Celta Language Task

Topics: Past tense Pages: 7 (1520 words) Published: February 3, 2012
Language Related Assignment
1. The plane leaves at 10.00 tomorrow
a) The form is present simple
Subject third person + verb present tense + time marker

b) A future arrangement – a ‘timetable future’ as the plane has a daily schedule and it will depart accordingly.

c) Students may be confused by the form of present simple when a future time is referred to. They may confuse the meaning with present continuous ‘is leaving’ which means the event is happening now rather than in the future. The pronunciation of ‘v’, may not be clear, as the stress is on the end with the ‘s’ leaves

d) Context - Planning a journey
Target models
The bus goes to Dewsbury from Leeds at 10.57.
It arrives in Dewsbury at 11.47
The bus stops at the dentists at 11.05

e) Has the journey taken place? No

Do you need to go anywhere? Yes to my dentist appointment
Have you planned your journey? Yes, for tomorrow
Do you know when you will go? Yes I looked at the bus timetable

2a. The students had left when the bell rang.
2b. The students left when the bell rang
2c.The students were leaving when the bell rang
a) Form
2a. Past perfect subject third person + had + past participle + when + past participle 2b. Past simple subject third person + verb past tense form + when + verb past tense form 2c. Past Continuous subject + third person + were/was + verb -ing form + when + past participle b) Function

2a. is a past action completed in a sequence of events, while 2b is a past event, and 2c then describes an event which began in the past and continues up to a particular point which could still be in progress. The difference between past perfect and past simple is that in the past perfect the students leave then hear the bell, for past simple the students left on hearing the bell ring, the past continuous is then used to say the students start to leave, the bell rings in the middle, and then the bell continues to ring and the students continue to leave.

Timeline for past perfect, past simple, and past continuous

Past perfect

The students had left
when the bell rang
i) .

First Second Finished
Present Simple

when the bell rang
The students left
ii) .
FirstSecond Finished

Past continuous
Bell rings

The students continue leaving


The students start to leave

First starts and second happens in the middle of the first then both actions occur together

b) Student difficulties
Students may not understand for each tense if the bell has been heard before the students leave. This means that the wrong meaning may be conveyed in each sentence. Students may not use had for the past perfect changing the meaning to the past simple. Students may use present continous instead of past continuous and then keep the past participle. e.g. Students are leaving when the bell rang. Students may not hear had or were as these words become schwa sounds with the intonation of the sentence. The emphasis is on when, and rang.

c) Target models Context School 3 Pupils attending class. 2a. The teacher had s when I got to class. (1st class)
2a The class had s when the bell rang. (1st class)
2a They had when I opened the door. (1st class)

2b The teacher to the class when I walked in (2nd...

Bibliography: Parrott, M, Grammar for English Language Teachers, Cambridge 2nd Ed. 2010
p218-229, p258-259
Murphy, R English Grammar in Use, Cambridge 2nd Ed. 1994, Units 13, 14, 15, 33, 34
Swan, M & Walter, C How English Works OUP, 2000 p158-159, p188-190
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