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Verbs - Past Tense (Was, Were)
When writing, it is important to get the tense correct.

Verbs - Past Tense (Was, Were)

This quiz introduces KS1 children to ‘was’ and ‘were’ and explains that they change ‘is’ and ‘are’ into the past tense. The National Curriculum states that Year 2 pupils should write in either the past or present tense continuously. This quiz will help children achieve that target. Knowing when to use past tense will improve their literacy and English writing no end!

When we write that a person or thing ‘is’ doing something – it means it's happening now. To change it to the past tense we replace the word ‘is’ to ‘was’. This is the same for ‘are’ and ‘were’. Test your knowledge on past tense, focusing on ‘was’ and ‘were’:

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1.
Which sentence is written in the past tense?
He is soaking his feet.
He was soaking his feet.
He is soaking his feet, right now!
He were soaking his feet.
The answer is 'was' because there is only one bird in the picture. If there were two birds, we would write 'They were'.
2.
Choose the correct sentence:
The cat asleep.
The cat is asleep.
The cat were asleep.
The cat are asleep.
Because there is only one cat, we would say either 'is' or 'was'.
3.
Choose the correct sentence:
The apples are red.
The apples is red.
The apples was red.
The apples red.
Because there is more than one apple, we can only chose from 'are' or 'were'.
4.
'The dogs were barking.' Which word tells us this is written in past tense?
the
dogs
were
barking
We write 'are' or 'were' when there is more than one person or thing.
5.
'They are eating all my food.' Which word tells us we are writing in the present tense?
are
eating
all
my
To change this to the past tense, we would write: 'They were eating all my food.'
6.
Choose the correct sentence:
The horses is galloping.
The horses was galloping.
The horses galloping.
The horses were galloping.
Because of the word 'were,' we know they are no longer galloping.
7.
Which sentence is written in the present tense?
They was dancing in the water.
They is dancing in the water.
They are dancing in the water.
They were dancing in the water.
If there was only one dolphin, we wouldn't write 'they' as that would suggest there is more than one. Instead, we would write 'he,' 'she' or 'it'.
8.
'He was fast asleep.' Which word tells us this is written in past tense?
fast
was
he
asleep
We use 'is' or 'was' when we are writing about one person or thing.
9.
'He is playing with the ball.' Which word tells us we are writing in the present tense?
playing
is
with
he
If he played with the ball yesterday, we would say: 'He was playing with the ball.'
10.
Choose the correct sentence:
The mouse was hunting for food.
The mouse were hunting for food.
The mouse are hunting for food.
The mouse hunting was for food.
The word 'was' tells us the mouse is no longer hunting.
Author:  Finola Waller

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