Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 176 | Grammar | Complex Ordering of Past Events

In higher-level texts, the description of an event of period of time may now follow the chronological order. The description may move backwards and forwards in time, and often requires precise use of a combination of tenses and linkers.

The activity certainly predates that first glimpse foreigners had of it — Tahitians had been surfing for centuries. It had been a part of ancient Polynesian culture.

Simultaneous events and interruptions may also be included.

Anyways, in Cornwall, whenever I could, I’d borrow a board and have a go. At about that time I heard about Margo Oberg.

  1. Annotate the timeline with the list of events and periods of time in the box.

Some form of surfing has probably been practiced for as long as humans have been swimming, but the modern art of surfing was first seen by Joseph Banks on board the HMS Endeavour in the 18th century, when the ship stopped in Tahiti in the Polynesian islands. That seems to be the birthplace, and the activity certainly predates that first glimpse foreigners had of it — Tahitians had been surfing for centuries. It had been a part of ancient Polynesian culture.

a. Humans begin swimming        b. Some form of surfing is practiced
c. Bank's ship stops in Tahiti       d. Joseph Banks sees the modern art of surfing
e. Surfing is part of Tahitian culture

Complete the extract (in my podcast down below) with the verb in the parentheses in the paragraph.

It really (1) _________(start) when my family (2) ___________ (move) to Cornwall in England, a surfer’s paradise. Before that, I (3) _________ (live) in a seaside town in Portugal, where there (4) ___________ (be) some good waves. Every summer, the town filled to bursting with surfers from all over the world: Australians, Swiss, everyone (5) __________(come) to ride the waves. I loved to watch them and I suppose that’s when the bug bit. Anyway, in Cornwall, whenever I (6) __________ (can), I (7) _________ (borrow) a board and have a go. At about that time I heard about margo Oberg, who really inspired me — she became the first female professional surfer in the same year that professional contests started, 1975. And I think before that I (8) _________(read) an article about the first supercar surfer, Kelly Slater, which kind of caught my attention….I (9) ________(get) my first sponsor when I was 16, and since then I (10) _________(spend) all my time chasing the waves all over the world.

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