This give a particular form of verb endings it is sometimes called PAST TENSE

Note: common adverb

Last week, yesterday etc.


My brother got married last Friday

Last week they closed the school


This stage is about the preparation of the teacher before undertaking the lessons of the particular sub topic. These are all activities, procedures, materials, teaching aids, and games prepared by the teacher for teaching a sub topic:

Putting heads together: Introducing the topic/lesson properly. Organising how students will be able to get to know what is the topic/lesson about. It is where teacher makes sure that students are going to be in his/her train. It includes brainstorming and familiarisation of the topic/lesson with the students.

This makes students stay together with the teacher. It is at this stage students can understand what is going to be discussed in the particular topic.

In this sub topic/lesson; the teacher will start the sub topic with brainstorming with the students on the type of past events they will learn in this sub topic. The teacher will also explain to students the difference between activities and events. The difference between an activity and event is that activity is the daily undertaking while an event is the planned activity that only happens in a particular place and time. The teacher can also prepare some oral questions to guide the students understand the sub topic/lesson:

What is an activity?

What is an event?

What is the difference between going to the shamba and going to the birthday party?

Now, the students will understand that an activity is the daily task and it is not necessarily planned and an event is not the daily task and it needs to be planned.

Preparation of Materials. A teacher has to decide on the teaching/learning materials he/she is going to use.

In this sub topic/lesson, a teacher will have to prepare a variety of texts on past events especially those on account of various past events. The stories about what happened may be found on the internet sites, and newspapers. These texts or stories should be about the past events like birthday parties, send offs, football matches, entertainment concerts, graduation ceremonies, wedding ceremonies, or inauguration events.

Target Practice. Show them/Guide them to the practice of the functions of the sub topic. A teacher has to show or guide students to the target practice of the grammatical functions of the sub topic.

In this sub topic/lesson, teacher will guide students to practice narrating past events on how to write past events by using simple past tense and by using various forms:

Yesterday we went to Ashura’s birthday party.

Last week we went to Uncle’s Welcome party.

Yesterday I watched a football match.

The send-off party for my sister was very good.

My sister got married last month.

Last week they closed the school.

Yesterday there was a wedding ceremony.

The Minister of Education opened the Project

Students attended President’s Inauguration ceremony.

Our family attended the music concert.

Context-Based Practice. A teacher leads students to the discussion on how the target grammatical functions practised earlier can be applied or integrated into the contexts and situations. The students are guided by the teacher to apply the learnt skills in relevant contexts and situations like school and library.

In this sub topic/lesson, the teacher will use situations and contexts like school, home, stadium, market, town, conference hall, concerts, and street to help students learn more interactively in meaningful contexts and social settings in which various events occur.

Vocabulary Building Practice. At this time, teacher discusses with the students on the vocabularies and phrases to apply in the already mentioned contexts and situations.

In this sub topic/lesson: The most commonly applied vocabularies are: simple past tense verbs and the vocabularies about various events such conferences, stadiums, parties, graduations, ceremonies, etc.


Guide the students to the full sub topic/lesson procedures, activities and games for better understanding of the sub topic by following these activities:


Brainstorming. Brainstorming the sub topic/lesson through oral questions with answers, pair works, and group discussions of all important concepts to get students on track.

In this activity, the teacher brainstorms with students on the meaning of the terms activity and event as well as their similarities and differences. Also the teacher should brainstorm with the students on how these past events are narrated. The oral questions are also important in order to set the good mood and feeling of the sub topic or lesson as follows:

What is an activity?

What is an event?

What is the difference between going to the shamba and going to the birthday party?

Also the teacher can ask students to tell what they saw or experienced when they attended various events:

What happened at any birthday party you attended?

Have you ever attended a wedding ceremony?

When did you attend the graduation ceremony?

When was your last time to attend send-off party?

Have you ever attended inauguration party?

As the students explain these moments, they will be narrating the past events by using past tense.


Teacher’s Demonstration. Teacher’s application of his/models or examples so as to bring the topic/lesson and the students into the real or common sense of the topic/lesson.

In this activity, the teacher takes his time to demonstrate to students by expressing his/her past events to students using meaningful contexts. Here the students are expected to listen to the ways how a particular past event is narrated by the teacher. This teacher’s narration can be spoken by the teacher and later be written on the board for students to scrutinize the text more closely.

The Teacher’s Model

The following text is about what happened during one football event:

In our District, football Bonanza is conducted yearly. Last year’s Bonanza was very competitive. All teams were effectively prepared. Our Karema Football team was well prepared as well for this annual Bonanza. The team won all the matches and qualified to the Final. More exercises, cooperation, and commitment were the sources of that success. Our Sports teacher, encouraged the players to give everything they have for their team;

“This is our time to show who we are”, Sports teacher told the players. “We can win this game because we are always capable”, he added.

At the Final Day, the match between our team and Ikola Secondary School team was the most thrilling final of all the time. No team had scored a goal for the first 45 minutes. The two teams were very powerful and determined. The fans were cheering all the time. The Sports teacher and other teachers of both sides found no time to have their seats. They all stood up to do anything for their teams.

When the Second half of the game started, both teams played cautiously each trying to score the winning goal. Up to the 90th minute, no team had scored a single goal. The referee and other match official added 3 minutes of extra time. Again, these minutes never produced a goal.

Unexpectedly, everyone at the playground was stunned. There was a corner kick at our rivals. It’s when our team forward took that corner kick and it went straight to the net.

It was during the last seconds of the three added minutes. The players enjoyed the moments with their Sports teacher, other teachers and the students. Five seconds after the referee started the game; he blew his final whistle at last. Our team had won the Bonanza already! That’s how we won last year’s District Football Bonanza.


Students’ Demonstration. Showing students how models like that of a teacher can be applied by them. Here students need to be guided on how to use given expressions, structures, vocabulary, and phrases or similar ones.

In this activity, students have to be guided by the teacher to discuss their past events in groups. The teacher asks students to brainstorm about the particular past event of their choice. Since the beginning of this sub topic/lesson, they must have learned the kinds of events and how they are narrated or expressed.

In their groups, students have to write the event they have chosen by using proper past tense verb forms. Later in the Activity Four, after writing the particular past event, each group has to present before the class for others to listen and say something about their work by using guided questions from the teacher.

Note: The teacher should encourage the groups to write short texts of the past events just for the sake of learning and time limitation. Longer writing assignments can always be given last during after lesson assessments.


More Sub topic’s/Lesson’s Activities. Taking/leading students to the real situations or contexts where they can apply what they have mastered. Here speaking, reading or writing activities are involved.

In this activity, the teacher has to assign each group the task to narrate their written past events in class. After presentations, other groups can participate in asking the questions by using teacher’s set questions. In other words, each group should be assessed by other groups or students by checking if:

  1. It has used good English grammar.
  2. It has correctly applied past tense verb forms
  3. It has discussed the genuine past event


Winding up the topic/lesson. Here teachers summarise the topic/lesson by emphasizing the importance of the sub topic/lesson and suggesting other related aspects of the sub topic/lesson.

In this activity, the teacher has to sum up the lesson by encouraging students to learn how to express past events to others and encourage them to use appropriate past tense verb forms when talking about various past events in their life.


Past Tense

When talking about past activities, one has to consider and master Past Tense verb forms and all the Forms of Past tense.

Tense may be defined as a form of verb change that introduces the past. For example, the past tense verb forms of the verbs such as; eat, go, and ask can be changed to the past verb forms like ate, went, and asked respectively.

The Past tense is the tense that is always used to talk about events which have happened already. For example:

Mabula’s family moved to Tanga in 1999.

Last night, grandmother told us nice stories.

Students prepared school garden yesterday.

The common form of the past tense is formed by adding “-ed” to the end of the verb. However, some irregular verbs have their vowels changed when introducing the past activities.

For example:

We ate ugali with beans

We told the police what has happened

She came early in the morning.


Past tense has four (4) forms. They are:


A sentence in the Simple Past form describes an event that occurred in the past.

The Sentence structureSubject + verb in past form.

Positive Sentences. Sentence structure: Subject + verb in past form.

washed my clothes

She cooked ugali yesterday

They played football

Negative sentences. Sentence structure: Subject + did + not + base form of the verb.

did not wash my clothes

She did not cook ugali yesterday

They did not play football

  1. Interrogative sentences.Sentence structure:Did + subject + base form of verb.

Did I wash my clothes?

Did she cook ugali yesterday?

Did they play football?

Note: In interrogative and negative sentences, the verb retains the same base form and the past is introduced by the past form of the auxiliary verb ‘did’.


The past continuous statements and questions describe something that began in the past and continued to occur for a time before stopping.

Sentence structureSubject + verb to be in past form + verb in -ing form.

  1. Positive sentences.Sentence structure:Subject + verb to be in past form + verb in -ing form.

was washing my clothes

She was cooking ugali

They were playing football

Negative sentences.Sentence structure: Subject + verb to be in past form + not + -ing form.

was not washing my clothes

She was not cooking ugali

They were not playing football

Interrogative sentences. Sentence structure: Verb to be + subject + present participle form.

Was I washing my clothes?

Was she cooking ugali?

Were they playing football?


The sentences can also be expressed by using concessions like ‘when, while, since, and for’. Examples:

was washing clothes while Juma was watering flowers.

When we knocked the door, Asha was cooking food.


This kind of past tense applies to events and activities that began at a time preceding a period in the past. Sentence structureSubject + had + past participle. Examples;

Positive sentences. Sentence structure: Subject + had + past participle.

had washed my clothes

She had cooked ugali

They had played football

Negative sentences. Sentence structure: Subject + had + not + past participle.

had not washed my clothes

She had not cooked ugali

They had not played football

Interrogative sentences. Sentence structure: Had + Subject + past participle

Had I washed my clothes?

Had she cooked ugali?

Had they played football?


These sentence structures can also be expressed by using concession etc to form various sentences.

Had I known, had I finished.

Had they known, they could be late.


These are the sentences that have a past – tense sense. They are the sentences that describe counter factual events. Sentence structureFirst clause – Had + subject + past participle verb formSecond clause – Subject + would + have/has + past participle verb form.

Positive sentences. Sentence structure:

First clause – Had + subject + past participle verb form:

Second clause – Subject + would + have/has + past participle verb form. Examples:

Had I washed my clothes, I would have gone to watch football match.

Had she cooked ugali, she would have watched the movie.

Had they played football well, they would have won the match.

Had they agreed with us, they would have told us by now.

Negative sentences: Sentence structure: First clauseHad + Subject + not + past participle verb form. Examples:

Had I not washed my clothes, I would have gone to watch football match.

Had she not cooked ugali, she would have watched the movie.

Had they not played football well, they would have won the match.

Had they not agreed with us, they would have told us by now.

Interrogative sentences: Sentence structure: First clauseHad + Subject + past participle verb formSecond clauseWould + Subject + have/has + past participle verb form. Examples:

Had I washed my clothes, would I have gone to watch football match?

Had she cooked ugali, would she have watched the movie?

Had they played football well, would they have won the match?

Had they agreed with us, would they have told us by now?

The sentences can also be used with ‘When, while, since, and for’.


The sentences in this type of past tense form describe something that occurred in the past and continued to occur after the fact but in the present is no longer occurring.

Sentence structureSubject + had + been + present participle form (-ing).


Positive sentences.Sentence structure:Subject+ had+ been + -ing.

had been washing my clothes

She had been cooking ugali

They had been playing football

Negative sentences. Sentence structure: Subject + had + not + been + -ing.

had not been washing my clothes

She had not been cooking ugali

They had not been playing football

Interrogative sentences. Sentence structure: Had + subject + not+ been + -ing.

Had I not been washing my clothes?

Had she not been cooking ugali?

Had they not been playing football?


This is the kind of past tense sentence that describes an occurrence that once occurred continuously or repeatedly, but now they are no longer happening. Examples:

Positive sentences:

used to wash my clothes

She used to cook delicious ugali

They used to play fantastic football

They used to agree with us.

Negative sentences.


She didn’t use to cook delicious food.

They didn’t use to play fantastic football.

Interrogative sentences.


Did she use to cook delicious food?

Did they use to play fantastic football?


Don’t say: They used to disagree with us. Formal ×

Say: They didn’t use to agree with us. Informal √

Don’t say: Used they to agree with us?. Formal ×

Say: Did they use to agree with us?. Informal √


Ask students to think about the places they live. Are they quiet all the time? Obviously not.

Their home places are not quiet because there are always some events taking place somewhere. The teacher should ask students that the societies we live have plenty of events.

And when these events are gone, people tend to narrate or express them to others that are why they should learn how to express these past events in English language properly.


A teacher should design an evaluation for students by using appropriate assessment tools like oral questions or assignments so that to see if the student is able to narrate past events. The students should be able to write an account of events that happened in the past.


Assessment #01:

Group work.

In groups, write a short text on what happened in any special event of your choice. Present it to the class.

Assessment #02:

Pair works

In pairs, write the short dialogue story on what happened in any event of your choice. Make a conversation between two characters only.

Assessment #03:

Individual work.

Ask students to narrate what happened in the past focusing on the day they started Standard One in Primary School, or generally, narrate what interesting event happened during their whole Primary School years.

Other areas where events may happen are birthdays, weddings, graduations, rallies, public holidays, religious holidays, and demonstrations.

Expressing past activities

Tense is expressed by verbs. These verbs in the past tense be have with regular ending with-ed,-ed, and others behave with irregular ending. Example

See – saw,

get -got,


Adverbs that show past tense

  1. Yesterday – I saw him yesterday
  2. Last – we were at club last Friday
  3. Ago – they met two years ago
  4. Previous – she experienced this problem from the previous.

Such characteristics of irregular verb also apply to helping or modal verbs

Note: the past tense of the above modal helping verbs are common in conditional clauses that is if……… then…………..


Past perfect tense


Subject + had + verb in participle


I had seen several football games

I had done the job


Adjective: is a word that is used to describe a noun or a pronoun

General classification of Adjectives

(i) Adjectives of colour e.g. black, yellow, green, purple, orange, red

(ii) Adjectives of size and shape e.g. small, giant, round, etc

(iii) Adjectives of quantity e.g. many, few, little, much

(iv) Adjectives of age e.g. old, new, middle, young.

(v) Proper adjectives or adjectives of origin e.g. African, Kenyan, French

(vi) Adjective of use e.g. useful, useless


Where there is more than one adjective before a noun in a sentence, the order of adjectives is as follows:

(a) 1 st adjective – Describes the number (Quantity)

(b) 2 nd adjective – Describes the general size and shape

(c) 3 rd adjective – Describes age

(d) 4 th adjective – Describes colour

(e) 5 th adjective – Describes where it comes from (origin)

(f) 6 th adjective – Describes what is made up of

(g) 7 th adjective – Noun



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