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Murder Mystery Scene 2 - Language Focus

Rob and Ashlie look at how to use the past simple and past perfect to speak about events in the past, and ‘about to’ for the near future.

Watch the video. Then go to the Tasks and do the activities.


Language level

Intermediate: B1


I went through the comments also and It was helpful Thanks a lot

In task3
What is the difference between I can and I couldn't?why did we use past simple with the first one and past perfect with the second statement
thanks in advance

Hello Marwa,

'can't' indicates not remembering right now (in the present), whereas 'couldn't' indicates not remembering at a past time. The first one you could use if you were talking to someone about the meeting now, whereas the second one would make sense if, for example, you were telling someone the story about how you missed the meeting.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

hi Peter

Could you please tell me if I want to ask someone that please remove your cap.
Please remove your cap or please put off your cap which one is correct or their is any other way to ask?

Hello mehru1,

There are many ways to say this. The first of your suggestions is correct; the second sounds rather unnatural as we do not use 'put off' in this way in modern English.

To be polite you could also say these:

Could you remove/take off your cap please?

Would you mind removing/taking off your cap, please?


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you very much indeed. Its very help full.

Thank you very much

I'd like to check why we say 'I thought we had decided that the first victim WAS shot' instead of 'I thought we had decided that the first victim HAD BEEN shot'. After all, the victim's being shot would clearly be the most "past" of the events. Thanks!

Hello gerry_james,

You could say 'had been shot' there as well. It's not always necessary to use the past perfect; if we don't want or need to emphasise the fact that something already happened, then the simple past can be used, just as in the sentence you ask about.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you very much. Please help me with the following. Do I say: "The witness testified that he had seen the murderer", or do I say "The witness testified that he saw the murderer?"