Teens|Grammar activating|El|16. Going back in time

ancient [ˈeɪnʃ(ə)nt] — very old, something that we don’t have any more, e.g. Ancient civilizations of Egypt and Roman Empire

pic1_Gr act|El|L16

Look at the pictures and choose the country

Match the words with the pictures

pic2_Gr act|El|L16 Pompeii [pɒmˈpeɪi] was an ancient Roman town-city near modern Naples.

Correct the words in the sentences

Read the text and choose if the sentences are True or False

pic3_Gr act|El|L16 pic4_Gr act|El|L16


In AD 79, Pompeii was a large town in Italy, with a population of about 20,000. On the evening of August 24th, there was a very big volcanic eruption. The eruption destroyed the town.

Today Pompeii is an open-air museum and it’s very popular with tourists. The town is in ruins, but you can still see the remains of the ancient streets and houses. You can imagine life 2,000 years ago! You can also see people preserved by the boiling volcanic ash with terrified expressions on their faces.

Before the eruption, Pompeii was a very busy town, and the people were rich. There were shops, squares, schools and markets. There was an enormous amphitheatre — a type of sports stadium. The amphitheatre was a very important place in the town. On special days it was full of people, gladiators and lions. It wasn’t a very safe place to go!

Complete the sentences

Choose the correct option to complete the blog

Was and were are the past forms of the verb to be.



was hungry.

was not (wasn’t) hungry.


We/you/ hey

were tired.

were not (weren’t) tired.

Put the words in the correct order to make questions. Answer the questions

Grammar table1_L16


  • Were you in Pompeii last summer?
  • Where was Anna last summer?

Listen to the recording and choose the correct answers

additional words_L16

pic6_Gr act|El|L16

This is a typical Roman town. There was a large square called a forum. There was a government building at one end. There were a lot of shops and houses around the forum, but there weren’t any shopping centres. There was an aqueduct to bring water to the town and there were usually public baths. There wasn’t a sports stadium, but there was an amphitheatre. There were gladiator fights and chariot races there.

Listen to the recording again and complete the sentences

When we say about some places or events in the past, we can use There was / There were.

Singular Plural
+ (affirmative) There was a forum. There were a lot of houses.
— (negative) There wasn’t a shopping centre. There weren’t any cars.

This is a typical Roman town. There was a large square called a forum. There was a government building at one end. There were a lot of shops and houses around the forum, but there weren’t any shopping centres. There was an aqueduct to bring water to the town and there were usually public baths. There wasn’t a sports stadium, but there was an amphitheatre. There were gladiator fights and chariot races there.

Make sentences about a Roman insula

Roman insula — a kind of building in Ancient Rome for several families

pic7_Gr act|El|L16

Make sentences about the streets in the past

Note that when we make negative sentences, we can use the word any when we don’t know the exact number:

Singular uncountable Plural
There wasn’t any time.

There wasn’t any money.

There weren’t any trees.

There weren’t any people.

pic8_Gr act|El|L16

Grammar table2_L16

Listen to the dialogue and put the words in the right columns

pic9_Gr act|El|L16

Michael: I talked to my granddad about our town when he was young.
Maria: Were there any cars in the streets?
John: Yes, there were.
Maria: Was there a sport centre?
John: No, there wasn’t.
Maria: Were there any supermarkets?
John: No, there weren’t, but there were a lot of small shops.
Maria: Was there a cinema?
John: Yes, there was — it was really big!

Read the rules and the examples

Word order in questions

Yes/no questions

Question Short answer
Was there a stadium?

Were there any people?

Yes, there was.
No, there wasn’t.Yes, there were.
No, there weren’t.

Special questions

How many buildings
What picture
near the forum?
on the wall?


  • Were there any supermarkets? — No, there weren’t.
  • Was there a cinema? — Yes, there was.

Make questions and interview the teacher

pic10_Gr act|El|L16 pic11_Gr act|El|L16

supermarkets / fast food / cafes / swimming pools / lot of cars / shopping centres / trees / posters / tall buildings

clean / dirty / green / cosy / noisy / quiet

pic12_Gr act|El|L16 pic13_Gr act|El|L16

Read the rules and make your questions


  • Imagine you are going to interview your history teacher.
  • Choose a period you would like to learn about.
  • Write your questions to find out about the period.

I would like to find out more about

a) Ancient Egypt.

b) Ancient China.

c) the history of the USA.

Example: What transport was there in Ancient Egypt? Were there horses?

Use the ideas

Ancient Egypt Ancient China the USA
the Pyramids
public baths
kings and queens
the first president

Complete the table with the words from the box

Read and remember the rule

Remember how we use different prepositions and time expressions

  • We use on with days;
  • We use in with seasons and the words morning, evening, afternoon;
  • We use at with exact times and the words weekend, night.

We can also use the expressions with the words last and ago:

✔️ last night / winter / summer

   2 hours / one year ago

pic13_Grammar act|El|L7

The things you have learnt today

  • use «was/were» while speaking about the past;
  • talk about places and events in the past;
  • make questions to find out about the period in the past.
  • use the prepositions of time (at, in, on) and the words «last», «ago» correctly.

1. ancient
2. modern
3. noisy
4. quiet
5. green
6. short
7. long
8. interesting
9. boring

1. sports stadium
2. fast food
3. shopping centre
4. building
5. swimming pool
6. park
7. theatre
8. traffic lights

1. forum
2. amphitheatre
3. gladiator
4. volcano
5. chariot
6. insular
7. eruption

1. at the weekend
2. at night
3. in the morning
4. in the evening
5. in the afternoon
6. on Mondays

Choose the correct options

pic14_Gr act|El|L16

Rewrite the sentences in Past Simple

Listen to the dialogue and tick the things the speaker talked about

pic15_Gr act|El|L16

Bella: Hi, Tim! How was your holiday?
Tim: Oh, it was fantastic, thanks! The hotel was great! There was a big swimming pool and there was a table tennis table too!
Bella: Oh, that was lucky! You like table tennis. Was there a computer room?
Tim: Emm, no, there wasn’t. But our room was nice! There was a big TV in it.
Bella: Nice! And was there a good beach?
Tim: Well, no, there wasn’t. We weren’t near the sea. There were mountains. It was a very small place and there weren’t any shops.
Bella: Wow! It was a small place!
Tim: Yes. There were some cafes and there was a restaurant. And … oh, yes! There was a small museum, but that’s it. It was a bit boring, really.

pic16_Gr act|El|L16

Read and complete the text. Listen to the recording to check your answers

There were many temples in Ancient Rome. There was an enormous amphitheatre called the Coliseum. There were gladiator fights in the Coliseum, but there weren’t any chariot races there. There were races in the Circus Maximus. There was a large government building next to the forum, and there were a lot of public baths in the city. There was a pyramid nearly 40 metres high — you can still see it today! There were libraries and theatres, but there wasn’t a hospital! Ancient Rome was a big city, but there wasn’t any public transport!

Match the halves of the sentences

pic17_Gr act|El|L16

Complete the sentences with the prepositions in, on, at

Think about the place where you were on your holiday

pic18_Gr act|El|L16

Answer the questions:

  1. What was the place?
  2. Where was it?
  3. Were you with family?
  4. What things were there?
  5. Was it nice?
  6. Was it friendly?

Write about the place you were in. Use the questions as a plan

Советы по написанию задания:

  1. Прочитайте внимательно задание и вопросы.
  2. Составьте план того, о чем хотите написать.
  3. Напишите текст по составленному плану.
  4. Перечитайте написанный текст перед отправкой на проверку.
  5. Здесь вы найдете правила написания и пример задания.
  6. Воспользуйтесь программой Grammarly, которая поможет избежать опечаток и исправит некоторые грамматические ошибки.

Урок Homework Курс
  • Ancient times
  • Going to Pompeii
  • Pompeii
  • It was a great day
  • An ancient Roman town
  • Ancient lives
  • 50 years ago
  • Was there a swimming pool?
  • Ask about the past
  • Times and dates
  • What I can do
  • It was cold
  • Tim's holiday
  • Ancient Rome
  • When's the party?
  • Where were you?
  1. 1. Teens|Grammar activating|El|1. Welcome to school
  2. 2. Teens|Grammar activating|El|2. This is my world
  3. 3. Teens|Grammar activating|El|3. Lost and found
  4. 4. Teens|Grammar activating|El|4. Family portraits
  5. 5. Teens|Grammar activating|El|5. The place where you live
  6. 6. Teens|Grammar activating|El|6. My dream room
  7. 7. Teens|Grammar activating|El|7. It’s time for lunch!
  8. 8. Teens|Grammar activating|El|8. Shopping for food
  9. 9. Teens|Grammar activating|El|9. Let's cook
  10. 10. Teens|Grammar activating|El| Revise and check 1
  11. 11. Teens|Grammar activating|El|11. Different lives
  12. 12. Teens|Grammar Activating|El|12. All the things we like
  13. 13. Teens|Grammar activating|El|13. The chocolate factory
  14. 14. Teens|Grammar activating|El|14. My favourite photos
  15. 15. Teens|Grammar activating|El|15. A day without a mobile
  16. 16. Teens|Grammar activating|El|16. Going back in time
  17. 17. Teens|Grammar activating|El|17. Stars
  18. 18. Teens|Grammar activating|El|18. School is cool
  19. 19. Teens|Grammar activating|El|19. Ancient civilisations
  20. 20. Teens|Grammar activating|El|20. Revise and check 2
  21. 21. Teens|Grammar activating|El|21. Talent show
  22. 22. Teens|Grammar activating|El|22. Safe cities
  23. 23. Teens|Grammar activating|El|23. Life now and then
  24. 24. Teens|Grammar activating|El|24. How to escape from housework
  25. 25. Teens|Grammar activating|El|25. Similar or different?
  26. 26. Teens|Grammar activating|El|26. The best in class
  27. 27. Teens|Grammar activating|El|27. Around the world in 50 minutes
  28. 28. Teens|Grammar activating|El|28. Revise and check 3