Session 2

When telling a story or talking about a true event, we can use both the continuous and simple forms of the past tense. In this session, you will put events from the animated video in order, and then focus on when to use the two forms of the tense.

Wayiitiwwan marii boqonnaa kana keessaa

Wayitii marii qabxii 2

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Activity 1

What happened to the Titanic?

Eva's story of survival

In Session 1, we heard the incredible tale of how seven-year-old Eva Hart survived the Titanic disaster. Now you'll get a chance to watch the video again, study the grammar of the past continuous and past simple, and learn how to use these verb forms to tell stories.

Watch the video and try the activity

Barreeffama agarsiisi Barreeffama dhoksi

I was with my parents. My father was going to open a business in Winnipeg. People were saying to my mother and father how fortunate they were to get on the Titanic. I was excited because I was going on a wonderful big ship.

I had no fear or apprehension or anything. She was very beautiful: luxurious beyond words. It was the first time I'd been on board a ship. Captain Smith was on deck and he was very nice. He had a beard like my own grandfather and he admired a doll I had.

On the third night I was sound asleep. My mother woke me and said "I'm going to dress you." But before she could by father came back from deck and said "You'd best put this thick coat on." That was all he said. Standing on deck, I couldn't see around the funnel. My father came back and said "The ship has struck an iceberg." My father had no difficulty in putting me and my mother in lifeboats but he made no attempt to get in himself.

When we were in the water, we could hear people rushing about on the deck. That's when the panic must have started – when they found there weren't any lifeboats left. I was terrified. I didn't know what a shipwreck would mean or how long it would take but I was too terrified to do anything but shriek for my father I knew we'd left behind.

Before she sank, she was a very beautiful ship: stationary on the ocean with all her lights on. It was dreadfully cold but the sea was the calmest I'd ever seen. The starlit night was the brightest I'd ever seen.

I looked back and saw the whole of that tragedy. And I saw that ship break in half. The front part went down and left the stern sticking up in a horrifying fashion. It was enormous. It seemed to stick up in the air for a long time. And then it gradually went down, turning over.

And after that there was the sound of the whole disaster. And that was people drowning. That is something you could never forget. And then the dreadful silence that followed it. It seemed as if the whole world was standing still.

It was discovered that my lifeboat was overcrowded and the officer in charge of the boat decided he would get rid of his load by putting people in other boats. I got separated from my mother and didn't find her until the next day.

The next day, the icebergs were like white sails in the distance: white yachts with the sun on them. They were very beautiful. They were all around us. The crew of the ship that rescued us were very kind and good to us.

We were given clothes because I'd only got my nightclothes and a blanket around me. I had nightmares from the time it sank until I was 23. And though I wouldn't like to say I'm not frightened of the sea, I lost a lot of the horror. I've never been in anything touching the Titanic. A beauty. She was lovely.

To do

What were the events Eva told us about? And what order did they happen in? Try the quiz to find out!

What order did these events happen in?

7 Questions

Match the sentences to the order in which they happened. For example, if you think it happened first, match it to number 1.

Baga gammadde! Qormaata xumurteetta
Excellent! Great job! Carraa badaa! Qabxii argatte:
x / y

What order did these events happen in?

7 Questions

Match the sentences to the order in which they happened. For example, if you think it happened first, match it to number 1.

Baga gammadde! Qormaata xumurteetta
Excellent! Great job! Carraa badaa! Qabxii argatte:
x / y

Next

Good work! Now you know the story, we will focus on the tenses used and do some grammar practice in the next activity.