Language Test: TENSES

Watch the following piece of Once Upon a Time:

Write a paragraph (80-90 words) saying what has happened to the male character. Use a variety of tenses: simple past, past continuous, past perfect and conditional type 3.

The woman was returning from her workplace when she remembered she had forgotten her cellphone at work. Although she tried to convince herself she didn’t need it. She turned back and found the unconscious, iced body of the man at the side of the road. According to her and the doctors words, if the man had been found ten minutes later he would have been dead. Besides, if she hadn’t returned to look for her cellphone, she wouldn’t have been on the road at that time. Almost like a miracle.

Then look for an example of:

Simple Past: “About how you found me”
Past Continuous: “I was working late”
Past Perfect: “And on my drive home, I realised I’d left my phone at the office”
Conditional type 3: “The doctor said if I’d found the body ten minutes later it would have been too late”

Write a paragraph (summary) of 80- 90 words of the story The Escape. Answer the questions in a paragraph. Include a variety of tenses: simple past- past perfect- past continuous and present perfect.

 What is the story about? What are the main events in the story, and how are they related to each other?
 Are the main events of the story arranged chronologically, or are they arranged in another way?
What are the conflicts in the plot? Are they physical, intellectual, moral or emotional? Are they resolved? How are they resolved? Is the main conflict between good and evil sharply differentiated, or is it more subtle and complex?
 What is the climax of the story and at what point in the story does the climax occur?
What is the setting of the story?
Who is/are the main character(s) in the story? What does the main character look like?
 Describe the main character’s situation. Where does he/she live? Does he/she live alone or with others? What does the main character do for a living, or is he/she dependent on others for support?
 What are some of the chief characteristics (personality traits) of the character?
What point of view does the story use? Is the story told from a first-person perspective, in which the narrator is one of the characters in the story, and refers to himself or herself as “I”? Or is the story told from a third-person perspective, in which the narrator is not one of the characters in the story or may not participate in the
events of the story?
 Is it consistent in its use of this point of view? If shifts are made, are they justified?
 What are the advantages of the chosen point of view?

The story Gold Cadillac is about an African American family of four people living in Toledo, Ohio. The father bought, proudly, a 1950’s gold Cadillac and decided to take a trip down to Mississippi, at the south, where racism was stronger. However, he has a moral conflict with his wife as she though that buying the Cadillac had been a waste of money that was supposed to be for a new house. Furthermore, during the journey, the father is stopped and arrested regarding that he had stolen the Cadillac due to discrimination, leaving his daughters and wife in the car. When he got out of jail, they returned home and, now that he would be more heedful, with the approval of his wife. Nevertheless, he decided to exchange it for an older car, and use the money more rationally.

By: Anouk de Laferrere

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