——Uh, this is your first time to the city, right?
——Yeah. How did you know?
回答中“How did you know?”使用的是一般过去时。这样的表达，用汉语是难以体现的，学习时要特别留心积累。
例如：— Has your father returned from Africa yet?
— Yes, but he___ here for only three days before his company sent him to Australia
A. was B. has been C. will be D. would be
很多同学一看到回答中“…here for only three days”就马上选了B，用动词的现在完成时。但是后半句“…before his company sent him to Australia.”中的“sent”显然就告诉我们这是过去的时间背景，整句话“他在这呆了三天之后就被公司派往了澳大利亚”，这说明他现在不在这里。因此，本题是不能选择现在完成时的，应当选择A。之所以出现这样的错误，是同学们一看到“for”就认为它是现在完成时的标志。其实，for表示一个时间段，过去、现在和将来都可用。
We haven't met our new neighbors yet, so we don't know their names.
You already told me yesterday that he would not give up another trying.(句子中有具体的过去时间“yesterday”，提示一般过去时)
1.I ____in London for many years，but I’ve never regretted my final decision to move back to China.
A. lived B. was living C. have lived D. had lived
2.My cousin went to Canada two years ago.He ____ there for a few months and then went to America.
A.worked B.would work C.would be working D. has been working
例一：I know a little bit about Italy as my wife and I ____ there several years ago.
A. are going B. had been C. went D. have been
题干中前半句“know”，一般现在时;后半句出现“several years ago”，明显的表示过去的时间，所以选择一般过去时“went”，答案C。本题很多同学都顺着中文“去过”而误选了“D. have been”，是没有掌握好语句中出现了具体过去时间这一关键。
例二：The young girl sitting next to me on the plane was very nervous. She ____ before.
A. hasn't flown B. didn't fly C. hadn't flown D. wasn't flying
例三：I got caught in the rain and my suit____.
A. has ruined B. had ruined C. has been ruined D. had been ruined
题干中前半句“got caught”，一般过去时;由and连接后半句没有出现具体的时间，如果与前半句并列，需要用was ruined，但题项没有给。一般地说，如果没有明确的时间，应当默认为现在，因此，要选择C。意思是“我(刚才)赶上雨了，衣服全给毁了”。
又如：I was a college student, but now I am a teacher.我以前是大学生，现在是老师。
例四：–Tom, you didn’t come to the party last night? –I ____, but I suddenly remembered I had homework to do.
A. had to B. didn’t C. was going to D. wouldn’t
例五：By the time you get back, great changes ______ in this area.
A.will take place B.will be taken place C.are going to take place D.will have taken place
题干“By the time you get back”，是“到你(将来)回来时”，这里因为是时间状语从句，将来时用一般时代替，因此后半句的时间应当使“将已经”，故选择D。
1.——It was really very kind of you to give me a lift home. ——Oh, don’t mention it. I _____past your house anyway.
A. was coming B. will come C. had come D. have come
2.—When I called you this morning, nobody answered the phone. Where_____?
A. did you go B. have you gone C. were you D. had you been
3.The house belongs to my aunt but she______ here any more.
A. hasn't lived B. didn't live C. hadn't lived D. doesn't live
4.Ladies and gentlemen, please fasten your seat belts. The plane________.
A. takes off B. is taking off C. has taken off D. took of
5.I was giving a talk to a large group of people, the same talk I _____to half a dozen other groups.
A. was giving B. am giving C. had given D. have given