English UPSR

A place for SJK students to share their knowledge in preparations for UPSR.

Thursday, May 19, 2005


Continuous Tense

Firstly, I hope you are familiar with Simple Present and Simple Past Tenses now. We shall continue to practise writing simple sentences before we go on to compound sentences. Let's continue with Continuous Tense.

By the way, in quoting sample questions, I shall be using the book 'Format Pentaksiran UPSR SJK' published by Malindo Printers Sdn Bhd with the cooperation of Lembaga Peperiksaan Malaysia. This book is readily available at bookstores at RM4.85 per copy.

Looking at the 10 questions in Section A Paper 2 (pages 35 to 39), we can identify the sentences to be constructed in such tenses: Suggested answers:

(SPT = Simple Present Tense; SPastT = Simple Past Tense; PCT = Present Continuous Tense)

a. plays-badminton = Tom plays badminton with Jerry every evening - SPT

b. man-fishing = The man is fishing by the river - PCT

c. television-evening = Lily and Jane watch television every evening - SPT

d. grows-beautiful = My father grows beautiful flowering plants in the garden = SPT

e. collects-stamps = Ivan collects stamps from all over the world = SPT

f. looking-butterfly = Jerry is looking at a beautiful butterfly = PCT

g. customer-restaurant = The customer is ordering food in a restaurant = PCT

h. family-zoo = Maniam took his family to visit the zoo last Sunday = SPastT

i. feeding-baby = The nanny is feeding the baby = PCT

j. crocodile-river = A crocodile lives in a river = SPT

A breakdown on the 10 sentences gives us 5 simple sentences constructed in Simple Present Tense, 4 sentences in Present Continuous Tense and a sentence in Simple Past Tense. In questions b, f and i, given words such as fishing, looking and feeding are verbs and are known as Present Participles.

Students with basic grammar skills will know that a verb 'to be' must be used before a Present Participle. In short, Continuous Tense is formed when verb 'to be' is used together with a Present Participle. To understand better, refer the table below.

Pronoun ------- Subject --------------- Present ---- Verb ---- Past ---- Verb
I ----------------------------------------- am ------ going ---- was ---- going
You ------------------------------------- are ------ going ---- were --- going
We ------- Tom and I ------------------- are ------- going ---- were --- going
They ----- Tom and Jerry/The dogs ---- are ------- going ---- were --- going
He -------- Tom ------------------------- is -------- going ---- was ---- going
She ------- Jane ------------------------- is -------- going ---- was ---- going
It --------- The dog --------------------- is -------- going ----- was ---- going

As the table shows, verb 'to be' are am/is/are in the present form while was/were are in the past form. Present Participle is 'going'. Simply, Present Participle is a verb with the suffix -ing.

Here are some examples to construct simple sentences in Continuous Tense:

Present Continuous Tense:
1. I am going to school.
2. Tom and Jerry are going to school.
3. Jane is going to school.

Past Continuous Tense:
1. I was going to school.
2. Tom and I were going to school.
3. Jane was going to school.

Your turn to do some exercises. Fill in the blanks with the Present Continuous form of the verbs given in brackets.

1. Someone ________________ (sing) in the hall now.
2. The students _____________ (eat) in the canteen.
3. I ______________________ (do) my homework.
4. You ____________________ (make) too much noise.
5. The students ______________ (arrange) the tables.

Past Continuous form:

1. Tom ___________________ (sweep) the classroom just now.
2. Tom and Jerry ____________ (cycle) home when it rained.
3. A few students ____________ (quarrel) when the teacher came in.
4. Miss Lee ________________ (teach) in another school last year.
5. Jerry's brother ____________ (write) a letter when the light went out.

Fill in the blanks with the Present or Past Continuous form of the verbs given in brackets.

1. They ___________________ (help) us to pack when a fire broke out.
2. Tom ___________________ (wait) for Jerry in the canteen.
3. Lily ____________________ (practise) the piano now.
4. Mother __________________ (cook) when I came home.
5. I ______________________ (take) my pet dog for a walk this evening.
6. As we __________________ (walk) home, we met Tom's mother.
7. Lily's mother _____________ (bake) a cake yesterday.
8. Jane ___________________ (start) her piano lessons soon.
9. Mrs Lee ________________ (put) her daughter to bed.
10. Jane and Lily ____________ (sit) in the classroom when the headmaster came in.

Construct simple sentences in Present Continuous and Past Continuous Tenses. You can either use the sentences you constructed in the previous exercise or you can use my suggested answers found at UPSR English Answers. After constructing sentences in Present and Past Continuous form, you will see clearer and will find it easier to attempt Paper 2.

I shall post my suggested answers in a few days' time.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


The Trickiest Language Called ENGLISH

I'll begin with a mouse
And two are called mice
But the plural of house
Is houses and not hice.

You may keep your things in a box
And I might keep mine in three boxes
Yet the plural of an ox
Is oxen and not oxes.

If the plural of a goose
Is called geese
Wouldn't the plural of choose
Then be cheese?

Let's look at a man
Two of them become men
But the plural of a pan
Is not the same as pen.

You may show me your foot
And wear shoes on your feet
If I give you a boot
Will a pair be called beet?

One may be that
And a dozen may be those
But the plural of hat
Imagine it being hose?

A person who bakes
Is known as a baker
But a person who cooks
Can never be a cooker.

Words like honest and hour
Both have a silent "h"
Imagine saying hook and hood
Without the sound of "h".

Don't you agree that
The English Language
Is indeed the
Trickiest Language?

I hope you all have a good time attempting the exercises on Simple Present and Simple Past Tenses. The answers can be found at English UPSR Answers. For future exercises, you can go there for answers. I shall continue with Present Continuous and Past Continuous Tenses on Sunday. Have a lot of homework to do and can only find time during weekends. Have fun.

Sunday, May 08, 2005



Welcome to English UPSR. I hope this space can help you in your preparations for UPSR.

Many students have difficulty in constructing simple sentences. The new UPSR English Paper 2 Section A requires students to write 10 simple sentences based on the pictures and words provided. My semester examination is just over and I see that many students did terribly in
Section A. I hope I can help students to write simple sentences based on what I have learnt.

First of all, we must at least have the basic grammar knowledge. It is indeed confusing for a lot of students to try to understand and put into practice what's taught under Verb Agreement. Verb Agreement teaches that a singular subject must take on a plural verb. Some students argue that pronouns 'I' and 'You' are singular in nature and thus should take on a plural verb. Hence, it can be confusing.

However, I have been taught differently to follow the rules under primary verb 'Do'. I find it easier to comprehend and to follow this simple set of rules. Below is the table, reprinted with permission from my English tutor.

1. Simple Tenses – Present and Past using primary verb 'do'.

Pronoun ---------- Subject --------------- Present -- Verb -- Past -- Verb
I ---------------------------------------- do ------- go ----- did --- went
You -------------------------------------- do -------- go ----- did --- went
We ------- Tom and I ---------------------do --------go ------did --- went
They ---- Tom and Jerry/The dogs ------ do -------- go ----- did ---- went
He --------Tom/Tom's father -----------does ------- goes --- did ----went
She -----Jane/Jane's mother ----------- does ------- goes --- did --- went
It ------ The dog/My bag -------------- does ------- goes ----did --- went

As the table shows, Pronouns 'I', 'You', 'We' and 'They' take on the primary verb 'do' while Pronouns 'He', 'She' and 'It' take on the primary verb 'does'. The simple guide is to memorise which subject takes on which primary verb. It is simpler than memorising time tables
for Mathematics.

The next step would be to identify Singular and Plural subjects. To begin with, take out any books you have and identify them. Regular practice makes perfect and you will soon find it easy to put into practice primary verb 'do'. All you need to remember is which Pronoun
takes on 'Do' and which Pronoun takes on 'Does'. Using primary verb 'Do' gives us Simple Tenses.

'Format Pentaksiran UPSR SJK', question 1 Section A (page 35) provides us with a picture of 2 boys playing badminton. The 2 words provided are: plays-badminton.

Identifying the plural subjects (2 boys) as 'they', many students made mistake. One most common sentence is: The boys plays badminton every evening.

This can be said to be a trick question. The verb 'plays' is plural and therefore a singular subject must be used. A correct sentence would be: Tom plays badminton every evening or if you wish to include the second person in the picture, you may write the sentence as: Tom plays badminton with Jerry every evening.

In Section A (Paper 2), most of the sentences are in the Present form. However, identifying sentences in the Past form is equally important when we attempt Section C. To begin with, here is a set ofsimple exercises that you might find challenging.

Circle the right answers:

1. Jane go/goes/went to school everyday.
2. The brothers live/lives/lived with their grandfather when they were young.
3. Children has/have/had to be obedient.
4. The cat chase/chases/chased the mouse.
5. Tom come/comes/came to our house this morning.
6. The lion roar/roars/roared in its cage.
7. My sisters wear/wears/wore spectacles.
8. Lily invite/invites/invited her friends to her house last Christmas.
9. We learn/learns/learnt something new everyday.
10. My brother and I share/shares/shared a room at home.

Circle the mistakes (if any) and write the correct answers in the
space provided.

1. Diamonds is a girl's best friend. _______________
2. She came this afternoon but you are not in. ___________
3. The blue cap and yellow vest belongs to him. ______________
4. The bags hanging on the gate was taken away by the guard. ______________
5. The old man believes that gold are buried under the bridge. ________________
6. The farmer and his wife stays up all night to nurse the sick cow.______________
7. She accidentally knock down the vase on the table just now. ________________
8. We has to pay him a lot of money to find us a hotel room during our
trip to Japan______________
9. People comes to pray at the new temple every day. _______________
10. A couple of deer escapes when the fence collapsed. ______________
11. We jogged daily in the park. _______________
12. She packs her picnic basket with lots of fruits and drinks. ______________
13. A parcel arrives for you this morning. _____________
14. When the rain stopped, you can go out to play. _______________
15. The leaves in the tree fall slowly to the ground. ______________
16. The cage is open when the birds flew away. ______________
17. Clouds form interesting shapes in the sky. _____________
18. The postman always came in the afternoon. ______________
19. They enjoyed themselves very much at the party last night. ________________
20. Her mother went to the market every morning. ______________
21. Her children attends tuition classes every Saturdays._____________
22. They gardener came once a week, on Sundays._____________
23. The box of books on the table are for you. ______________
24. Jerry was jogging when he steps into a hole. _______________
25. I does not know what he wants. _________________

Construct 3 simple sentences from the words given. Sentences must be
constructed in -
1 - Simple Present Tense using verb 'do'.
2 – Simple Present Tense using verb 'does'.
3. – Simple Past Tense using verb 'did'.

To begin this practice, remember to write simple sentences which are
as short as possible in order to avoid grammatical mistakes. A long
sentence tends to have more grammatical mistakes. Thus, to begin with,
write short simple sentences as per the examples below.

Example: walk – morning
1. Simple Present Tense (do) – I walk to school every morning.
2. Simple Present Tense (does) – Tom walks to school every morning.
3. Simple Past Tense (did) – Jerry walked to school this morning.

1. comb – hair

2. farmer – grow

3. throw – stone

4. caterpillar – butterfly

5. hang – curtains

6. buy – shoes

7. whisper – ear

8. take – bath

9. run – fast

10. sweep – floor

11. work – restaurant

12. visit - hospital

13. like – fried chicken

14. wash – car

15. sleep – eleven

Best of luck and have fun! I shall continue with Continuous Tense next Sunday, followed by Perfect Tense. After the 3 exercises, you should be on your way to write correct sentences in attempting Section A, UPSR English Paper 2.


May 2005  

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