martes, octubre 16, 2012


Past Continuous

[was/were + Verb-ING]
·       You were studying when she called.
·       Were you studying when she called?
·       You were not studying when she called.

USE 1 Interrupted Action in the Past
Descripción: the Past Continuous to indicate that a longer action in the past was interrupted. The interruption is usually a shorter action in the Simple Past. Remember this can be a real interruption or just an interruption in time.

·       was watching TV when she called.
·       When the phone rang, she was writing a letter.
·       While we were having the picnic, it started to rain.
·       What were you doing when the earthquake started?
·       was listening to my iPod, so I didn't hear the fire alarm.
·       You were not listening to me when I told you to turn the oven off.
·       While John was sleeping last night, someone stole his car.
·       Sammy was waiting for us when we got off the plane.
·       While I was writing the email, the computer suddenly went off.
·       A: What were you doing when you broke your leg?
B: I wassnowboarding.

USE 2 Specific Time as an Interruption

In USE 1, described above, the Past Continuous is interrupted by a shorter action in the Simple Past. However, you can also use a specific time as an interruption.

·       Last night at 6 PM, I was eating dinner.
·       At midnight, we were still driving through the desert.
·       Yesterday at this time, I was sitting at my desk at work.

In the Simple Past, a specific time is used to show when an action began or finished. In the Past Continuous, a specific time only interrupts the action.

·       Last night at 6 PM, I ate dinner.
I started eating at 6 PM.
·       Last night at 6 PM, I was eating dinner.
I started earlier; and at 6 PM, I was in the process of eating dinner.


USE 3 ParallelActions

Descripción: you use the Past Continuous with two actions in the same sentence, it expresses the idea that both actions were happening at the same time. Theactions are parallel.
·       was studying while he was making dinner.
·       While Ellen was reading, Tim was watching television.
·       Were you listening while he was talking?
·       wasn't paying attention while I was writing the letter, so I made several mistakes.
·       What were you doing while you were waiting?
·       Thomas wasn't working, and I wasn't working either.
·       They were eating dinner, discussing their plans, and having a good time.


  • wassinging.
  • You weresinging.
  • We weresinging.
  • They weresinging.
  • He wassinging.
  • She wassinging.
  • It wassinging.
  • wasnotsinging.
  • You werenotsinging.
  • We werenotsinging.
  • They werenotsinging.
  • He wasnotsinging.
  • She wasnotsinging.
  • It wasnotsinging.
  • Was I singing?
  • Were you singing?
  • Were we singing?
  • Were they singing?
  • Was he singing?
  • Was she singing?
  • Was it singing?

EXERCISES - Simple Past / Past Continuous

Using the words in parentheses, complete the text below with the appropriate tenses.
1. A: What (you, do)  when the accident occurred? 
B: I (try)
  to change a light bulb that had burnt out. 

2. After I (find)
  the wallet full of money, I (go, immediately)  to the police and (turn)  it in. 

3. The doctor (say)
  that Tom (be)  too sick to go to work and that he (need)  to stay at home for a couple of days. 

4. Sebastian (arrive)
  at Susan's house a little before 9:00 PM, but she (be, not)  there. She (study, at the library)  for her final examination in French. 

5. Sandy is in the living room watching television. At this time yesterday, she (watch, also)
  television. That's all she ever does! 

6. A: I (call)
  you last night after dinner, but you (be, not)  there. Where were you? 
B: I (work)
  out at the fitness center. 

7. When I (walk)
  into the busy office, the secretary (talk)  on the phone with a customer, several clerks (work, busily)  at their desks, and two managers (discuss, quietly)  methods to improve customer service. 

8. I (watch)
  a mystery movie on TV when the electricity went out. Now I am never going to find out how the movie ends. 

9. Sharon (be)
  in the room when John told me what happened, but she didn't hear anything because she (listen, not) . 

10. It's strange that you (call)
  because I (think, just)  about you. 

11. The Titanic (cross)
  the Atlantic when it (strike)  an iceberg. 

12. When I entered the bazaar, a couple of merchants (bargain, busily)
  and (try)  to sell their goods to naive tourists who (hunt)  for souvenirs. Some young boys (lead)  their donkeys through the narrow streets on their way home. A couple of men (argue)  over the price of a leather belt. I (walk)  over to a man who (sell)  fruit and (buy)  a banana. 

13. The firemen (rescue)
  the old woman who (be)  trapped on the third floor of the burning building. 

14. She was so annoying! She (leave, always)
  her dirty dishes in the sink. I think she (expect, actually)  me to do them for her. 

15. Samantha (live)
  in Berlin for more than two years. In fact, she (live)  there when the Berlin Wall came down.

No hay comentarios.: