Intermediate Level English Practice: Tenses and Vocabulary

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The following is a practice test for intermediate levels testing tense usage and vocabulary accuracy. Feel free to use this test in class and/or share with your friends and colleagues. Follow the directions below and check your answers at the bottom of the page once you have finished both exercises.

Exercise 1: Tenses

Put the verb in parentheses () into the correct tense. For some questions, there is more than one correct answer.

example: John always (get up) __________ late on Sunday.answer: gets up

  1. I'm new to this job. What exactly (I/have to) __________ do?
  2. While I (wait) __________ for my train this morning I (meet) __________ an old school friend.
  3. (I/fly) __________ for the first time last year when I went to Brazil.
  4. Next week we are leaving on our honeymoon. As soon as (we/arrive) __________ at our hotel in Paris (we/order) __________ some champagne to celebrate.
  5. If he comes to the concert it (be) __________ the first time he has heard James Brown live.
  6. I've got the tickets. Next week __________ (we/visit) London.
  7. Mr. Jones (be) __________ our managing director since 1985.
  8. It was the most frightening film (I/ever/see) __________.
  9. You seem worried. What (you/think) __________ about?
  10. I (study) __________ English for three years now.

Exercise 2: Important Vocabulary

Choose the best word from the options to complete the sentence.

example: I've got a house __________ the mountains
a. at
b. on
c. in

answer: c. in

  1. When you see Jason can you __________ him that I have a book for him, please?
    a. say
    b. tell
    c. explain
  2. What was Laura __________ at the party?
    a. putting on
    b. wearing
    c. dressing
  3. I'm extremely __________ learning about computers I think they are important for work.
    a. interested in
    b. interesting in
    c. interested for
  4. Would you like a coffee? No thanks, I've __________ had one.
    a. yet
    b. already
    c. again
  5. I must fill in this form. Could you __________ me your pen please?
    a. borrow
    b. lend
    c. let
  6. My greatest desire? Well I would love __________ the world cup final.
    a. seeing
    b. see
    c. to see
  7. I've lived in Seattle __________ four years.
    a. from
    b. for
    c. since
  8. When you were young did you __________ climb trees?
    a. use to
    b. used to
    c. use
  9. This is the __________ section of the exam.
    a. easiest
    b. most easy
    c. easier
  10. It's a beautiful scooter but I can't afford to buy it. It's __________ expensive.
    a. much
    b. enough
    c. too

Answers 1: Tenses

  1. I'm new to this job. What exactly do I have to do?
    Use the present simple to discuss daily responsibilities.
  2. While I was waiting for my train this morning I met an old school friend.
    Use the past continuous together with the past simple to indicate an action that was interrupted.
  3. I flew for the first time last year when I went to Brazil.
    Use the past simple to speak about something that happened at a specific time in the past. 
  4. Next week we are leaving on our honeymoon. As soon as we arrive at our hotel in Paris we will order some champagne to celebrate.
    Use the present simple in time clauses when speaking about the future.
  5. If he comes to the concert it will be the first time he has heard James Brown live.
    Use the future with 'will' in conditional sentences with 'if' to show a result.
  6. I've got the tickets. Next week we are going to visit London.
    Use the future with going to speak about future plans.
  7. Mr. Jones has been our managing director since 1985.
    Use the present perfect to speak about something that started in the past and is still true in the present.
  1. It was the most frightening film I have ever seen.
    Use the present perfect to speak about experiences.
  2. You seem worried. What are you thinking about?
    Use the present continuous to ask what someone is doing at that moment.
  3. I have studied / have been studying English for three years now.
    Use the present perfect, or the present perfect continuous to speak about how long something has been going on. 

Answers 2: Vocabulary

  1. b. tell
    Use tell with an object (Tell him I say "Hi!"), say (Say hello!) without an object or "explain to someone."

  2. b. wearing
    Use 'wearing' with clothes, 'dressing' or 'putting on' with specific clothes.

  3. a. interested in
    Use adjectives with 'ed' (interested, excited, bored) to express how you feel about something.

  4. b. already
    Use 'already' to express that something has taken place before the moment of speaking.

  5. a. borrow
    Use 'borrow' when you take something, 'lend' when you give something that should be returned.

  6. c. to see
    Use the infinitive form of the verb (to see) after 'would like / love / hate.'

  7. b. for
    Use 'for' with the present perfect to express the length of an action up to the present.

  8. a. use to '
    Used to' expresses what was true as a habit in the past. It often indicates that the situation is no longer true.

  9. a. easiest
    For the superlative form add '-iest' to adjectives ending in 'y.'

  10. c. too '
    Too' expresses the idea that there is too much of a quality. In the case, the scooter costs too much money.