Time expressions are often the key to understanding and planning written work. Students can improve their written and spoken accuracy by having a good grasp of the relationship between time expressions and tenses. This lesson includes an identification and matching exercise and is followed by a longer sentence construction exercise to give students practice in correct sentence structure.
Aim: Increased awareness and/or review of relationship between time expressions and tenses
Activity: Identification and matching exercise, followed by sentence completion
Level: Intermediate to Upper Intermediate
- Write a number of time expressions on the board and ask students to identify which tenses can be used with the various time expressions.
- Shortly review the more difficult time expressions with the class.
- Distribute worksheet.
- Have students work together in small groups to complete the first exercise.
- Correct the exercise in class, making sure to review problem areas.
- Have students complete the written work by themselves.
- Ask students to exchange the exercise and check each other’s work – this helps students further inductively improve their skills by seeing how other students have used the time expressions.
- Finish with a follow up discussion of any problematic areas.
- Have students write an autobiography or biography of a famous person employing the time expressions employed in the lesson.
Matching and Identifying Time Expressions
Draw a line to the time expression with the sentence fragment. Complete by drawing a line to the correct tense identification.
|Sentence Fragment||Time Expression||Tense Used|
|John will have completed the fourth grade…We are studying Roman history…
They haven’t finished their homework…
Jack gets up early…
…I will give you a ring.
I began skiing…
…she was reading a book.
He had been waiting…
I used to play tennis every day…
Maria has been living in Pisa…
I will be sleeping…
We’ve been to Paris …
I’m going to visit Germany…
….she had already eaten dinner.
|…at the moment.As soon as I arrive,…
…when I was a child.
…for two hours when you arrived.
When I arrived,…
…three times this year.
…by next June.
at this time tomorrow.
When we arrived,…
…five years ago.
|future intentionpresent perfect continuous
future time clause
present perfect continuous
past perfect continuous
Complete the Sentences
- …when I was younger.
- …for many years.
- …this time next week.
- …at(on) weekends.
- After he finishes his homework,…
- By the time you receive this letter,…
- …three years ago.
- …this week.
- …since 1996.
- …while I was watching TV.
- …next year.
- …in June.