Lesson 68 –  What Next? – Past Tenses

Curso de Inglés Gratuito B2




IN YOUR LANGUAGE (Top right > Select language > Click on the flags).


  • Had just passed his exams
  • Was struggling with
  • With the hope of
  • Bandwagon
  • Securing a job
  • A large company
  • His portfolio
  • Had been offered
  • A prominent company
  • Had been thinking about his future
  • Sit behind a desk
  • The rest of his career
  • A list of the options
  • That lay before him
  • He could complete
  • Job offers
  • See how he felt
  • At the end of it
  • To have a break
  • On the other hand
  • To pursue
  • A waste of his time
  • To go travelling
  • Where to go?
  • Afford to go anywhere
  • A little bit of work
  • On the road
  • Appealed to him
  • The remnants of the civilisations
  • Evidence of their civilisation
  • Still exists today
  • Had been reconstructed
  • He would also like to visit
  • Trying to learn
  • Appealed to
  • He was fascinated with
  • He could enjoy
  • He would love to see
  • Widely known
  • Still couldn’t decide
  • His best option
  • A mixed reception
  • Make or break time
  • Put his points across
  • Hoping that they
  • Discuss the options with objectivity


-What Next?-

Lesson 68 – What Next?

Peter had just passed his exams at University and was struggling with what next to do with his life. He was studying web design and development with the hope of jumping on the new media bandwagon and securing a job with a large company. He had designed several websites for some smaller companies already and his portfolio was impressive enough that he had been offered an internship with a prominent company. As exciting as the prospect was he had been thinking about his future for the past year and questioning whether he wanted to sit behind a desk for the rest of his career.

He had compiled a list of the options that lay before him. Firstly, of course, he could take the internship offer. He could complete the internship without committing to any job offers and see how he felt at the end of it. It would certainly give him more experience which would look great on his CV, even if he chose to have a break from the industry. On the other hand, if he decided he didn’t want to pursue web design as a career, the internship would have been a waste of his time and that of the company. He had to decide how much of a commitment it was for both parties.

Peter’s second option was to go travelling. Even this presented its own problem. Where to go? He could certainly afford to go anywhere. He had saved up a lot of money and could continue to do a little bit of work whilst he was “on the road”. South America had always appealed to him. He would like to visit the remnants of the civilisations that once lived there, like the Incas, who disappeared around the 17th Century. Evidence of their civilisation still exists today, namely in Machu Picchu, an estate built around 1450, that had been reconstructed and is now a world heritage site. He would also like to visit, El Castillo, the Mayan pyramid and The North Acropolis in Guatemala. He had been thinking of trying to learn Achi, one of the existing Maya languages so he could understand their writings and culture further.

Japan was a country that also appealed to Peter, he was fascinated with the culture. He was a fan of Anime and had even learnt some Japanese so that he could enjoy Anime films that had not been translated into English. He would love to see an actual Shinto temple and the Hōryū-ji which is widely known to be the oldest wooden architecture existing in the world.

Peter still couldn’t decide what he wanted to do. He felt his best option would be to talk about his options with his friends and family. He had mentioned his desires before and had been met with a mixed reception but it was make or break time. He had to sit down with everyone and put his points across clearly and concisely, hoping that they, namely his parents, would be able to discuss the options with objectivity.

Facts: The Rabinal Achí is a Maya theatrical play written in the K’iche’ language and performed annually on Saint Paul’s day on 25 January in Rabinal, Baja Verapaz, Guatemala.


Interactive Video Comprehension Quiz 1

Summary Statements Comprehension Quiz 2

Drag and Drop Quiz 3: 



The following table summarises the formation of the English past tenses:

Simple PastActions set in the past and that have finished.Permanent or repeated situations.didInfinitive without “to”. (Bare infinitive)We watched TV all day.I spoke English all summer.He always got up early.
Past ContinuousActions that occurred at a precise moment in time.Temporary situations.was/were-ing form(Present Participle)He was learning Chinese.They were practising their English.
Past PerfectActions that took place in the past before another completed action in the past. Or: lack of experience.hadPast Participle(-ed form or 3rd column of your irregular verbs list)had learned my poem well before going to class.He hadn’t practised his English much before moving to London
Past Perfect ContinuousTo emphasize a period of time before something in the past. Or: the cause of something in the past.had been-ing form(Present Participle)He had been thinking about it for weeks before he finally mentioned it.We hadn’t been studying English for weeks. That’s why we failed.
  • The past perfect can be used with the following expressions:
BeforeBecauseBy the timeAlwaysPreviously
  • The past perfect continuous can be used with the following expressions:




  • Related Pronunciation Video Lesson and interactive exercise(s):


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