In this unit you will do some exercises to talk about activities in the past using the simple past tense.

So far you have learned how to talk about actions in simple present tense. But what if you want to talk about yesterday, last week or some historical personalities? You need to use the past tense:

Verb to be

e.g.: She/he was a very brave person. / She/he was at school yesterday afternoon.

They were very intelligent. / They were in Cuba last month.

Affirmative sentences (regular verbs)

e.g.: I cleaned my house yesterday morning.

She watched an interesting film last weekend.

(irregular verbs)

e.g.: I went to the movies last Saturday. (go)

He did his H.W yesterday night. (do)

Negative sentences

e.g.: I didn't clean my house yesterday morning.

I didn't go to the movies last Saturday.

Yes/no questions

e.g.: Did you clean your house yesterday morning? Yes, I did./No, I didn't.

Information questions

e.g.: What did you do yesterday morning? I cleaned my house.

EXERCISE 1: Find the past form of these verbs.

Base form Simple past Base form Past form

Be Watch

Study Read

Do Wash

Play Die

Go Attack

Write Triumph

Celebrate Help


Imagine you went to Cienfuegos to visit your cousins Lucia and Daniel, but they were not at home because they're international flight attendants. Read about their busy week and answer the questions. Act it out with your partner.


Monday London Monday Manchester

Tuesday Paris Tuesday Paris

Wednesday Barcelona Wednesday London

Thursday Madrid Thursday Rome

Friday Rome Friday Athens

Saturday London Saturday London

Complete and answer the questions.

e.g.: Was Steve in London on Monday?

Yes, he was/ No, he wasn’t.

Were Steve and Jane in Rome on Wednesday?

No, they weren’t/ Yes, they were.

a) ______ Steve and Jane in Paris on Tuesday? ____________.

b) ______ Jane in London on Friday? ____________.

c) ______ Steve in Madrid on Thursday? ____________.

d) ______ Jane and Steve in London on Saturday? __________.

Now you give the information.

e.g.: Where was Steve on Thursday?

He was in...

Where were Steve and Jane on Saturday?

They were in____________________.

a) Where ____ Steve on Wednesday? ____________________.

b) Where ____ Jane on Monday? ____________________.

c) Where ____ Steve and Jane on Tuesday? ________________.

d) Where ____ Steve on Friday? __________________.


How about you?

Was your week busy, too?

Where were you on/last...? (school, home, park…)

Complete the calendar and write the sentences.

Days of the week









I was at school on Monday.

I __________________ last Tuesday.




  1. a)Now find out about your partner's week. Ask yes/no and information questions. Write about that.

Days of the week

Your partner








X was_______________________





Here are the activities Sue wanted to do last weekend. She didn’t do all of them.

Weekend Things to do Done

Saturday help her mother X

wash her hair

clean the bedroom X

watch TV

Sunday go to the movies X

do the homework

stay in bed X

go to her friend’s house

Weekend Things to do Done

Saturday help her mother

wash her hair

clean the bedroom

watch TV

Sunday go to the movies

do the homework

stay in bed

go to her friend’s house

Work in pairs asking and answering if Sue did or didn’t do all these activities. One of you has the information (el que tiene marcadas las actividades) and the other one has to ask questions to put the corresponding check mark.

e.g.: Did Sue help her mother on Saturday/ last Saturday?

Yes, she did/ No, she didn’t.


Look at the following information about what your friends Mike, Sue, Linda and Darren did last week. Say if it is true (T) or false (F) and correct the information.

Mike Sue Linda and Darren

Friday wash his hair watch TV play tennis

Saturday play football wash her hair watch TV

Sunday watch TV play tennis play football

True or false?

e.g.: Mike washed his hair last Friday. (True.)

Linda and Darren watched TV on Friday. (False. They played tennis last Friday.)

Mike played football last Saturday.

Sue played tennis last Saturday.

Linda and Darren played football last Friday.

Linda and Darren watched TV last Saturday.

Mike played tennis last Sunday.

Exercise 6

It's your turn. What did you do last weekend? Copy and complete your diary. Then, practice it with your partner and report on that.

e.g: What did you do last weekend? Did you go to the beach?



Your partner

Saturday morning

Saturday afternoon

Sunday morning

Sunday afternoon

e.g.: X went/did/played ______________ last ____________.





Imagine one of the places you visited last weekend was a museum. Let's talk about some important people you learned about.

Do you know who these people were? Select from the following list:

leader poet architect cosmonaut scientist lawyer

Yury Gagarin was a ______________.

Carlos J. Finlay _________________.

Lord Byron, Oscar Wilde and José Martí ________________.

Abraham Lincoln ________________.

Lázaro Peña _________________.


Imagine your friend didn't go to the museum and he's confused about some personalities. Tell him who they really were.

e.g.: Ernest Hemingway (scientist, writer)

Ernest Hemingway wasn’t a scientist. He was a writer.

a) Salvador Allende and George Washington (writers, presidents)

b) Alejo Carpentier (cosmonaut, writer)

c) Charles Chaplin (poet, actor)

d) Albert Einstein (lawyer, scientist)


Did you also learn about historical dates? Change the numbers into words and write the sentences.

e.g.: 1492: Christopher Columbus lands in America

That was in fourteen ninety-two.

1564: The birth of William Shakespeare

1789: The French Revolution

1868: The beginning of the Cuban Independence War

1895: The death of José Martí


At the museum you also learned a lot of things about the history of Cuba, but it was in Spanish. Can you translate the following sentences into English?

Martí escribió una crónica (article) sobre un niño en prisión (in prison).

La Revolución Cubana triunfó en 1959.

Antonio Maceo murió el 7 de diciembre de 1896.

Los ingleses atacaron La Habana en 1762.


Work in pairs and complete the dialogue.

The Heroic City

Mark and Mildred talk with their Cuban friend Alberto.

Mildred: You must be proud of Havana, Alberto. Were you born there?

Alberto: No, I wasn’t. I was__________________________________.

Mildred: Oh, I’d love to see Santiago. A friend of ours visited that city last year and he says it’s marvelous.


Mildred: Are the Sierra Maestra mountains near Santiago?


Mildred: Really? It must be beautiful.

Alberto:_________. We call it _______________________________.

Mark: Yes, I know you call it that. That’s because of Moncada, isn’t it?


Mildred: Who was the leader of the revolutionary movement?


Mildred: It’s a very interesting story. I think we really should visit Santiago some day.

Mark: Yes, there’s a lot to see.


Work in pairs. Interview your friend about what he/she did last (weekend/ vacation). You may use these questions:

What did you do...?

Where did you...?

Did you visit...?

Were you in...?

Did you ...?

Write down the information and read it to your classmates.


GAME 1: Guess Who This Person Is

First, write the description of an important personality. Then group into teams to play this game.

One student reads the description and the other one, looking at the pictures, says the name of the personality that corresponds with the description.

GAME 2: 20 Questions

Divide the class into groups or play it with the whole group. The teacher or the student assigned for this task chooses a very famous person and the others ask a maximum of 20 questions about that person, to guess who he/she is.

e.g.: When was he/she born?

Where is he/she from?

Was he/she___________?

Did he/she___________?

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