English Grammar Tenses (upper intermediate) – No.2


James Cook (1728-1779)

1. The British explorer James Cook was born in the village of Marton, Yorkshire, on 27 October, 1728. But his family soon (move) to another village, called Great Ayton, where Cook (spend) most of his childhood.
2. As a teenager James Cook (develop) a fascination for the sea and (travel) to Whitby where he (find) employment on a coal ship.
3. While he (serve) in the Royal Navy during the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763), Cook (have) the command of a ship.
4. After the war (end) , Cook (take) command of the vessel Grenville and (go) to Newfoundland to survey the coasts there.
5. While he (map) the coasts of Newfoundland, he (observe) a solar eclipse off the North American coast.
6. Cook (send) the details to the Royal Society, England’s leading scientific organisation, and (win) their attention.
7. After Cook (publish) his observations of the solar eclipse, the Royal Society (ask) him to lead a scientific expedition to Tahiti and (put) him in command of of the HMS Endeavour.
8. From Tahiti Cook then (go on) to explore the South Pacific.
9. He also (reach) New Zealand, which only the Dutchman Abel Tasman (visit) before Cook.
10. After Cook (map) New Zealand’s complete coastline, he (sail) to Australia’s east coast.
11. Cook (name) the area New South Wales as it (remind) him of the south coast of Wales in Great Britain.
12. In 1772, one year after Cook (return) from his first voyage to the Pacific, the Royal Society (hire) him for another expedition to find the mythical Terra Australis.
13. On his journey, Cook (discover) several islands and almost (go) as far as the continent of Antarctica.
14. He (make) maps of the South Pacific and (prove) that Terra Australis (exist / not) .
15. His third and last voyage for the Royal Society (take) him to the west coast of North America where he (try) to find a passage between the Atlantic and Pacific.
16. He (not / can / pass) the Bering Strait, however; the ice (force) him to return to Hawaii, which he (discover) earlier.
17. While he and his crew (rest) in Hawaii, some Hawaiians (steal) one of his boats.
18. When cook and his men (try) to get the boat back from the natives, a violent fight (break out) in which the natives (stab) James Cook to death.


1. moved, spent
2. developed, travelled, found
3. was serving, had
4. had ended, took, went
5. was mapping, observed
6. sent, won
7. had published, asked, put
8. went on
9. reached, had visited
10. had mapped, sailed
11. named, reminded
12. had returned, hired
13. discovered, went
14. made, proved, did not exist
15. took, tried
16. could not pass, forced, had discovered
17. were resting, stole
18. tried, broke out, stabbed