English Writing Exercises for B2 – A story


1. Read the task and the story below. Match time expressions a-f with gaps 1-4 in the text. There are two extra time expressions.

a After a few more minutes

b It all started one day last term

c Looking back

d On the day of the ceremony

e The following year

f Within two or three weeks

Write a story about an occasion when somebody started a rumour which caused problems.

A1 __ when we heard that a special guest was going to speak to the school at the summer prize-giving ceremony. I don’t know who started the rumour, but people started to say that this guest was going to be the actor Matt Damon. Of course, this was very exciting news!

B2 __ , nearly everybody in the school had heard the rumour. What is amazing is that nearly everybody thought it was true! People started to plan what they were going to do when they saw Matt Damon. Some wanted autographs; others wanted to take selfies. One student even set up a live stream on the internet!

C3 __ , the atmosphere in the school was electric. As we waited in the school hall, we whispered excitedly. Then the doors opened and the head teacher walked in with the special guest: the local police commander. We were stunned – and extremely disappointed! We listened while he gave a speech, but when the head teacher asked for questions at the end, nobody said a word. The only question we had in our minds was: where’s Matt?

D4 __ , I feel quite sorry for the police commander. He didn’t know that we were hoping for Matt Damon, but he probably sensed our disappointment. I still don’t know who started the rumour, but I sometimes wonder if they feel bad about it.

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1) b   2) f   3) d   4) c

2. Answer the questions. Which paragraph (A-D) contains:

1) the main event in the story? _________

2) speculation about how somebody felt? _________

3) information about how it all started? _________

4) information about different students’ plans? _________

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1) C   2) D   3) A   4) B

3. Rewrite the sentences so that they have a similar meaning. Start with the words in brackets.

1) I wanted to be honest with them. (What I wanted ___ )


2) Her opinions hurt feelings. (What hurt ___ )


3) The possibility of failing the exam worried her. (What worried her ___ )


4) We needed more time. (What we needed ___ )


5) I really wanted to take the exam again. (What I really ___ )


Show answers

1) What I wanted was to be honest with them.

2) What hurt feelings were her opinions.

3) What worried her was the possibility of failing the exam.

4) What we needed was more time.

5) What I really wanted was to take the exam again.

Writing Guide

Writing Strategy

When you write a story:

–  you can choose to narrate the events in the first person (using /) or the third person (using he, she, it, they)

–  use paragraphs to show that events happened at different times.

–  include time expressions (e.g. a week later, soon afterwards) to move the story forwards.

–  describe how people felt and reacted to the events.

Write a story about an occasion when somebody caused problems by cheating.

4. Read the Writing Strategy and the task above. Make notes below.

Paragraph 1: Set the scene. How did it begin?



Paragraph 2: Lead-up to the main event.



Paragraph 3: The main event. How did people feel / react?



Paragraph 4: Ending / Looking back



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your own answers

5. Write your story using your notes from exercise 4.