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What Had You Done? - Pluperfect

Quiz playing is a wonderful way to increase your knowledge of English as a Second Language. Remember that all of our ESL quizzes have titles that are both friendly and technical at the same time… In the case of this quiz you might like to tell your friends about “What Had You Done?” but no doubt your teachers will talk about the “Pluperfect quiz”! If you hear a technical term and you want to find a quiz about the subject then just look through the list of quiz titles until you find what you need.

Sometimes when we are telling a story, we need to talk about things that happened 'two steps back' in the past ('Before I came out, I HAD looked to see what the weather was doing').

This quiz will help you remember how to use this tense (usually called the Past Perfect, or Pluperfect), and also remind you of some more verbs with irregular past participles.

What had you done, all that time ago? Let's see!

  1. Choose the answer which best completes the blank/s in good English.
    'Away he went, after making sure he had ... ... the door.'
    'Shut' is one of a group of short, common verbs which do not change their form at all between the present and the past.
  2. Choose the answer which best completes the blank/s in good English.
    Visitors to the castle were able to see the banners which ... ... in the hall since long before the time of Shakespeare.
    We need the Pluperfect form in this situation, and the irregular past of 'hang' is 'hung'.
  3. Choose the answer which best completes the blank/s in good English.
    Perhaps someone was not aware that we ... ... about this subject before.
    Another common irregular past form, and again it needs to be 'two steps back' in this situation.
  4. Choose the answer which best completes the blank/s in good English.
    They went out for the whole day, but nobody checked if they ... ... the cats before they left.
    You are probably getting the idea by now, we hope.
    Beware of the irregular verb 'feed => fed'. In informal speech, if we are bored with something we may say we are 'fed up' ... !
  5. Choose the answer which best completes the blank/s in good English.
    We spent much of the wet weekend completing a jigsaw puzzle that some friends ... ... us.
    There is a bit of a rhyming clue in 'spent' (in the Question), now that you know ...
    'Lent' is the past form of 'lend'; the related noun is 'loan' (as in the financial product, where someone borrows money from another person or company).
  6. Choose the answer which best completes the blank/s in good English.
    Matthew had to go onto work on a Bank Holiday Monday, to deal with a problem that ... ... .
    'Rise => rose => risen' , as with 'drive' and 'write' among other verbs.
  7. Choose the answer which best completes the blank/s in good English.
    ' (...) And here's a picture of the children, playing with big a piece of driftwood that they ... ... at the end of the beach.'
    'Find' has an irregular past, of course; be careful here with the grammar in context, that 'they had found' the wood. This needs to be two steps back into the past, because they could not very well play with the wood before (or until) they HAD found it.
    'Driftwood' = wood that has been drifting across the sea and has now landed on a beach; this could be smaller pieces (perhaps from a wrecked ship or boat), or maybe a complete tree that has ended up in the water after an 'extreme weather event' such as a hurricane or tsunami.
  8. Choose the answer which best completes the blank/s in good English.
    It was a beautiful dress, except where (unfortunately) someone ... ... red wine down the back of it.
    'Spilled' (the regularly-formed version) is also acceptable for the past of this verb.
  9. Choose the answer which best completes the blank/s in good English.
    It was only once they ... ... the new chairs home, that they realised they ... ... the wrong colour.
    Two more, common irregular verbs. In this situation it should be fairly clear that the people made their mistake 'two steps back into the past'.
  10. Choose the answer which best completes the blank/s in good English.
    By the time we had ... ... the rest of the bottle, he ... ... me how to play 'Happy Birthday' on the harmonica.
    Two final and useful irregular verbs ... you may pick up some strange but happy experiences, too!

Author: Ian Miles

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