Time – Complete The Sentences – Exercise 1, 2 and 3


Time is a concept that has fascinated and perplexed humans for millennia. It is a fundamental aspect of our existence, shaping our perceptions, experiences, and understanding of the world around us. From the relentless ticking of a clock to the ephemeral moments that make up our lives, time governs every aspect of our existence.

Use the time clauses in the boxes to complete the sentences. Pay particular attention to the words that come before or after the time clause.

Exercise 1: One action or situation occurring before another action or situation

prior to * previously * earlier * formerly * precede * by the time

  1. ____________ the advent of the Industrial Revolution, pollution was virtually unheard of.
  2. ___________ the army had restored order, the city had been almost completely devastated.
  3. _________________ known as Burma, the republic of Myanmar is undergoing a slow and painful political transformation.
  4. A sudden drop in temperature will usually ___________ a blizzard.
  5. It was my first trip on an airplane. _____________ I’d always gone by train.
  6. The President made a speech praising charity organizations working in Mozambique. __________________that day he had promised massive economic aid to stricken areas.

Correct Answers:

  1. prior to (this expression is usually followed by a noun or by an -ing verb. For example: Prior to visiting to country, he had to study the language)
  2. By the time
  3. Formerly / Previously
  4. precede
  5. Previously
  6. Previously / Earlier

Exercise 2: One action or situation occurring at the same time as another action

while / as / just as * during / throughout * at that very moment * in the meantime / meanwhile

  1. ________________ the senator was making his speech, thousands of demonstrators took to the streets.
  2. ______________ the speech they jeered and shouted slogans.
  3. The senator continued speaking. ___________ the police were ordered onto the streets.
  4. He finished the speech with a word of praise for the police. ____________ the sun came out and shone down on the angry demonstrators.

Correct Answers:

  1. While / As / Just as
  2. During / Throughout (During must always be followed by a noun. Throughout can be used on its own. During the concert, I fell asleep. / I slept throughout)
  3. In the meantime / Meanwhile
  4. At that very moment

Exercise 3: One action or situation occurring after another action or situation

afterward * as soon as / once / the minute that * following

  1. _______________ the earthquake, emergency organizations around the world swung into action.
  2. _______________ the stock market collapsed, there was panic buying on an unprecedented scale.
  3. The Klondike gold rush lasted from 1896 to 1910. ___________ the area became practically deserted overnight.

Correct Answers:

  1. Following (this word is always followed by a noun. We can also say After. Following / After the movie, we went home)
  2. As soon as / Once / The minute that (these words and expressions are always followed by an action: As soon as the
    lecture ended, we left the building)
  3. Afterward
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