Past Perfect - ESL EFL Activities, Worksheets and Games
ESL EFL Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 25 Minutes
Here is an amusing speaking game to help students practice the past perfect tense. To begin, the class is separated into groups of three and each group is given a set of situation cards. The teacher demonstrates the game by asking one student to take a card and read it aloud, e.g. I slept in my car all night. The teacher then asks the other students to think of an explanation for the situation using the past perfect tense, e.g. I slept in my car all night, because I had broken down. After that, the students work in their groups and do the same with the rest of the cards. The group members take it in turns to pick up a card and read the sentence aloud. The other students in the group have to each come up with a different explanation for the situation using the past perfect. Students receive one point for each believable explanation they can come up with. The student with the highest number of points at the end of the game wins.
ESL EFL Writing Activity - Pre-intermediate - 35 Minutes
In this innovative teaching activity, students use 'I wish' and 'If only' + 'the past perfect' to express regrets about health problems. The students are told that they will hear different health problems. After they hear each problem, e.g. I've got a bad tooth, they write appropriate regrets using 'I wish and If only + the past perfect'. For example, I wish I hadn’t eaten so many sweets. If only I had gone to the dentist more often, etc. The students play in teams of three. The teacher reads out the first health problem and then sets a time limit of two minutes. The teams then start writing down their regrets using I wish and If only + the past perfect. After the two minutes are up, the teams swap their paper with another team for marking. Teams score one point for each appropriate regret using the past perfect. The scores are written on the board and then the next health problem is read out, and so on. The team with the highest score at the end of the game is the winner.
I wish.PDF Exclusive
Past Perfect Party
ESL EFL Writing Activity - Pre-intermediate - 30 Minutes
In this impressive teaching activity, students use the past perfect tense to describe events. Each student is given a copy of the worksheet. The students are told that they are going to write an email about a disastrous party, but first they have to match the problems with what had happened. After they have done that, they write an email about the party using the past simple tense to talk about the problems and the past perfect to explain what happened. When everyone has finished, the students read their emails to each other. Finally, the students write a reply, detailing disastrous events that happened to another person.
Past Perfect Party.PDF Exclusive
ESL EFL Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 25 Minutes
This enticing speaking activity teaches students to use the past perfect to ask and answer questions about their experiences of growing up. To start, each student is given a worksheet. Students match activities to pictures and then write the activity below each picture. Students then put a cross through one activity in each category. After that, the students are paired off. Students take it in turns to ask and answer questions using the past perfect to talk about their experiences of growing up. They do this by talking about the activities on their worksheet. When their partner asks about the activities that are crossed out, students lie about their experiences. When talking about experiences that are not crossed out, they tell the truth. Students have to ask follow-up questions to find out if their partner is telling the truth or lying.
Truth Seekers.PDF Exclusive
What had happened?
ESL EFL Reading, Writing, Matching and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 35 Minutes
In this pairwork activity, students complete and match sentence halves to make past perfect sentences. The students are divided into pairs and each pair is given a set of number cards. Each card contains the first part of a sentence. The students look at the beginning of each sentence and think about what had happened and how the sentence might be continued using the past perfect. Students do this orally or by writing their ideas on a piece of paper. Afterwards, the students give their ideas and the teacher checks their use of the past perfect. Each pair is then given a set of letter cards. Each card contains the second part of one of the sentences. Students complete the second half of each sentence with the past perfect and match it to one of the first halves. When everyone has finished, the correct answers are checked with the class.
What had happened.PDF Exclusive
Why did you say that?
ESL EFL Writing Activity - Pre-intermediate - 25 Minutes
For this teaching activity, students have to write appropriate explanations for different situations using the past perfect tense. All of the situations begin with the phrase: Why did you say...? E.g. Why did you say ‘I'm sorry’ to your friend? Students then write an explanation for saying this using the past perfect, e.g. I had forgotten her birthday. When all the explanations have been written down, students work with a partner. They take it in turns to read one of their explanations. Their partner tries to match it to the correct situation. Students are awarded one point for each correct match.
Fact or Fiction
ESL EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Intermediate - 40 Minutes
In this creative teaching activity, students use the past perfect tense to come up with realistic and imaginative explanations for different situations. Each pair of students is given a copy of the worksheet. The students use the past perfect to come up with explanations for the situations on their worksheet. They write two explanations for each situation - a realistic explanation (Fact) and an imaginative explanation (Fiction). When everyone has finished writing, the class votes for the most realistic explanations. The teacher reads out a situation from the worksheet and the pairs take it in turns to read their ‘Fact’ explanation to the class using the past perfect. The class then votes for the most realistic explanation and a point is awarded to the corresponding pair of students. When all the realistic explanations have been given, the students move onto their ‘Fiction’ explanations. The class votes for the most imaginative explanation each time. The pair with the highest number of points at the end is the winner.
Fact or Fiction.PDF Free
The Other Half
ESL EFL Writing and Matching Activity - Intermediate - 30 Minutes
In this teaching activity, students use the past perfect simple to write and match sentences. Each student is given a copy of the first worksheet. On the worksheet are 15 incomplete past perfect sentences. Students think about how the sentences might be continued. Then, they complete the sentences in their own way using the past perfect tense. Next, the students are divided into pairs (A and B) and given the second worksheet. Student A reads the first part of each sentence to Student B. Student B tries to find and then reads the other half of the sentence. When they both agree the two halves match, they mark it and move onto the next sentence. When everyone has finished, the answers are checked. Finally, the students check how many sentences were the same as what they wrote on the first worksheet.
The Other Half.PDF Free
ESL EFL Reading and Speaking Activity - Intermediate - 25 Minutes
In this group activity, students practice the past perfect by listening to puzzles and asking yes/no questions in order to work out the solutions. The students are divided into groups of four and each group is given a set of puzzles. The students take it in turns to read out a puzzle for the other members of the group to solve. The other group members ask yes/no questions to the student in order to work out the solution to the puzzle. When they have found the solution, another member of the group reads out a new puzzle and so on. This continues until all the puzzles have been solved.