KS1 English Quiz - Verbs - Past Tense (Was, Were) (Questions)

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’:

To see a larger image, click on the picture.

1. 'He is playing with the ball.' Which word tells us we are writing in the present tense?
[ ] playing
[ ] is
[ ] with
[ ] he
2. 'They are eating all my food.' Which word tells us we are writing in the present tense?
[ ] are
[ ] eating
[ ] all
[ ] my
3. 'He was fast asleep.' Which word tells us this is written in past tense?
[ ] fast
[ ] was
[ ] he
[ ] asleep
4. 'The dogs were barking.' Which word tells us this is written in past tense?
[ ] the
[ ] dogs
[ ] were
[ ] barking
5. Choose the correct sentence:
[ ] The cat asleep.
[ ] The cat is asleep.
[ ] The cat were asleep.
[ ] The cat are asleep.
6. Choose the correct sentence:
[ ] The apples are red.
[ ] The apples is red.
[ ] The apples was red.
[ ] The apples red.
7. Choose the correct sentence:
[ ] The horses is galloping.
[ ] The horses was galloping.
[ ] The horses galloping.
[ ] The horses were galloping.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
KS1 English Quiz - Verbs - Past Tense (Was, Were) (Answers)
1. 'He is playing with the ball.' Which word tells us we are writing in the present tense?
[ ] playing
[x] is
[ ] with
[ ] he
If he played with the ball yesterday, we would say: 'He was playing with the ball.'
2. 'They are eating all my food.' Which word tells us we are writing in the present tense?
[x] are
[ ] eating
[ ] all
[ ] my
To change this to the past tense, we would write: 'They were eating all my food.'
3. 'He was fast asleep.' Which word tells us this is written in past tense?
[ ] fast
[x] was
[ ] he
[ ] asleep
We use 'is' or 'was' when we are writing about one person or thing.
4. 'The dogs were barking.' Which word tells us this is written in past tense?
[ ] the
[ ] dogs
[x] were
[ ] barking
We write 'are' or 'were' when there is more than one person or thing.
5. Choose the correct sentence:
[ ] The cat asleep.
[x] 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'.
6. Choose the correct sentence:
[x] 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'.
7. Choose the correct sentence:
[ ] The horses is galloping.
[ ] The horses was galloping.
[ ] The horses galloping.
[x] The horses were galloping.
Because of the word 'were,' we know they are no longer galloping.
8. Choose the correct sentence:
[x] 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.
9. Which sentence is written in the past tense?
[ ] He is soaking his feet.
[x] 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'.
10. Which sentence is written in the present tense?
[ ] They was dancing in the water.
[ ] They is dancing in the water.
[x] 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'.