Test your knowledge of regular and irregular past tense verbs with a story about hunting for a job. Fill in the blanks (gaps) using the correct past tense form of the verb given right after each blank.
(It will tell you if you need a past participle rather than the simple past tense. You can also recognize that for yourself by noting if the verb is preceded by have, has or had.
One purpose of this exercise is to give examples of how to use the past perfect tense. We use it when talking about things that happened before other past events.)
The first paragraph of the gap-fill is already filled out as an example.
Before starting, here are the forms and meanings of verbs related to employment. Except for ‘quit’, these are actions an employer takes that affect a job seeker or employee. (An employer is the company or person with that gives jobs to people. An employee is someone who works for an employer.)
verb/ past tense/ past participle (pp)
It’s better to try them without checking those lists. That will help fix them in your memory. Some regular verbs are also included in the gaps. Remember that regular past tense verbs end in ‘-ed.’ Their past participles are the same as their simple past forms. (That's true of all regular verbs and some irregulars.)
The first three sentences have been done as an example. Underlined words are the answers. The base form (present tense) of the needed verb is in the parentheses. It will say ‘pp.’ first if the gap should be filled with the past participle form of that verb.
Instructions: fill in each blank/gap with the past tense form of the verb in parentheses. (Use its past participle instead if it says pp.)
Last June, Henry, Jim, Elena, and Sue were (be, plural) all looking for work. Henry, a mechanic, had been laid (pp. of lay) off when his company downsized. Jim had quit (pp. quit) his job to take a dream vacation in Europe.
(Now you try it!)
For more past tense (and perfect tense) practice see List of Irregular Verbs (top 50) with Practice,