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    • Join Date: Aug 2003
    • Posts: 70
    #1

    Was/were usage as past of is/am/are model wanted

    Hi teachers,

    I would appreciate if one or more of you could define the usage of was and were for a whiteboard example for a class of EFL 10 year olds ! I have looked at a number of heavy-weight reference books (Michael Swan's stuff ) but they are all very poor in defining this. They have loads on past continuous tense examples etc. but not on its simple past usage and a clear definition.

    Some elaboration on 'past facts that are not now true' and, if there a clear rule of thumb e.g. 'use before adjectives' that they can clearly use and remember.


    Any ideas would be much appreciated,

    Mak

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      • Canada
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    • Join Date: Sep 2008
    • Posts: 63
    #2

    Re: Was/were usage as past of is/am/are model wanted

    Hi-

    I would start by reviewing present tense of be.
    You could have pictures of two people (maybe an elderly man and an elderly woman). You could emphasize that this is now.
    You could elicit information about the people "He is old". "He is a grandfather". "She is old", etc.

    You could then make an area pointing to the left of the board, and draw the date (50 years earlier or something). You could then ask them for sentences about the people then. If they use present tense (for example, "he is young", you could point to the picture and say "is"? That will create the need for the target structure/focus. Then you give them the language they need, and let them generate a new list about the people in the past using was/were.

    I hope that makes sense!
    Good luck!

    Mary


    • Join Date: Aug 2003
    • Posts: 70
    #3

    Re: Was/were usage as past of is/am/are model wanted

    Many thanks for the idea Mary. They have got into a right mess with this construction previously, but do like people descriptive lessons and picture stuff so I think it will go down well.

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