English for Speakers of Other Languages

8. Describe Actions

Level: Beginner/Early Intermediate

Corresponding State Language Forms

Demonstrate comprehension (perform or describe actions)

Present progressive

Single words in response to past tense question

Simple sentences with past progressive __ (pronoun) ___ was/were _____-ing.

At the end of this language function, students will be able to...

  • Describe daily routines and experiences using present and past tenses
  • Express actions occurring at the moment
  • Retell what happened in a movie, documentary, play, story, etc.
  • Describe an experiment, procedure, historic event
  • Use time frames to describe past events

Sample Language Patterns:

Describe daily routines and experiences in present and past:
  • What do you do?
  • I ___ (verb) ___.
  • What do they do?
  • They ___ (verb) ___.
  • Ex: How do you (What do you do to) get ready for school.
  • How did you What did you do to) get ready for school?
  • First, I ___ (verb)Ö
  • Then, (I, he, she, it, they, we) ___...(sequence words)
Express actions occurring at the moment:
  • What is going on here?
  • What is happening here?
  • I am_____(verb+ ing)
  • What is he/she doing?
  • She/he ____(verb +ing)
Retell what happened in a movie documentary play, story, etc.
  • The ____ (noun) was about ____
  • There was/were_____
  • The main character decided______
  • he/she/ it we/ they ____ (action verbs in past)
Describe an experiment, procedure or historic event:
  • The _____(noun) + ______(verb in past) + time frame)
  • They were ___ (verb + ing).
  • What did ____ (he/she/ it we/ they) do?
  • he/she/ it we/ they ____ (action verbs in past)
  • What happened to the _______(noun)
  • He/she it didnít ______( verb)
Use time frames to describe past events:
  • Ex: In 1998
  • On Sunday
  • At 6:00pm
  • Yesterday (morning, afternoon, night)
  • Ago/ last