Alternative Worksheet: What Happened with the Seagulls


Author’s Note: This is a follow-up from the series on time markers and in particular, Part I on past simple versus perfect form. To better understand the difference among the three past forms, please click here and do the exercises. The theme of seagulls and Strandkörbe as well as Patrick and Sandy’s vacation in Travemünde (in Schleswig-Holstein) are used here as well. 

TIP  🙂

In case you wish to not create your own story about Patrick and Sandy’s encounter with seagulls enroute to their own Strandkorb, here are some more exercises that will help you make the distinction between past simple, present continuous and past continuous, using the time markers you learned from Part I. This is the author’s version of the story but it can serve as an incentive to create your own story if you wish to continue practicing these three verb tenses.


BTW: The answers to the activities in Part I on Time Markers are found at the end of this article:


Part I. Pick and Choose:  Which of the three would best fit the following sentences?  Underline the correct verb tense. Please keep the context in mind. For further reference, please seen Part I Activity 3.


  1. One of the seagulls suddenly___1.____ on Sandy’s thumb and _____2.____ the sandwich out of her hand.


  1. landed/ has landed/ had landed
  2. knocked/ has knocked/ had knocked


  1. The seagull then ____________ the fish out of the bun, allowing it to drop to the ground.


  1. ripped/ has ripped/ had ripped


  1. Patrick ____1______ on the head by the seagulls before, but for the first time today, the birds ____2_____ with his toupee.


  1. was never pecked/ has never been pecked/ had never been pecked
  2. flew away/ have flown away/ had flown away



  1. To this day, no one ___________ the story of the seagull stealing someone’s hair.


  1. forgot/has forgotten/ had forgotten



  1. People ___1.____ and ____2.____ about the story since the incident happened.


  1. talked/ have talked/ had talked
  2. laughed/ have laughed/ had laughed



  1. But the story with the seagulls ___1.___ after they ____2.____ the toupee and the fish from the matjes.


  1. didn’t end/ hasn’t ended/ hadn’t ended
  2. stole/ have stolen/ had stolen


  1. At the same time, Sandy ___1.____ two men who ____2.____ a suitcase into their Strandkorb.


  1. saw/ has seen/ had seen
  2. placed/ have placed/ had placed


  1. At first, she hollered at them, then she _____ after them.


  1. ran/ has run/ had ran


  1. After the birds ____1.____ on him, Patrick _____2.____ the police.


  1. pooped/ have pooped/ had pooped
  2. called/ has called/ have called



  1. Even today, he _______ talking hysterically to law enforcement officials over an animal gone mad.


  1. not got over/ hasn’t gotten over/ hadn’t gotten over



Part II. Using the verb in brackets, complete the sentence in the correct verb tense.


  1. Sandy _______(chase) the two men for two kilometers until they ________ (reach) a nearby village.


  1. There, the men _________ (to be met) by a marathon of runners, who _________ (come) from the train station.


  1. The train station ____________ (provide) train service to Lübeck for over a century.


  1. There was a marathon, which ___________ (take place) every September since 1945.


  1. The men ________(try) to lose Sandy, only to find that the seagulls ________ (bomb) them with their leftovers.


  1. They ___________ (land) into a pool after they __________ (to be run over) by the runners.


  1. Sandy couldn’t find them but _________ (run) to the train station, which _________(have) the only human-run train schedule clock in Schleswig-Holstein.


  1. Prior to seeing the runners, the photographers ___________ (take) pictures of Sandy chasing the runners.


  1. When she __________(arrive) at the station, she ________ (tire herself) out.


  1. But when she _________ (see) Patrick, who _________ (kiss) a blond girl in the lounge, her face _________(grow) red in rage.



Part III. Going from the attack of the seagulls to chasing two men who left the suitcase in the Strandkorb, finish your story. What had Patrick done before meeting Sandy at the train station? How did he find a blonde chick? What happened after Sandy caught him cheating? Complete your version of the story using at least three sentences with present perfect, four sentences with past perfect and five with past simple.  Time markers are recommended but not obligatory. Make your story exciting. You can write the story alone or in groups. Good luck! 🙂




Answers to the activities in Parts I- III on the topic of Strandkörbe and Time Markers:


Part I.

  1. When Elfriede von Maltzahn asked Bartlemann  to provide a beach chair for her in 1882, he came up with the idea with the Strandkorb.
  2. In the course of only a year, the first Strandkörbe were presented for rent at the beach in Warnemünde.
  3. From 1882 until the turn of the century, Strandkörbe appeared in many towns along the Baltic Sea coast as well as in the Lakes Region of Mecklenburg-Pommerania.
  4. At the same time, Johann Falck and Franz Schaft opened their own Strandkorb factories in Rostock and Kroepelin, respectively. Falck invented the Halblieger in 1897.
  5. During the Interwar period, the number of Strandkörbe and factories increased by ten fold.

Part II.

  1. Prior to the invention of the Strandkorb, Bartlemann’s wife, Elisabeth had commissioned a person to improve the quality of the weaved basket chair in 1880. PAST PERFECT


  1. The oldest existing Strandkorb factory, Korbwerk, has produced Strandkörbe since the days of Karl Martin Harder in the 1920s. PRESENT PERFECT


  1. The Strandkorb has already become one of the key signatures of vacationing along Germany’s sea coasts and lakes. PRESENT PERFECT


  1. Three East German Strandkorb factories had produced their own products for 35 years until the consolidation in 1992. PAST PERFECT


  1. Carl Eggers, who had contributed to producing Strandkörbe during the Cold War (PAST PERFECT- DEPENDENT CLAUSE), has had his family furniture business since the 1770s (PRESENT PERFECT- MAIN SENTENCE)


Part III.

  1. Three years ago, Patrick and Sandy travelled to Travemünde for vacation.
  2. They had never seen  Schleswig-Holstein before.
  3. Sandy, who is an English teacher having come from Louisiana (near Baton Rouge), has lived in Germany for seven years, but had never visited the Baltic Sea prior to the trip.
  4. Patrick has worked as a marketing manager at a computer company in Mannheim for 10 years.
  5. Patrick’s father owned/had owned a Strandkorb rental business in Eckernförde from 1960 until his death in 2003.
  6. Neither of them had rented a Strandkorb before but they planned to do so on this trip.
  7. Patrick and Sandy met each other when he was 23 and she was 19.
  8. They were in Bavaria at that time.
  9. When they arrived at the beach, they first paid for a Matjes sandwich, Flensburger beer and French Fries Then, they rented a Strandkorb located towards the water.
  10. As they were walking with their food toward their Strandkorb, a flock of seagulls lined up along the edge of the roof of a hamburger stand and at the right moment, attacked them!





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