick up a situation card and read the sentence aloud to the rest of the group, e.g. 'I slept in my car all night'. The other students have to each come up with an explanation for the situation using the past perfect, e.g. 'I slept in my car all night because the car had broken down and I was miles from home'. Each explanation the students give must be different. Students score one point for each believable explanation they can come up with. The student with the most points at the end of the game wins.
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Past Perfect Party

ESL Past Simple and Past Perfect Worksheet - Reading and Writing Exercises - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

In this past simple and past perfect worksheet, students write emails describing a series of events. First, students read through a scenario about a disastrous party. The students then match problems that happened at the party with explanations of what happened. After the students have done that, they write an email about the party using the past simple to talk about the problems and the past perfect to explain what happened. Afterwards, students use the past simple and past perfect to write a reply to the email, detailing the unfortunate events that happened to someone else. Finally, the students read their completed emails to the class.
Past Perfect Party Preview

Interactive Version - In this past perfect interactive PDF, students do exercises where they write emails that describe a series of events using the past simple and past perfect.

 

Past Perfect Story Time

ESL Past Perfect Activity - Reading and Writing - Intermediate (B1) - 30 minutes

In this imaginative past perfect activity, students write short group stories in the past perfect. Each student takes a card and completes the first sentence of a story in the past perfect tense. Students then pass their cards to the student on their right who reads the first sentence and then continues the story by writing a second sentence. Afterwards, the student hands the story to the student on their right who writes the third sentence. The following student finishes the story with their fourth sentence. Each student then reads their past perfect story to the group. The activity is then repeated with the other four cards. After listening to all the stories, each group decides which one they like the best. Finally, each group reads out their best story to the class.
Past Perfect Story Time Preview
 

The Other Half

ESL Past Perfect Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Matching - Intermediate (B1) - 35 minutes

In this free past perfect activity, students complete and match sentences in the past perfect tense. To begin, students think about how the 14 sentences on the worksheet might be continued. The students then complete the sentences in the past perfect tense using their own ideas. In pairs, students then compare their sentences by reading them to each other. Students then move on to a matching activity. Students take it in turns to read a sentence half from their worksheet to their partner who listens and tries to find the other half of the sentence on their worksheet. Their partner then reads their answer. If both students agree the two halves match, they mark the matching number or letter next to the sentence. Finally, students check how many sentences were the same as what they wrote in the first activity.
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Past Perfect Puzzles

ESL Past Perfect Game - Reading, Listening and Speaking Activity - Upper-intermediate (B2) - 25 minutes

In this intriguing past perfect game, students listen to puzzles and ask yes/no questions in order to work out the solutions. In groups, students take it in turns to read out a puzzle for the other members of the group to solve. The group members ask yes/no questions to the student in order to work out the solution to the puzzle. The first student to solve the puzzle scores a point. The next student then takes a puzzle and reads it to the group and so on. The student with the most points at the end of the game wins.
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