The past continuous is one of the tenses used to tell stories as it helps describe actions and events happening at the same time in the past. And “used to” is interesting because it is used to compare the past and present.
The past tense form “used to” is quite interesting as it it is used to compare the past and present. Consequently, it can form the basis of of pretty interesting listening/speaking activities and discussions.
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This is a gap fill conversation and listening/speaking exercise about childhood featuring “use to/used to” to help English language students talk about the past.
This is a question and answer and listening/speaking worksheet to help students understand how to use the past continuous tense. The pictures are story pictures with two actions happening at the same time. Students can listen and answer the questions while hopefully using the correct grammar.
This is a past continuous complete-the-sentence or sentence starter exercise to help students practice communicating about past events with their own ideas.
This is really only for quite advanced students as the grammar is quite heavy. But being able to talk about regrets is very useful.
This exercise is to help students practice the grammar used in the exercise above.
I had to teach “used to” for the first time in ages and I remembered a cool speaking activity I got from a series of photocopiable books of communicative activities we used in the 1990’s. Astonishingly, I still have this set of books right next to my computer. I found the activity and adapted it into the speaking activity below. And it worked just as well as I remembered it. There is some kind of chemistry about talking about the past and present which is really engaging and fun. Uncorrected student’s answers are attached as an example.
This is another exercise in which students can use the timelines about a person’s life, comparing their life at different ages.