Past continuous and remembering/ forgetting

Past continuous games

1: Things in common

Try to find times when you and your partner were doing exactly the same thing at exactly the same time

Useful language

What were you doing in 1992?

What were you doing at … this morning/ this afternoon?

… at… yesterday morning/ yesterday afternoon/ yesterday evening/ last night?

… at… in the morning/ in the afternoon/ in the evening/ at night… days ago/ on…?

2: Memory game

Try to find points in time that your partner has no memory of.

Useful language

… ago?


….when you met your boyfriend/ girlfriend/ husband/ wife/ best friend?

….when you heard about the Berlin Wall falling/ nine eleven/ the invasion of Iraq/ the death of Michael Jackson/…?

…when you last saw your grandmother/ heard a Michael Jackson song/ sang/…?

… when you first drank champagne/ drank alcohol/ danced/…?

How can you respond if you can’t remember? How about if it is difficult to remember but you can remember at least something or after some time thinking?

Label the sections below with R for remembering (at least something) or F for forgetting (everything).

As far as I remember…

It’s something like…

Wait a second, it’s coming back to me now…


I don’t have a clue

I have no idea


I should know this but…

No, it’s gone


I’m pretty sure it’s…

The way I remember it,…

I can’t remember exactly, but…


Put different words into the gaps below to make phrases for forgetting and remembering.

No, I’ve totally _______________.

I’m sure I’ll _______________ later, but…

Can you _____________ me what day that was?

I would _______________ him/ it if I saw him/ it, but…

I think I’m ___________ing my memory!

I thought I had ________ that, but apparently not.


After doing the book exercise on page 22, ask your partner one of the questions below using one of those words.

 Questions about studying English

  1. Have you ever _______ an English song by heart?/ Can you ____________ any English songs that you learnt at school?
  2. What’s the best way to _____________ how to use the English phonemic chart?
  3. Can you _______________ the differences between British and American accents?
  4. How much of the English that you learnt at school have you _______________? What’s the best way to ______________ yourself of that language?
  5. Do you think people ______________ a language totally if they don’t use it, or does it stay somewhere in their heads?
  6. What’s the best thing to do if you can’t ___________ the word you want to use while you are speaking or writing?
  7. Do you think this school should ______________ you about special holidays/ the end of term, or is it okay just to tell you once at the beginning of term?

Other questions about memory

  1. What smells/ tastes/ sights/ sounds _____ you of when you were a young child?
  2. Would you stay with a husband or wife who ___________ their memory, or would you put them in an old persons’ home?
  3. How can you ________________ your best friend/ boyfriend/ girlfriend in a crowd?
  4. Have you ever _________ a poem by heart? Why did you choose that one?
  5. Do you always ____________ your relatives’ birthdays, or does someone have to __________you?
  6. Has anyone ever told you that you _______________ them of someone famous/ someone else that they know/ someone else in your family? What are the similarities between you and that person?
  7. What thing or things do you most often __________? Where do you usually find it/ them?
  8. What do you __________________ about the pre-school/ playschool/ nursery/ kindergarten that you went to?
  9. What is the best way to _______________ people’s names/ telephone numbers/ shopping lists?

 Discuss the last question as a class and then try to think of ways to improve your memory.

 Compare your ideas with the text on page 20.

 Test each other on your memories of information in the text.  


PDF for easy saving and printing: Past continuous and remembering forgetting

Related pages

Remembering and forgetting page

Past continuous page

3 Responses to Past continuous and remembering/ forgetting

  1. isa says:

    Thanks so much for your blog, it’s being extremely helpful!! For this activity, you mention a book “After doing the exercises on page 22…”, I wonder what book you’re talking about.
    Thanks and keep it up!!

  2. alexcase says:

    It’s New Cutting Edge Intermediate (not the newer third edition, though that might be similar). You can see the name of the book in the address of the worksheet, and the index page is here:

  3. isa says:

    thanks a lot!!

Leave a comment (link optional and email never shared)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.