A video tour of Northfield, Minnesota

By Terry Fredrickson

A video tour is a good way to practice using both present and past forms. As you will see, when we first watch the video, it is natural to talk about it using present forms. If we watch it a second time, however, past forms seem more natural.

Watching the video for the first time

This video tour takes us to five places in my home town of Northfield Minnesota. When you watch it for the first time, pretend you are actually taking the tour. Thus, the time is now. The video asks you several questions. The most interesting questions use the present perfect. They ask us where we have visited so far, i.e., from the beginning of our tour until now. Notice that our answers will change depending on how far we have gone.

Player will show here

Watching the video the second time

Watch the video again. Since we have already seen the video once, it no longer seems like we are taking a tour. Instead, it is like we are watching a video of the tour. It is natural to talk about it using past forms of the verbs.

Below are some photos from the trip. Answer the questions about them.

1. Where were we here?

2. Had we been anywhere else by that time?

3. Where were we here?

4. Where had we been by this time?

5. Where were we here?

6. Had we been downtown yet?

7. Had we been to St Olaf College yet?

8. Where were we here?

9. Where had we been by this time?

10. Where were we going next?

11. Where were we here?

12. Where had we been by this time?



1. We were at the golf course.

2. No, we hadn't.

3. We were at the hospital.

4. We had been to the golf course, downtown, and the Cannon river.

5. We were at the Cannon River.

6. Yes, we had.

7. No, we hadn't.

8. We were downtown.

9. We had been to the golf course.

10. We were going to the Cannon river.

11. We were at St Olaf college.

12. We had been to the golf course, downtown, the Cannon river and the hospital.

Showing off your own video

If you have a short video or an idea that you think would work to illustrate an English verb form, you can connect us through twitter or contact me directly at: fredricksont@bangkokpost.co.th

If you have a finished video, you can upload it to a site like Youtube so we can have a look at it. We can then embed it on a page on our site as well. Make a short lesson together with your video so users can understand the main point.

You can also point out videos that you find online that might be useful for understanding verbforms.

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