Grammar lesson: Sherlock Holmes – past question forms/narrative tenses

Watch a recording of the live event to support our learners studying grammar: Sherlock Holmes – past question forms/narrative tenses.


23 May 2023

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This live event is a free lesson for learning grammar: Sherlock Holmes – past question forms/narrative tenses.

Average: 4.6 (10 votes)

Submitted by Elpídio on Mon, 28/08/2023 - 19:48


Hi, Jo. How are you? I'm a brazilian teacher. Is true that Sherlock Holmes by Sir. Arthur was inspired by Father Brown by Gilbert Keith Chesterton?

Hi Elpídio,

I don't think that's possible as Arthur Conan Doyle published the first Sherlock Holmes story in 1887 and the first Father Brown story did not appear until 1910, some 23 years later. Chesterton was a fan of the Holmes stories and even created a series of illustrations for an edition of them. If anything, therefore, it seems that Holmes might have been something of an inspiration for Father Brown, though the two detectives are quite different in character and style.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by User_1 on Thu, 25/05/2023 - 10:07


Hi Jo,
Thanks for your lesson.
As for the Past perfect continuous, you said to focus on the past activity and not on the result of the action where we use the Past perfect.
I believe it is the same for the Present perfect and the Present perfect continuous.
About writing, however, it is not easy to understand whether to focus on the action or on its result to choose the correct form.
Do you have any suggestions for me to figure out what tense I should use?
Thanks for your help.

Hi User_1,

I'm really glad that you enjoyed the lesson. To answer your question, I would suggest that you try to notice this grammar when you're reading and listening and make a note of examples as you see or hear them. Noticing how the grammar is used in context will help you know when to use each one. 
Next week we'll have another lesson on narrative tenses and you'll hear my explanation again with some different examples. Then I'll give you a short task of writing your own small paragraph using the grammar. So I hope you'll join me then!

Best wishes,


LearnEnglish team

Hi Jo,
Thanks a lot for your reply and suggestion on noticing how the grammar is used in context.
Thanks for inviting me to your lesson next week as well.
For sure, the task of writing will be very helpful!

Submitted by Ibrahim Almatari on Sat, 20/05/2023 - 23:20


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Submitted by Magda2023 on Thu, 18/05/2023 - 14:39


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Submitted by hendevane on Sun, 14/05/2023 - 04:48


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Submitted by hamdyragb on Sat, 13/05/2023 - 13:59


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Submitted by Diyora_1028 on Thu, 04/05/2023 - 08:06



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